Follow these easy steps and learn how quickly you can mount your own air plants.
I have to confess to being quite addicted to air plants (botanically known as Tillandsias). I stopped counting when I reached over 50 of these beauties in my collection. I pick them up from flower shows, bromeliad society meetings and online suppliers. To save money I almost always buy them unmounted and do it myself. It’s fun and easy. Just follow the steps below:
Glue (the correct type)
Step 1 – Select your mounting material
You can pretty much use anything you want but common materials are cork bark*, rocks, freshwater driftwood and other random pieces of wood. My preference is for anything that looks natural. I’m not really into air plants glued to a crystal and used as fridge magnets!
*Cork bark can often be purchased from your local bromeliad society.
Step 2 – Clean up your plants
Gently remove any dead or dying leaves from the base of the plant. You want to make sure that the glue has something solid to adhere to do. Have a look at the image to the right. See how the plant on the left has a few dead leaves clinging on and the plant on the right has a clean stem? That’s what you want to aim for but don’t go overboard and pull off living leaves!
Step 3 – Positioning the plant(s)
Spent a few minutes working out where to place your plants on the mounting material. Try a few different angles and spots to work out what looks the best.
Step 4 – Drill a hole in the backing material
Chances are you’re going to be hanging your airplant somewhere so drill a small hole now before you attach your plant. It’s easier to do it now as the plant can get in the way and you may damage it.
Step 5 – Attach your plant
Apply a small amount of glue to the mounting material and then push the base of the plant on to it. Hold it firmly until the glue begins to set. You may need to prop it against something so the plant stays in the right spot until the glue really hardens. How long this takes will depend on the glue you’re using. I always leave my for several hours or overnight.
There are two very important things to note regarding the glue:
* Not all glues are suitable. Some contain toxins which can harm your tillandsia and are best avoided. I use the green Selleys Liquid Nails which was recommended to me by the Bromeliad Society of Australia. It must be the green version. If you can’t get this type ask your local bromeliad society for other recommendations. Do not use hot glue guns as the heat can easily damage the plant tissue.
* When pushing the plant onto the glue do not entirely cover the stem or end part. These are the areas where the tillandsia will produce roots and covering in glue will restrict this. Have a look at the photos below to see how I have left an area clear of glue. Some tillandsias don’t produce roots at all but it doesn’t hurt to play it safe unless you know for certain that your particular plant will always be rootless.
Step 6 – Make a hook and label
If you are hanging your tillandsia then thread some wire through the hole you drilled earlier and fashion it into a hook. I like to keep track of the species or variety name so I also put a label on the wire and hide it at the back.
You are now ready to hang your air plant wherever you like! I told you it was easy.
PS Don’t forget to check out The Plant Addict Shop while you’re here.
You’ll find great gift ideas for garden lovers and fellow plant addicts!