Air Plants

A couple of times when I’ve been knee-deep in a cookbook project, I’ve joked that maybe it would just be easier if we were all breatharians, capable of surviving on air alone. Well, I’ve found just that … in a plant. A plant that doesn’t need soil to grow, just air, and a quick dip in water every two weeks.  Meet T. stricta ‘Hardleaf’ and T. aeranthos—only two of many varieties available, brought to market by three guys in Torrance, California.


I have an old truck radiator with a fabulous patina that I’ve been wanting to hang on my wall but it needed a purpose, something artsy, a reason. Maybe some decoupage? Now I know it’s higher purpose. I’m going to adorn it with air plants. Once every two weeks, I’ll take the radiator off the wall and set it in a tub of water overnight and then hang it back up. Note the tiny roots on my first three air plants. They’re like little hooks, perfect for sticking into the fins of a radiator. The blooms are vibrant and gorgeous. Check out the endless variety of plants, grown solely in the U.S., available at, a 20,000 square foot greenhouse devoted to the colorful rainbow world of Tillandsia air plants.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    They are pretty looking bloomers you chose MaryJane, Please let us know how they do in your radiator. Do you receive a lot of natural sunlight in the area where you will hang these plants?

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Florida has lots of various air plants that live here all year round. Where I live, they are mostly found in Oak trees and do not have those beautiful colors like the ones you show here. I wish we had some of those around. I had to laugh when you said you wished sometimes we humans could just exist on air!! My mom used to say the same sort of thing when she was embroiled in a project and realized it was time to stop and fix dinner!!

  3. Karlyne says:

    Heavens! I always thought air plants were a joke, something along the lines of Chia pets; how beautiful they are, though!

  4. Debra Swan says:

    Where can you get one? Maybe something I can not kill..I don’t seem to have a green thumb.
    Would really love to try one of these plants.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *