Suspend Reality with Air Plants
Seeing the expression on children’s faces when they find out that there are plants that can grow not only without soil, but by actually being suspended in the air, is somewhat priceless. In fact, there are also many adults who are totally unaware of their existence. If you are one of them, it is time to brush up on your tillandsia (better known as air plants) knowledge!
What you’ll need:
- Air plants
- Fishing line
Shopping for air plants should be a really exciting and new adventure for your children because of the sheer variety of never-before-seen plants they’ll encounter. So be sure to allow adequate time to visit a number of garden centres to give them a really full experience.
Take the children for a walk around the garden and pick a nice spot where you’ll be hanging your air plants. It’s important to know that they should not be hung in direct sunlight because it will sap too much moisture from them! Then measure your fishing line so you’ll know how long it needs to be, and then add an extra 30cm or so before cutting. Remember that you can always cut it shorter but only magicians can make it longer again!
Make a loop at the beginning of your fishing line that will be used to hang your air plant strip. Make more loops all the way down the length of fishing line, about 20-30cm apart. Air plants can vary quite drastically in size so ensure that the gap is big enough for the plants you have chosen, but not too big.
If you have opted for a bunch of different varieties that vary in size to be placed on one length, it may be a good idea to ensure the biggest is at the bottom and then to measure your gaps according to the plant heights instead of making them all equal.
Hang your fishing line up before putting in your plants to avoid getting it into a tangled mess. Pop your first air plant into the bottom loop to give it some weight and then let the children have fun putting in the rest of the plants and admire their handiwork. It’s as easy as one, two, three!
Looking after your air plants is easy because they take their nutrients from the air. With the light you’ve given them (not direct sunlight!), all that’s left is for your kids to give them a light misting of water with a spray bottle every now and again.