What Should A Tillandsia Be Planted In

You have a beautiful Tillandsia air plant but have no idea what to plant it in. You don’t want to place it in a regular pot with soil, but what other options are there? They are unique plants that require a different type of planting material than traditional plants but don’t worry; there are plenty of options available. So, what should a Tillandsia be planted in?

Tillandsias should not be planted in soil. As air plants, they require good air circulation to thrive. Instead, they can be planted in various materials that allow for proper aeration and drainage. These materials include bark, moss, rocks, sand, and more.

Here, I’ll explore the various materials that Tillandsia can be planted in and the benefits of each. So, let’s dive in and discover the perfect planting option for your air plant!

What Should A Tillandsia Be Planted In

Where Should You Plant A Tillandsia?

When it comes to planting Tillandsia, there are several options to choose from. The following are some popular options:


Another option for planting Tillandsia is to mount them on a surface such as wood, cork, or rock. This method allows the plant to receive adequate air circulation while adding a natural and decorative element to your space.


Although Tillandsia plants do not require soil to survive, they can benefit from a substrate to help them absorb water and nutrients. A substrate is a material that can hold moisture without becoming waterlogged, such as sphagnum moss, coconut coir, or bark.

When choosing a substrate, it is crucial to consider the type of Tillandsia you have, as some varieties prefer a certain type of substrate. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the substrate is not too dense, as it requires adequate air circulation to thrive.

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Tillandsia can also be planted in terrariums, which can be a creative and unique way to display them. Terrariums can help regulate moisture levels and provide adequate air circulation, making them an ideal environment for this plant.

How to Plant Tillandsia in Containers?

As mentioned, Tillandsia needs to be planted in a suitable medium to thrive. Containers are an excellent option to plant Tillandsia as they can provide the necessary support and help with the plant’s growth. Here are the steps to plant Tillandsia in containers:

Choose A Container

For starters, pick a wide, shallow container for your plant. That way, it’ll have plenty of room to grow and get good ventilation. Clay or ceramic containers are great because they absorb any extra moisture.

Add A Suitable Medium

Throw some sphagnum moss in your pot. It helps retain water and gives your plant an extra boost of nutrition; if you don’t have that, mix sand, perlite, and peat moss together.

Soak The Plant

Soak the Tillandsia plant in water for about an hour before planting. This step helps the plant absorb enough water to support its growth.

Plant The Tillandsia

Place the Tillandsia in the center of the container and pack the planting medium around it. Make sure not to bury the base of the plant, as it can cause it to rot.

Provide The Right Conditions

Now, place the container in a well-lit area with good air circulation. Tillandsia plants prefer bright, filtered light and warm temperatures.

Water The Plant

Give your plant a spritz with a spray bottle or a little soak in some water for a few minutes. Just don’t go overboard with the watering – too much can cause root rot.

How Do You Mount Tillandsia on Various Surfaces?

Mounting Tillandsia on various surfaces is a popular way to display these unique plants. It’s essential to choose a suitable surface and method for mounting so that the plant can thrive and look its best. Here are some steps to follow:

Choose the Right Surface

Before you start, think about where you want to mount the Tillandsia. The surface should be sturdy, clean, and able to hold the weight of the plant. Some common surfaces to use include:

  • Driftwood
  • Rocks
  • Seashells
  • Cork bark
  • Wooden planks
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Soak Tillandsia

As mentioned, Soak the Tillandsia in water for hours before mounting. This will ensure that the plant is well-hydrated and will have an easier time adapting to its new location.

Attach the Plant

There are a few ways to attach the Tillandsia to the surface. Some options include:

  • Using plant glue: This is a popular method that involves applying a small amount of glue to the base of the plant and pressing it onto the surface.
  • Tying with the fishing line: For a more natural look, use a fishing line to tie the plant to the surface.
  • Wire: Use thin wire to wrap around the base of the plant and attach it to the surface.

How to Care for Tillandsia Plants after Planting?

Once you’ve successfully planted or mounted your Tillandsia, it’s essential to care for them to keep them healthy and thriving properly. Here are some tips on how to care for your plants after planting:


Mist your Tillandsia with a spray bottle 2-3 times a week, making sure to wet the leaves and roots thoroughly. Alternatively, you can soak your plant in water for 10-20 minutes once a week, making sure to shake off any excess water after soaking. Avoid letting water sit in the center of the Tillandsia, as this can cause rot.


Tillandsia plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Place them near a window or under a grow light. Avoid placing these plants in direct sunlight, which can cause the leaves to burn.

Air Circulation

These plants need good air circulation to prevent rot. Avoid placing them in a closed container or in a spot with stagnant air.


Tillandsia plants don’t need much fertilizer, but you can feed them once a month with a weak solution of bromeliad or orchid fertilizer.

Can I Plant a Bromeliad Plant in the Same Soil as a Tillandsia?

Yes, you can plant a bromeliad plant in the same soil as a tillandsia. Both plants belong to the bromeliad family and share similar growth requirements. However, it’s essential to note that tillandsias are epiphytes and do not have a root system like bromeliads. They rely on their unique bromeliad plant stem binding mechanism to attach themselves to trees or rocks for support and obtain nutrients from the air.

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Can Tillandsia Plants Be Planted in Soil?

While Tillandsia plants do not need soil to survive, it is possible to plant them in soil. However, it’s essential to use the right kind of soil, as traditional potting soil can hold too much moisture and cause the plants to rot.

A suitable soil mixture for Tillandsia should be well-draining, light, and porous. A mix of bark, perlite, and peat moss is a good option. The goal is to create a soil mix that allows air and water to circulate freely around the plant’s roots while also providing a stable base.

Remember that planting them in the soil will change their care requirements. Unlike air plants, potted Tillandsia plants need regular watering and fertilizing, and their roots should not be allowed to dry out completely.

It’s also essential to choose a pot with good drainage and not to overpot the plant, as Tillandsia prefers to be snug in its container.


Tillandsia plants are unique and fascinating air plants that require a different planting approach than traditional potted plants. While these plants can survive in soil, it’s not their ideal growing medium, and they will thrive better when planted using alternative methods, such as mounting or placing in containers.

These plants require proper care, such as watering, lighting, and fertilizing, to ensure longevity and beauty. With the proper knowledge and techniques, planting and caring for Tillandsia plants can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

If you’re an experienced green thumb or just starting out, adding these plants to your indoor or outdoor area can bring a nice splash of nature and loveliness to your home. So go for it and begin your Tillandsia planting adventure and take in the amazing beauty of these air plants!


  • https://njaes.rutgers.edu/plant-of-the-month/tillandsia.php
  • https://andersones.core.edu/filedownload?context=56766&FileName=Air%20Plant%20Care%20And%20Design%20Tips%20And%20Creative%20Ideas%20For%20The%20Worldas%20Easiest%20Plants.pdf
  • https://www.gestudy.byu.edu/Book/education/air-plants-the-curious-world-of-tillandsias-engli.pdf?sequence=1&ht=edition

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