make an air plant landscape

My mom spends about two hours watering her vast container garden, but I didn’t inherit those maintenance genes. My indoor favorites are succulents and air plants, tough creatures accustomed to a cruel world with little moisture.

Air plants can be expensive, yet they don’t live long, so I like to buy the small ones and set them in a “landscape.” Here’s how to make this one.

1. Choose any bowl you like–no drainage hole necessary. I used a crackle bowl from my mother-in-law that marks our wedding date.
2. Fill the bowl with PermaTill, a slate soil mix-in intended for discouraging voles.
3. Set a large rock into the PermaTill to serve as a mountain or mesa in the foreground. I unearthed my granite chunk in the backyard–a bonus of Georgia living.
4. Set a piece of dried grapevine or driftwood (look for this at terrarium suppliers, nurseries, and hardware stores) behind the rock, and wedge a small air plant between the “woods” and “mountain.”
5. Set a circular piece of citrine (available from crystal shops) in the background as a mock sun.

To water the air plant, about once a month I soak it in a separate bowl of water for several hours. Every two months, I dissolve granulated plant food in the water. I know, that’s absurdly low maintenance! This is my ideal plant–lovely and sculptural, but closely related to plastic.

6 thoughts on “make an air plant landscape”

  1. Thanks, Kurt! I look at your Southeast Succulents site often for inspiration on arrangements.

  2. Update: My mom says she actually spends FOUR hours watering her potted plants. I really, really didn’t inherit that gene.

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