DIY Exotica Air Plant Wreath

Lately, I’ve been slightly obsessed with Tillandsia (AKA air plant) and have been experimenting with different mediums such as wreath, glass terrarium, drift wood arrangement, string gardens, and vertical living art.

Air plants are unlike any other plants, which truly sets them apart.  No soil, no digging, no compromise, just sun and water.  The air plants are great for small spaces such as apartments, indoor and outdoor, balcony, patio, porch, window dressing, and vertical gardening. 

Before we make a wreath, I would like to share a tidbit about air plants.  You don’t need all the gory details, but enough keep your DIY wreath alive. 

In the Know of Tillandsia (Air Plants)

Tillandsia is the largest genus in the bromeliad family and they are native to the sub-tropical Americas.  Tillandsia is commonly known as air plants.

Tillandsia is epiphytes and most species use their root systems to attach themselves to trees or rocks and absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves.  Tillandsia has a silvery/grayish appearance from trichomes.  Trichomes are tiny hairs of or scales which help protect the plants from the desiccating effects of intense sunlight and dry air.  Some air plant has a powdery (glaucous) coating which provides additional protection.  The harder or thicker the leaves and the more gray their color, the more light they need.  The thick-leafed, gray- to white-leafed species can tolerate full sun in humid climates.  The green and gray-green, softer-leafed species need less sun.

Skip the traditional wreath and create this fabulous air plant wreath.  It is a fresh-perspective way to decorate your home and a super easy and inexpensive project that you can finish it less than one hour.  Try this!  I used a grapevine wreath purchased at a local craft store and some seasonal cut flowers from the floral shop. 

Materials:

  • Wreath (Any shape or size)
  • Air Plants (Any variety)
  • Wax flower (Chamelaucium)
  • Thistle
  • Preserved Reindeer moss (Chartreuse or natural sphagnum moss)
  • Pine corns (fallen tree branches, leaves optional)
  • Wire or Wreath Hanger
  • Glue gun
  • Shear/Scissor
  • Pliers
  • Gloves (Optional)
  • Spray Bottle
  • Tillandsia delight (Optional)

1.     Before you start, arrange a few pieces of pine cones on the wreath to see the overall look.

 2.     Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, apply/peel pearl decorative buttons onto the pine cones. (If you are using regular ornamental pearl, apply dab of hot glue and place in the center of the pine cones and hold for a second to secure them.)

 3.     Tear a small piece of reindeer moss and place and tuck it under the pine cones or hot glue the moss.  Continue filling in until they are secure.  Trim around the reindeer moss or press it back into the wreath. 


 4.     Cut Thistle flower (purple flower) and tuck in the wreath.  (hot gluing optional).

 5.     Arrange air plants on the wreath of your liking.  Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, just tuck the butts of the air plants into the wreath crevices without gluing or hot glue them. Make sure to leave some space for growth.  I used same air plants to make it more simplified look.  You can also use different sizes and types of air plants if you wish.  

 6.     Cut Wax flower (Chamelaucium) and secure into the wreath.  The cut flowers won’t need additional adhesives if they are tightly secured. (Instead of cut flowers you can also substitute with holiday ornaments if you want to dress it up as holiday wreath.)

 7.     Cut wire into desired length or use wreath hanger to hold your wreath. Whoa!  Now you are ready to hang it. 

I always find half empty water bottles and glasses in the house - my smallest way to conserve natural resource – water!  I just insert sprayer head into the water bottle and mist air plants.  Air plants are not picky with water quality.

Tips:

  • You can soak air plants prior to making wreath to maximize the watering needs.  You can use diluted organic fertilizer such as Tillandsia delight, but it’s not necessary.
  • If your air plants are going to be in your home or office, bright light or filtered sun is recommended.
  • A covered patio or porch would be the most likely areas to find the bright filtered light conditions that Tillandsia love. In hotter, dryer conditions, more shade and water should be provided.
  • Mount air plants, such as Cholla Wood, Grape Wood, Driftwood, Cork, Sea Shells or other decorative background.
  • If your plant's leaves start to curl or roll, it could be an indication of dehydration. This can be corrected by completely submerging your plant in water overnight; then resume normal watering schedule.
  • Softer, greener-leafed plants will require more frequent watering than gray or silver-leafed plants.
  • Don't limit for just front entrance, near fire place, and on the walls.  Put a couple of LED lights or holiday lighting.