Can I Keep My Air Plant in a Terrarium?
This is a common question for those who want to keep air plants indoors. Terrariums are fun to make and beautiful to display around the home. But if you search for an answer to this question, you may find polar opposite responses.
In my opinion, with proper care, the answer is yes!
I have kept small air plants in terrariums for many years and those plants have not only survived, but thrived. They have bloomed, pupped, made seeds, and gone through a normal air plant life cycle all inside an indoor terrarium.
So what does proper care look like for an indoor air plant terrarium?
First, select the right type of terrarium. Air plants need air. They will not survive in a closed terrarium, or any closed container. Instead, select a terrarium that has multiple openings. This allows air to freely circulate around the plant.
Second, select a good location for your terrarium. A perfect location is one that allows the air plant to receive indirect sun light. Make sure the sun does not shine directly through the plastic or glass, as this can burn the plant. Some of my terrariums are hung from a curtain rod in front of a window that receives indirect light. I have others on shelves near windows.
Also be sure your terrarium receives air movement. Bathrooms may be too stuffy. Under heating or air conditioning vents may dry plants out. But in a room with a ceiling fan is just perfect!
Third, provide regular care for the indoor air plant. There are many ways to water air plants. For indoor air plants, I prefer to water them by regular misting and occasional soaking. When misting, take the plant out of the terrarium. You do not want the inside of the terrarium to collect water. When soaking, be sure the plant is completely dry before you place it back in the terrarium.
Fourth, select an indoor-friendly air plant. Not every air plant will thrive indoors. And not every plant will do well in a terrarium. Fortunately, Tillandsia ionantha are the perfect size for terrariums, many varieties grow well indoors, and they are fairly common and easy to find. The ionantha species comes in many sizes and can bloom in both purple and white flowers.
And finally, have fun! Part of the joy of air plants is their versatility and unique living conditions. They can allow you to bring nature indoors. Start small and be patient with your learning curve. I started with just two small air plants, and now I’m hooked!
Good luck and happy growing!