GOR­GEOUS GREEN­ERY

Cre­at­ing a botan­i­cal look in­doors makes a room feel calm and helps pu­rify the air

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - HOME -

Q AMost in­door plants are rel­a­tively easy to care for as long as they get nat­u­ral light, but not di­rect sun, and reg­u­lar amounts of water. Ferns need to be kept cool and air plants need mois­ture if the air is dry. A bal­cony that gets sun is ideal for cacti and suc­cu­lents as they are in­cred­i­bly sculp­tural look­ing and can go for long pe­ri­ods with­out water.

Q AWhat plants are best for peo­ple who don’t have green fin­gers?

What are air plants? Is it true you don’t plant them in soil?

They are the Til­land­sia fam­ily and orig­i­nate from Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, al­though they can now be found in many warm, hu­mid cli­mates. They are also Epi­phytes which means, yes, they do not re­quire soil to grow and ab­sorb nu­tri­ents and water from air, mostly through their leaves. Their tiny root struc­ture helps them to cling onto trees. They are known to pu­rify air by re­mov­ing cer­tain tox­ins.

In dryer cli­mates where there is not much hu­mid­ity, they re­quire a mist­ing of water ev­ery few days and al­though you can bath them, it’s im­por­tant to shake off any ex­cess water after­wards. They like high light but not di­rect sun­light. There are hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties and we stock about 20 in­clud­ing a few var­ied Io­nan­thas, Xero­graph­ica, Ar­gen­tea, Bul­bosa, Ci­c­i­nata, Juncea and more.

Q AHow can I best dis­play air plants?

Air plants can be dis­played in mul­ti­ple ways and are es­pe­cially com­fort­able grow­ing on nat­u­ral sur­faces, like drift­wood, which can eas­ily be mounted to a wall. You can at­tach the plant with wire, ny­lon line or even a plant glue. We also at­tach them to shells, peb­bles and blocks of wood for an el­e­gant and un­usual dis­play.

Re­mem­ber they still need to be wa­tered when hang­ing.

Paul Har­ris at his PoléPolé shop in Wood­stock Ex­change. Be­low: A mag­i­cal air plant.

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