Being a plant parent is hard work. Sure, there’s the whole “trying not to kill them” part, but there’s also the responsibility of finding a place to put them where they can thrive (which can be a real challenge when you’re living in a dimly lit New York City studio, TBH).
Rather than rearranging your room to find the right spot for your high-maintenance flora, up your 2018 green decor game with air plants. These small, succulent-like plants, not only take up minimal space, they need basically nothing to survive—zero dirt and very little watering—making them virtually impossible to kill (like it would take a lot to make that happen).
“An air plant is a type of plant that can grow without soil, and generally refers to species of Tillandsia,” says Robyn Moore, of New York City plant shop The Sill, who notes that these greens tend to thrive in well-lit, high-humidity environments. Since they don’t require bulky pots, they’re the perfect way to add a little urban jungle flair to even the tiniest living spaces.
“These little plants require minimal maintenance, so they are great for people with busy lifestyles,” says interior designer Pippa Lee. Because they absorb nutrients through their leaves (instead of through roots and soil, the way most plants do), all you need to do is give them a spritz of water with a spray bottle and rinse them thoroughly every two weeks, and you’re on your way to making the great indoors into a great garden, as well.
Read on for interior designers’ tips on how to up your greenery game in every room of your home.
“Air plants thrive in the steamy environment of the bathroom,” says Homepolish interior designer Chloe Chudina. “Creating living art on the walls is a perfect way to display air plants in your bathroom.” She says this is actually super easy to do and will seriously up your bathroom decor: simply mount hangers such as these Urban Outfitters Mini Silicone Succulent Wall Planters to deign a DIY wall-scape. Lee also suggests hanging the plants in glass domes from the ceiling to add some interesting elements to the top half of your space.
Turn your living room into your own little slice of enchanted forest by mixing and matching different kinds of greenery. “The living room is where I like to mix in air plants with my other more traditional indoor plants,” says Lee. “I love the look of them inside a glass vase or in a cute quirky ceramic bowl on top of a stack of books in a well styled bookcase as a cute feature in the room.” Since there are no restrictions on where air plants can live (because of the whole no soil thing) use unexpected vessels, like ceramic mugs, wire fixtures, or a jewelry dishes to create your own personalized decor.
Vegetables aren’t the only greens you should be adding to your kitchen this year. “Air plants are great because they can be tucked just about anywhere,” says Chudina. And that includes around your eating space. She suggests placing very small plants on the fridge with magnets, like these cork and seashell ones, or creating a hanging garden in the window with a set of brass hangers. You can also use them as a centerpiece on your dining room table by placing them on a stand, especially because you don’t have to worry about soil spilling.