As much as I love having greenery in my home, I am probably the most notorious plant assassin in Chicago. I can barely keep succulents alive. But after hearing so much about the simplicity of air plants, I'm ready to give them a try. Because they don't need soil, the display options are nearly endless, so of course I hit Etsy for some inspiration.
Air plants, remarkable not only for their sexy names (Tillandsia! Bromeliad! Xerographica! Oh my!), but also for their ability to absorb water and nutrients from the air, are easy to care for and incredibly versatile in terms of display. Here's a roundup of my favorite Etsy options, but I also suggest keeping your mind open to the many possibilities for DIY, vintage scouring, and repurposing.
1. Set of 3 Porcelain and Leather Hanging Containers, $120 plus shipping from Farrahsit: Simple, organic, and modern, these handcrafted porcelain vessels look elegant staggered on a wall. I love the idea of one-of-a-kind pieces, but if you're on a budget, think of modifying the Ikea Asker vessels for a similar look.
2. Starfish and Little Air Plant, $13 plus shipping from West Nest: I find starfish to be very texturally pleasing creatures, and the unexpected addition of an air plant transforms them into even more lovely (and oddly volcanic-looking) focal points.
3. Golden Tillandsia Pod, $7.50 plus shipping from The Tropical Garden: Add some reflectiveness to your room with a touch of gilded glitz.
4. Dinosaur Planter with Air Plant, $20 plus shipping from Boy-Girl Tees: Why not give your room a bit of prehistoric whimsy with a repurposed toy?
5. Air Pod Plant Holder, $38 plus supping from I Love Air Pods: Beautifully handcrafted out of ceramic, these planters remind me of my childhood wiffle balls, meaning that they're tasteful and playful at the same time.
6. Buffalo Horn Air Plant Holder, $35 plus shipping from West Nest: The natural materials and hand-painted accents of this horn holder will really heighten the drama of your air plant collection.
7. Hanging Teardrop Facet Terrarium, $50 plus shipping from ABJ Glassworks: With its geometric lines and perfect copper patina, this handmade terrarium is a showpiece in and of itself. I always advocate supporting artists and artisans when possible, but if you are looking for a similar style on a budget, Urban Outfitters has a faceted terrarium that would also showcase your plants well.
8. Tillandsia Sputnik Sea Urchin Shell, $8.75 plus shipping from Succulent Designs: Sea urchins are one of my favorite home accessories, given that they are affordable, textural, and naturally sculptural. Mix your land and sea by adding a tillandsia for even more visual interest.
9. Unicorn Air Plant Pod, $18 plus shipping from Claylicious: Sweet, fun, and adorable (but not over-the-top twee), this one is awakening eight-year-old me with a resounding squee.
10. Mini Concrete Planter with Druid Air Plant, $15 plus shipping from My Zen: This fun and funky little vessel reminds me of a traditional Mexican molcajete. Usually my mortar is filled with guacamole, but I like the idea of filling it with a different variety of green. You could also use other styles of mortars, like this octagonal one or this marble one, to create unique homes for your air plants.
11. Air Plant Wall Art Hanger, $75 plus shipping from Twisted Acres: For those who want many air plants, this wall hanger provides plenty of space for them to nestle together. The artist has also upcycled a wine bottle into a light fixture, so you can add a bit of ambient lighting to your garden when the mood strikes.
12. Metal Stand with Air Plant, $5 plus shipping from Air Buddies: As simple as it gets, this little holder will let the natural beauty of your plant shine.
13. 2-in-1 Hanging Air Planter, $40 plus shipping from Ingleside Pottery: I love the versatility of this porcelain spool planter. Vertically or horizontally, it perfectly frames the tillandsia. And who doesn't want their plants to pull some gravity-defying stunts?
14. Stackable Living Eco Cube, $25 plus shipping from E-Garden Studio: Stack these for a living, verdant version of glass block tiles.
15. Nautical Knot Holder, $8 plus shipping from Air Buddies: This knot holder will add texture to the max. What's more, I like the shape of this planter, which is a little visual pun that makes the tillandsia resemble its cousin the pineapple.
16. Mini Air Plant or Succulent Planter, $10 plus shipping from Old and Board: If you want to break up the trend I've got going here of mostly ceramic, glass, and porcelain vessels, then here's some aged wood and rusted metal to add a bit of warmth and industrial character.
17. Air Plant Crystal Garden, $32 plus shipping from Earth Sea Warrior: The addition of a tiny air plant makes this sparkly crystal cave even more special.
MORE AIR PLANTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Amazing Air Plants: An Interview with the Air Plant Man
• 10 Ways to Display Air Plants
• Hanging Pots for Air Plants
• Inspiration: Hang Air Plants in Glass Bubbles
(Images: as credited above)