Air Plant Terrariums – Tiny, Exquisite Gardens for Your Home

by John Griffith

No home is complete without plants! This is an idea we firmly believe in, as you have probably noticed from some of our previous articles – we have information about nature’s healing properties and even tips on how to choose the best indoor plant for every room in your house. However, people who live in the city rarely have the luxury of owning a garden. Not to mention that our busy, and often stressful lifestyles make it nearly impossible to keep a plant alive for long! Therefore, we decided to devote today’s article to the readers who would love to bring some greenery in their lives, but simply do not have the time and resources to do so. To put it simply, an air plant terrarium is the perfect solution! Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but also requires very little care, and stays fresh all year round.

We love this minimalistic and beautiful air plant terrarium!

hanging terrarium, tear-shaped glass container, with large dark stones, moss in different shades of green, and a tillandsia air plant

First things first – what exactly are air plants? 

People often refer to the species of the genus Tillandsia as “air plants”, because they don’t need any soil to survive. They are extremely adaptable, and use their leaves to absorb nutrients directly from the air. Although they do have roots, the majority use them only for support. Tillandsia is native to the United States, Central and South America, and the West Indies, but in recent years it has become very popular all around the world. One of the reasons for this is the genus’ amazing diversity – it has over 600 species, which come in a refreshing variety of shapes, textures, sizes and colors. The grass-like Tillandsia setacea and the reddish pink Tillandsia abdita are good examples of how distinctive the species can be. Blossoms also come in many striking hues – pink, purple, yellow, orange, blue, red, white and countless variations thereof. Another reason for Tillandsia’s staggering popularity is the dramatic and beautiful color changes which the plants undergo while in bloom. Additionally, some species have a very pleasant, sweet aroma.

Vibrant and durable, this lovely plant can be looked after in a glass container, just like succulents

air plant terrarium, clear glass bowl, filled with dirt, pebbles and moss, reddish stone with tiny, human-shaped figurine, green and pinkish succulents

What kind of care do air plants need?

Tillandsia plants are pretty easy to look after. Although they don’t require soil, they do need is to be watered – every two days is summer and once a week in winter. Pulverization is optional, but we highly recommend it, as it prevents dehydration. The only special care necessary for the healthy development of a Tillandsia is a weekly bath. In colder weather, this means washing it under running water. When it’s hot outside, it is advisable to let the plant soak in a dish for 20-30 minutes. Pale or limp leaves are a sign of dehydration and must be addressed immediately.

Since Tillandsia plants love warmth, and cannot survive colder air currents, it is best to look after them indoors. For best results, keep them in a well-lit area but try to avoid direct sunlight.

Simple, yet effective – a beautiful combination 

dry piece of wood with holes, green plant inside, narrow and sharp leaves, on white background, air plant terrarium

Making your own air plant terrarium

Putting your own air plant terrarium together is a great way to flex your creative muscles. The possibilities are virtually endless! You can use glass bowls or old household items, like lightbulbs, mason jars and glasses. Just take a container of your choice, put a layer of pebbles, sand, or any other bedding you prefer (even rice works!) and place your air plant inside. Then decorate with shells, moss, crystals and stones, or little branches and sticks. For a more interesting look, combine Tillandsia plants and succulents, and add some tiny figurines.

How cute is this Star Wars themed air plant terrarium?

star wars figurines, of yoda and r2d2, inside a transparent container, air plant terrarium, with moss and little sticks, shaped like a large glass

Would you like to make your own lightbulb garden? This short and fun video will show you how:

Air plants can survive in rooms lit only by fluorescent lamps, so they make a great office buddy!

lightbulb turned into an air plant terrarium, placed on a small metal stand, filled with moss, sand and a seashell, a tillandsia plant

Very creative jelly fish design

hanging air plants, pink textured shell, used as a planter, hanging on thin clear string, and containing a green plant

Mix air plants and succulents for a more diverse look

glass air plant terrarium, with black detailing, containing succulents and dirt, placed on wooden block, near different flowers

Crystals are the perfect decorations for your air plant terrarium…

half sphere made of glass, air plant terrarium, with fine white sand, pink stones and orange pebbles, moss and tillandsia plants

…and so is this adorable flamingo figurine!

flamingo figurines made of pink plastic, inside a round glass air plant terrarium, filled with brown pebbles, green moss and tillandsias, hand placing a gray stone inside, using metal tweezers

sphere-shaped hanging terrarium, made from clear glass, pale gray stones and air plants, dark gray background

A colorful and original idea!

colorful strings in hot pink, and dark blue, red and yellow, wrapped around four hanging air plants

yellowish-green dry moss, seashells and fine, light beige sand, inside air plant terrarium, made of clear glass, and tied with a rope

Add a touch of green to your home

pinkish-white tiny blossoms, and bright light green moss, inside a round glass terrarium, with a single air plant, tillandsia care

diamond-shaped glass terrarium, with black details, containing three different succulents, in various shades of green

five examples of a hanging terrarium, made out of glass, filled with dirt, with various green air plants, decorative stones

mini plant terrarium, inside a bottle-shaped glass container, with dirt and pebbles, succulents and various air plants

Apple and pair shaped terrariums – a charming gift idea

pear- and apple-shaped glass terrariums, filled with white rice, pale green moss, tillandsia care, air plants and seashells

tillandsia care, wire springs and cork bottle stoppers, each with a small air plant on top, various tillandsias all around

five diamond-shaped planters, or glass terrariums, with black details, holding air ferns and other plants, with dirt and stones

dark wooden surface, with five light green air plants, one has pinkish-red leaves, tillandsia care advice

Some Tillandsia plants bloom for an entire year!

blossom in cream and pale pink, on light green plant, with narrow and sharp leaves, tillandsia care in the garden

cyclamen pink flower, with a single small purple blossom, tillandsia care, green air plant

light wooden table, with two round glass containers, with brown and white pebbles, and tillandsia plants, xerographica and others

Air plants stand made from reclaimed wood 

dried piece of reclaimed wood, with several varieties of air plants, pale green tillandsia xerographica, placed on burlap fabric

succulents and air plants, inside a spheric glass terrarium, with circular side opening, filled with moss in different colors

cube-shaped glass containers, with round openings, for tillandsia care, filled with moss, in different shades of green, and air plants

A very creative way of reusing old coat racks

black metal hangers, on a wooden board, each decorated with a round, hanging terrarium made of glass, with pebbles and air plants

argentea tillandsia care, hand holding a small, pale green air plant, with narrow and sharp leaves, on white background

transparent oval and round glass containers, hanging terrarium style, with green and reddish tillandsias, hung outside near trees

Tillandsia plants come in many varieties

purple and pastel pink leaves, on light and dark green tillandsias, xerographica and other kinds

opened diamond-shaped terrarium, made of glass with black details, filled with tiny beige pebbles, stones and succulents

dark brownish green moss, and a green air fern, placed inside a gem-shaped, edgy glass terrarium, with black details

A cactus, some succulents, and a tiny tillandsia plant

cacti and moss, with green and plum-colored air plants, inside a tear-shaped glass container, filled with dirt and pebbles

eight round and tear-shaped glass containers, filled with brown pebbles, and green air plants, hanging terrarium idea

One of our favorite air plant arrangements

simple macrame wall ornament, made from wooden stick, and beige string, with two hanging air plants, and several pebbles

sphere made of clear glass, with an air hole, containing brown wood chips, and green air plants

three glass spheres, with round openings, filled with moss, stones and pebbles, hanging terrarium inspiration, green tillandsia plants inside

Tillandsia abdita have beautiful hot pink leaf tips

human hands holding several air plants, green with cyclamen pink, or hot pink tips, sharp narrow leaves

succulents and tillandsia xerographica, inside a large and smaller, round glass terrarium, with white and brown pebbles

seashells stuck to a metal surface, and containing air plants, one green and one pink, with small purple blossom

close up of air plants, inside a glass sphere, with circular opening, also containing light green pebbles, two seashells and some moss

So many different kinds! Which one would you choose? We’ll take them all!

xerographica and other tillandsia varieties, in light and dark green, with reddish and pink hues, and purple blossoms, in nine pictures

air ferns and other air plants, in green and white, inside a gem-shaped planter, with pebbles and black details

wooden boards with wire hangers, hanging air plants, cork bottle stoppers, and various seashells

stones in light beige, moss in different shades of green, three air plants, and several tiny sticks, inside a glass sphere with round opening

What do you think about this edgy and modern air plant terrarium?

edgy modern planter, with black details, containing fine black pebbles, and bigger white stones, with succulents and air plants

air plants, in pale green and pink, inside a sphere terrarium, with pebbles and moss, placed near a window

four different kinds of airplants, pale and dark green leaves, with pink tips, on white background

xerographica inside a rectangular glass planter, with wooden details, filled with fine white sand, and turquoise pebbles

dirt and moss, inside a small lightbulb, containing tiny airplants, micro glass terrarium idea

tiny tillandsia xerographica, in round glass bowl, with small legs, filled with fine sand, seashells and a fish decoration, light green seaweed

A lovely home decoration and a miniature garden, all in one!

mushroom and house, tiny painted figurines, inside a hanging terrarium, made of glass, on a black metal stand, filled with succulents and moss

collage with four images, all showing rectangular aquariums, filled with pebbles and dirt, and containing airplants of different varieties

hand holding piece of reclaimed driftwood, with three white shells, and three airplants, in red and green

Another creative solution:

metal frame with wire mesh, containing large dried branch, green hanging air plants, with pink blossoms

unique glass terrariums, shaped like two lightbulbs, tied with rope, containing two hanging air plants, green with pink details

clear plastic planters, and two white shells used as planters, all containing green airplants, with reddish leaf tips

pebbles and moss, with light green tillandsia, hanging air plants, pointy glass container, hung in the open, on beige thread

rectangular glass terrariums, with oval edges, filled with airplants in different shades of green, and decorated with moss, and small sticks

Can you spot the little unicorn figurine hiding in the Tillandsia plants?

unicorn plastic figurine in brown, inside a hollowed lightbulb, filled with moss and airplants

airplants in a fish bowl, made from clear glass, and filled with grainy white sand, and two gray stones

several different tillandsia plants, pale whitish and dark green, with yellow blossoms, hanging air plants, on reclaimed piece of wood, decorated with moss

crystal in purple and beige, near glass bowl, with small legs, containing tillandsia plants, sand and seashells

moss-covered oval stones, near tillandsia glass terrarium, on cream-colored, crocheted table cloth

Two beautiful, beach inspired terrariums 

beach-themed tillandisa terrariums, decorated with sand, pebbles and seashells, placed on a wooden table, near the sea

see-through terrarium, shaped like a glass, with two tillandsia plants, placed on bright green moss,

grayish-blue and fluffy, dark sphere-shaped plants, inside and on a glass sphere, with purple sand, and a light green tillandsia

We hope you’ll have lots of fun decorating your own little garden!

bark from a dried tree, near glass dome with white cap, and round opening, filled with light pebbles, and several tillandsia plants, in light green and pink

ivory white dried branch, with a small green tillandsia, inside a glass sphere, with turquoise sand, pale gray pebbles, and moss in different colors

tillandsia and pale green moss, inside a round glass terrarium, with beige sand, and assorted white shells


John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.