Houseplants forum: Air Plant

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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 15, 2013 2:38 PM CST
There used to be these preserved plants people called air plants. They looked like ferns. I remember they didn't require soil or water. I told my mom they were just dead plants dyed green back then. We're talking over 20 years ago. Does anyone remember these and know what they are. I talked to a lady yesterday who was looking for them, and I told her I hadn't seen them in years. It's not the plant that is sold as air plant now. Those look like succulents almost. This looked soft and like a fern.
[Last edited by clintbrown - Mar 17, 2013 8:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
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AlohaHoya
Mar 16, 2013 10:09 AM CST
No clue, Clint.

But are you thinking of 'Spanish Moss'...which is an airplant....?
It's all about choices.
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
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AlohaHoya
Mar 16, 2013 10:11 AM CST
No clue, Clint.

But are you thinking of 'Spanish Moss'...which is an airplant....?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_moss
It's all about choices.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 16, 2013 10:56 AM CST
I finally found it! Just wait until my mom finds out they aren't really plants at all. This was a gimmick that many people believed was a real, live plant. I knew better. Rolling on the floor laughing

http://www.google.com/search?q=air+fern&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl...
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Mar 16, 2013 5:13 PM CST
My first thought was Tillandsia: Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)

and then I thought of "Resurrection Fern" which is a dried up looking dead fern until we have rain and it greens up again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleopeltis_polypodioides

Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides)
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 16, 2013 5:22 PM CST
Here's a photo of it I found for anyone who was wondering what it was.

Thumb of 2013-03-16/clintbrown/4b87ee
Name: Ivy T
Manhattan, New York (Zone 6b)
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ivyplantsnyc
Mar 16, 2013 7:17 PM CST
I never had that plant called a air plant before, only a resurrection plant. Very interesting.
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Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
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AlohaHoya
Mar 16, 2013 11:09 PM CST
At this point when everyone has a different association with the common name for a plant...I realize how useful knowing the botanical name. I cursed my Mother for making me learn the botanical names....but am so grateful now. It is always the anchor we can count on. Common names are so fickle.... Rolling my eyes.
It's all about choices.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Mar 17, 2013 8:30 AM CST
Oh, I remember the "Air Plant" from a long time ago ... late 60's or early to mid 70's ... it was popular for awhile sorta like the "Pet Rock" and the "Mood Ring". Green Grin!

Carol: I don't come from a family of gardeners and don't really remember why or when I began learning botanical/scientific names of plants; but just at some point realized how important it is to know the scientific name because there are so many plants from entirely different species having the exact common name which can make gardening really confusing! But alas, now that I'm getting "older" I sometimes find myself looking at a plant and not remembering the scientific name or the common name! I'm so thankful for the ID forum here on ATP! Smiling
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 17, 2013 8:50 AM CST
These need to make a comeback. Rolling on the floor laughing They were so easy to keep green!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Mar 17, 2013 3:18 PM CST
clintbrown said:They were so easy to keep green!

That's the story and I don't remember for sure but ....... I probably killed a couple of those kinds too. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Mar 18, 2013 2:42 PM CST
There is a very nice associate at Lowes who, when I asked if they had any air plants that weren't glued to something, gave me 4 that had come unglued. Told me, "here, put these in your pocket." I put them in shells...above the kitchen sink, in the bathroom and in the screen room. Managed to kill every one...and all I did was talk to them and say how happy I was to have them. Phooey...time for a breath mint ??? Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 18, 2013 3:15 PM CST
Those things die for me to. This air fern is already dead when you buy it though. It's dyed green or some other colors from time to time. It isn't really a plant, but it fooled thousands into thinking it is. LOL.
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
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sheryl
Mar 19, 2013 8:39 AM CST
Yeah, thought my mom's was real until I watered it and got the dye all over the place....
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 19, 2013 11:18 AM CST
Though I grow many Tillandsia (including Spanish moss), all of mine are mounted and receive the same light, water, air movement, and fertilizer that most of my orchids do. Though most of the experts say to neglect Tillandsia and they will do fine, mine are kind of pampered. The dozen or so varieties I grow have their own blooming cycle, but they all bloom every year. I guess they are happy to be included with my orchids in the care they receive. There are three good things about mounting them: They drain very quickly, can be hung anywhere there is good, indirect light, and they probably will never have to be moved or re-mounted. Ken at [url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url].
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Purrfectlycon10t
Apr 28, 2013 6:47 PM CST
I found this thread looking for information about a plant a friend had given me. I tend to kill anything I try to grow so she gave me this small but beautiful plant she called an Airplant and told me that I could not kill it as it needed no watering or special light. She also said they do better in areas that have moisture like the bathroom, I just noticed that after three years there was somehow dust on my little plant so I tried to rinse it a bit in the sink. Suddenly all this green dye was everywhere! I cleaned it up leaving the "plant" dangling to dry. After Googling I find out that my friend was right, hard to kill something that is dead and dyed. I like it and hope it doesn't have too much damage, real or no. Thumbs up
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 28, 2013 7:07 PM CST
Hilarious! Now that's funny. I never thought to dye my plants so that they always looked green and healthy. Dying them sure would eliminate a lot of the work that goes into keeping them healthy, though many of the "air plants" are not green. Ken in Mississippi
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

Purrfectlycon10t
Apr 28, 2013 10:09 PM CST
I want to save it Drdawg. It's the only plant I have, lol.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 29, 2013 7:11 AM CST
Perhaps it is time to spread your wings, Purrfect, and buy a nice, healthy (real) air-plant. Whistling They really are easy to care for and when mounted on natual wood, they make interesting wall decor . Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Apr 29, 2013 8:34 AM CST
I tried to tell my mom her airplants were dead and just dyed green. I was only 5 or 6 years old. I can still hear her insisting they were alive and real and just a new plant that doesn't need any water or light. LOL. Shhh. Don't tell her I told this story on the world wide web.

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