Do you love plants without the hassle of keeping them alive? Mini air plant terrariums may be the answer! These adorable little ecosystems are not only trendy home decor, but they are incredibly easy, affordable, and fun to create. Even the brownest thumb can cultivate a thriving miniature world with these low-maintenance beauties. In this guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know to create your own charming and affordable DIY mini air plant terrariums.

Thanks to my mother, I discovered the fascinating world of air plants! These unique beauties do not require soil, opening up endless possibilities for display. Imagine them nestled in seashells, adorning driftwood or rocks, clinging to branches, or even gracing sculptures!

Coastal decoration for coffee table

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What are air plants?

Air plants also known as Tillandsias, are unique epiphytes that belong to the Bromeliad family. Epiphytes grow on other plants or surfaces for support, but unlike vines, they don’t extract nutrients from their host.

Here’s what makes air plants special:

They don’t need soil: Air plants absorb water and nutrients through tiny hairs on their leaves called trichomes. These trichomes also help them capture moisture from the air.

Low maintenance: Air plants are easy to care for because they don’t need soil. They typically only need to be soaked in water for a short period once a week and misted occasionally.

Wide variety: There are hundreds of different species of air plants, with a range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some varieties even bloom with vibrant flowers.

Adaptable living: They can thrive in various environments as long as they have enough moisture and light.

How do air plants thrive?

DIY Mini Air Plant Terrariums: Easy, Adorable & Affordable air plants are low maintenance and affordable for the home.

Unlike most plants, air plants are superstars of survival! They absorb water and nutrients directly from the air through specialized leaves. Their roots simply act as anchors, attaching them to rocks, trees, or even you! That’s what I find so intriguing about them.

Air plants are disease and pest-resistant. They are known for their tough compositions. With just the right amount of light and water, they will thrive for a long time, keeping their vibrant and unique looks on display.

What are the benefits of air plants for your home?

Unlike most houseplants, air plants are double-duty air purifiers! Their tiny leaf hairs, called trichomes, not only absorb moisture from the air, but they also capture harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene. Plus, air plants break the mold by photosynthesizing at night. This means they continuously pump out fresh oxygen, even while you sleep, for a breath of clean air around the clock.

Air plants are pet-friendly! Tillandsias are non-toxic to pets.

Gorgeous air plants are low maintenance and affordable for the home.

Creating Mini Air Plant Terrariums

There are many options for creating a mini air plant terrarium. Here are three ways that I created some for my home.

The first step is to soak your air plants completely in room temperature water for 10-20 minutes. Shake off excess water from the plant. I will let them dry on a paper towel. You will want them to dry completely before placing the air plants in their display.

  • Select several small to medium-sized air plants that suit your container and aesthetic preferences.
  • 5-inch glass slant bowl or other vessel
  • Sand
  • small driftwood, fossil rocks, decorative objects (painted rock, antique spool, etc.)
Materials for creating a DIY mini air plant terrarium.

Gather you items for creating this DIY mini air plant terrarium.

Adding white sand to a slanted glass 5 inch bowl for a DIY mini air plant terrarium.

Add sand to your glass vessel and leave 1/2 inch from the lowest point if using a slanted bowl.

Creating a DIY Mini Air Plant Terrarium with a fossil rock and small piece of driftwood.

Add your decorative elements to the sand.

Begin to add your air plants into the vessel. One plant has been placed on the driftwood. Another air plant sits in the hole of the fossil rock.

Creating a DIY Mini Air Plant Terrarium with air plants, fossil rock and small piece of driftwood.

The third air plant has been place near the gray rock in the sand.

DIY Mini Air Plant Terrarium with a fossil rock.

The beautiful textures and smoothness of the glass bowl creates visual interest on a nightstand. Why not take advantage of the air plants filtering the air while you sleep.

  • Select three (3) small to medium-sized air plants that suit your container and aesthetic preferences.
  • medium glass bowl or vessel
  • Pea gravel
  • Various sizes of sea shells and a sea urchin shell.

This beautiful bowl was purchased at my favorite store Linen & Flax. Chaz has a beautiful selection of items for the home as well as an apparel store. This particular bowl may not be available. If you see something on their online store, buy it before it goes out of stock.

For a coastal touch, fill your vessel ¾ of the way with pea gravel. Then, weave in decorative sea shells to complete the look.

Finish the mini terrarium by tucking the air plants into the various shells.

Stunning Coffee Table books for conversation starter.

This mini air plant terrarium is more than just a craft – it’s a treasure chest of memories! Shells collected from our family vacations over the years bring a touch of the beach and a wave of nostalgia to my home.

  • Select three (3) small to medium-sized air plants that suit your container and aesthetic preferences.
  • Medium glass bowl or vessel
  • Sea glass or large chunky glass
  • Sea shells, small driftwood, small starfish or sand dollars, fossil rocks, decorative objects (painted rock, antique spool, etc.)

For a touch of the ocean, the bottom of this DIY terrarium will be filled with colorful decorative glass resembling sea glass. You will need three air plants and three sea shells large enough to hold the plants.

Faux sea glass

The colors of this tumbled glass remind me of the sand, ocean and sky. Beautiful colors that are tranquil and peaceful.

The largest of the three air plants was inserted in between two clam shells. A medium size air plant sits in a sea urchin shell. The opening in the sea urchin shell was a perfect fit.

Coastal inspired DIY mini air plant terrarium with sea glass, air plants and shells.

Tiny air plants find a cozy home within elegant conch shells (1-2 inches in size). Complete the scene with a graceful starfish or a sand dollar, and scatter your smaller travel-worn shells around the base for a truly captivating terrarium.

Caring For Air Plants

  • Light: Air plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid harsh midday sun, as it can scorch the leaves.  East or north-facing windows are ideal locations.
  • Watering: Unlike traditional houseplants, air plants don’t need to be watered the same way. Instead, soak them completely in room temperature water for 10-20 minutes, once a week (adjust frequency based on climate).  Shake off excess water and let them dry completely upside down before placing them in their display.
  • Humidity: Air plants thrive in moderate to high humidity levels (around 50-60%). If your climate is dry, consider misting them lightly 2-3 times a week between soaking.
  • Fertilizing: While not essential, a light feeding once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) can give the plant a boost.  Use a diluted water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for epiphytes or air plants.
  • Air Circulation: Good air circulation is important to prevent rot. Avoid keeping your air plants in stagnant air or tightly closed terrariums.
  • Temperature: Air plants prefer warm temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). Avoid placing them near cold drafts or heat sources.

With minimal effort and budget, you can create beautiful and captivating DIY mini air plant terrariums. These little wonders are the perfect conversation starters and add a touch of personality to any space. A perfect Mother’s Day or birthday gift too!

Hope you make one or two air plant terrariums for your home!

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