It’s easy to see why air plants and succulents have grown in popularity. These greens come in various colours, textures and leaf shapes, are affordable, and almost impossible to kill – making them the perfect home accessory. Here are some easy-to- care-for plants, and tips from Tan Wei Jie, founder of plant webstore Rabbit Island.
- TILLANDSIA IONANTHA
These common air plants typically have sharp and sprightly leaves (much like a pineapple head) or curly and dangly ones. They only flower once in their lifetime, so opt for plants with pink or purplish tips if you’d like to witness this rare sight from the beginning. When it produces pups, you can either let them grow out in clumps, or separate them.
- TILLANDSIA SPANISH MOSS
The Spanish moss is not actually a moss, but a fast-growing air plant that requires plenty of water. It is best left outdoors – though it can survive indoors with adequate sunlight. Rotted or brown leaves caused by tangling or lack of water should be trimmed.
- SEDEVERIA LETIZIA
This small plant features tightly arranged leaves that turn red in cool but sunny areas, and green in hot and shady spots. It grows up to 20cm tall, and needs well-drained soil.
- BEAR PAW SUCCULENT
Plump and fuzzy with reddish “claws”, this succulent resembles its namesake. With proper care in the shade, and in soil that has good drainage, it can grow quite densely, and up to 50cm tall. Its leaves are prone to dropping when underwatered, so water every time the soil is dry.
- BLACK PRINCE
A rare Echeveria succulent in Singapore, the Black Prince is a dark-hued, low-growing succulent that blooms into a rosette. It may start off green, especially when kept indoors, but will eventually turn dark purple or black when it receives full sunlight. The Black Prince is a dramatic departure from the usual green options.
- TILLANDSIA XEROGRAPHICA
This voluptuous species can grow up to 60cm in diameter – albeit slowly – and live up to over 40 years. It has wide, silvery green leaves and may flower once it reaches maturity. As it grows on tall trees, this hardy plant can survive in direct sunlight.
– Under- and overwatering will cause these plants to either dry out or rot. Submerge air plants in water every three days, and turn them upside down to dry so the leaves don’t collect water.
– Pour water directly onto your succulent’s soil (not on its leaves) until it is fully wet. Water once a week.
– If you keep your plants in the office, place them outdoors for four to five hours – any longer and the harsh sunlight may cause the tips to burn.
– Avoid constant repotting and changing of soil and fertilisers. Constant tinkering will irritate the plants and their roots.