Thriving without soil and growing into alien shapes, the rootless and pretty low-maintenance tillandsia—more commonly referred to as “air plants”—requires a throne worthy of their exotic uniqueness. Tired of standard vase or terrarium options, we searched creative ways to showcase the endearing freaks. There’s something for every personality and home or office decor here.
Ursula Manaf-Pitt pairs the weird with weird: her Brooklyn-based shop EarthSeaWarrior is a trove of repurposed curios reborn as air plant-holders. Magic unicorns, fluorite crystal skulls, a genuine shark jaw and more house different species of tillandsia; the little touch of greenery on the ephemera makes a striking contrast. Our favorites, however, are the vintage headless German pinup dolls ($171) and Dinosaur Dood ($65). They’re the perfect balance of creepy and charming.
Landscape architect Josh Rosen is such an admirer of tillandsia that he’s dubbed himself Airplantman, and his artful vessels accentuate the plant’s strange elegance while making it easy to tend to. Create a vertical garden with his powder-coated aluminum frame (starting at $110 and available in five different colors), which is waterproof and won’t rust—so spray away during the week. Hang it on the wall or use the wooden feet (sold separately) to set the frame on the table, even horizontally to construct a “floating” garden.
Grand Rapids, MI-based HRUSKAA takes inspiration from Scandinavian simplicity, creating handmade geometric mobiles and hangings from solid brass straw and nylon cord. Even without being adorned by an air plant, the sculptures are straightforward and spectacular; the smaller ones also make unique tree ornaments and toppers. Note that purchases don’t include the plant itself.
The Sill’s been doing a good job infiltrating apartments across New York City (don’t worry, they’ve got nationwide shipping too) with their curious yet easy-care offerings, like ferns growing in moss balls. They’re bringing holiday cheer from a similarly novel perspective, eschewing poinsettias and pine trees for un-seasonal cacti, plus new air plant stands in punchy colors—all launching today online. The latter has been dreamt up by The Sill’s in-house designer Andrew Erdle and made locally by a family-run business in New Jersey. The simple steel base ($17 each or $24 with plant) serves as a striking complement to the air plant’s untamed form, all the while levitating it and showing off the rootless magic.
Hero image courtesy of Airplantman, all others courtesy of respective brands