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Air plant ornaments and a spritz to keep them alive

December 6, 2011 | 11:05 am

Tillandsia Drop air plant ornament
You've probably seen those adorable glass ornaments inside of which a diminutive tillandsia, or air plant, nests with bits of lichen and moss. Keeping that air plant alive, though, isn't as easy as hanging it near a window after the holidays, which is what some sellers recommend.

An occasional shot of water from a spray bottle does provide humidity in a dry home environment, but that epiphyte requires something more nutritious.

Air plant fertilizer"Tillandsias are easy plants to kill because they're furry, gray and have no roots. They don't look like they need anything," said Cindy McNatt, who owns Dirtcouture.com, an online garden shop based out of her Orange County home. "But like any plant, they need food."

McNatt formulated Air Head, a natural foliar feed that nourishes tillandsias whether they're captured inside a glass ornament or resting on a branch in your backyard. Lightly spritz the tiny plant once or twice a month, McNatt said. A 12-ounce spray bottle is $14 plus shipping.

Dirtcouture.com has its own version of a living ornament, pictured at top, a tiny tillandsia mounted on a 1-by-1.5-inch stone pendant. You can hang the Tillandsia Drop ($22, shipping included) from the tree or wear it around your neck as jewelry.


Live succulents as Christmas tree ornaments

A wreath that has endured sine 1923

Sometimes-practical holiday gifts

-- Debra Prinzing

Photos: Dirtcouture.com