Most air plants are part of the Tillandsia genus, with the majority of varieties making up part of the Bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae), just like the pineapple plant.
These tropical plants typically grow in humid regions, such as rainforests, in many areas around the world. Air plants can be found in Central and South America, as well as the West Indies, Mexico, and even in some areas in the southern United States. In the wild, you can find them growing in trees and crevices, as well as on rocks and cliffs.
Most air plants are epiphytes, meaning they rely on hard surfaces for stability but don’t require soil for nutrients. That’s because “Their leaves are covered in tiny hair-like structures called trichomes that help them absorb nutrients and moisture from the air,” Lindsay Pangborn, a gardening expert at Bloomscape, explains.
Despite their name, these plants don’t only subsist only on air. When keeping them as houseplants, you’ll need to water them too.