For those who want to green up their homes without the hassle of repotting and getting soil everywhere or simply don't have the extra space in an already cramped apartment, air plants (or tillandsia) are an excellent option. Just as the name suggests, these small, alien-like plants only require good air circulation, bright light and water to prosper. A distant cousin of the pineapple, the air plant is native to South America, Mexico, Texas and Florida but with over 600 different varieties, they can survive in temperatures from 50-90 degrees fahrenheit—so they'll even thrive indoors in NYC, as long as you give them a bath (mist or submerge the plants in fresh water) once a week.
Landscape architect Josh Rosen—who's dubbed himself as Airplantman—has had a fascination with the air plant ever since he stumbled across them in a nursery in Hawaii. So much so, that he designed the AirplantFrame, an aluminum and steel cable structure, to "showcase what makes air plants special: their ability to live suspended in air." The refined, transparent frame also makes caring for the plants easier by providing the ideal conditions for receiving plenty of light and air. "The goal was to create a living picture, but unlike other vertical gardens this one would be soilless, transparent and filled with the beautiful colors and textures only found in air plants," Rosen tells CH.
AirplantFrames range from $90 to $130 and include starter air plants with purchase. They are available online from the Airplantman webshop. For other indoor gardening aides, be sure to check out Flower Power and Woolly Pocket Planters.
Portrait courtesy of Josh Rosen, all other images courtesy of Art Gray Photography