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Air plants’ popularity continues to grow. Here in Bend, we have more than a handful of sources for plants and supplies as well as specialists who are masters at air plant design.

Whether you hang them from wire, place them in a terrarium or use them in a gift basket, their visual simplicity and minimal space requirements give these low-maintenance plants an eco-chic edginess and a practical, modern look.

Properly called tillandsia, air plants are part of a larger family of bromeliads, which also includes the pineapple plant. They are known to live for several years. If they aren’t divided after reproducing, the collective can thrive for decades. From tiny grasslike varieties to ball-shaped, spikier specimens, air plants bloom in bright, striking shades of red, pink and purple. But according to experts, each plant flowers just once, after which the plant will send out baby offshoots called “pups.”

Considered epiphytes — plants that grow harmlessly on another plant or tree for physical support — air plants have minimal roots and don’t need soil to survive. Air plants do not need to be watered, however, they cannot survive entirely off moisture from the air. A weekly spritz or a dip in a bowl of water is the recommended method.

Air plants are as simple as they are profound. It’s up to you to decide how to use them!