Air plant care cheat sheet

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Gluing air plants with a hot gun

Can You Use Glue on Air Plants?

Wondering if you can use glue to mount your air plants on various surfaces? Good news! You certainly can. Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, can be glued to a variety of surfaces like driftwood, rocks, shells, glass, ceramic, metal, and more. Just make sure the surface you’re using is smooth, as this will ensure a strong bond between the glue and the plant.

However, bear in mind that using glue might not always be the ideal choice for mounting your air plants. It could make watering and caring for your plants a bit trickier. But no worries – there are plant-safe and waterproof glues, like E-6000 glue, that you can use for this purpose.

The best air plant glue E6000

When crafting with air plants, you can also use sphagnum moss to hide glue and strings while helping to retain moisture around the plants. So feel free to get creative with your new Tillandsia friends, but just remember to take care of their needs like water, air circulation, nutrients, and sunlight.

We’ve got more tips for you below, but in short, yes, you can use glue on air plants. Just make sure you’re using the right types of glue and surface to ensure their health and happiness.

Mounting and Displaying Air Plants With Glue

When it comes to mounting and displaying air plants, you have plenty of options. And most of those options involve using a dab of glue here and there. We’ve got a few tips and techniques to help you get started.

While using glue isn’t always the best choice for mounting air plants, you can use plant-safe and waterproof glue to keep the plant both secure and healthy. Super glue works too, but make sure it’s plant-safe to avoid harming your air plants. Avoid hot glue directly on the plant, as it can damage it.

When applying glue, place a small dot of glue directly on the base of the plant and press it firmly onto the mounting surface. This is the perfect glue amount – so don’t overdo it. Give it 24 to 48 hours to fully cure.

Air plant glued to a wooded base plate

Driftwood, cork bark, rocks, and seashells are all fantastic natural materials for mounting your air plants. Southern United States-inspired displays often feature air plants attached to chandelier coral or mounted on driftwood for a beachy vibe. Cork bark is another recommended option, as it’s light and easy to work with.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just glue. You can also use wire, fishing line, or coated wire to secure air plants to various surfaces. Choose from materials like copper wire, chicken wire, and even magnets. Be cautious with copper, though, as it can sometimes cause adverse reactions in air plants.

When using wire or fishing line, make a small loop around the plant base and tighten the loop around the mounting surface for secure attachment.

Air plant holders come in several styles, including hanging varieties, wreaths, and terrariums. I love these tiny Ionanthas mounted in these sea shells …

Ionantha air plants glued to sea shells

Feel free to get creative and even incorporate suction cups to attach your air plants to windows. When decorating outside, consider using coated wire to secure air plants to a fence or other surfaces. Just ensure there’s sufficient protection from harsh weather conditions.

Creating Your Own Air Plant Designs Using Glue

When it comes to mounting air plants, there are a few things you should know to make sure your plant stays healthy and well-attached. First things first, bathe your air plants by soaking them in water for a few minutes.

Once they’re done, shake off any excess water and let them air dry in a bright place for at least four hours. This helps prevent any water from getting trapped between the glue and the plant’s base, which can cause problems down the line.

Air plants glued and mounted on wood

You might be tempted to grab your hot glue gun, but hold up! As mentioned below, hot glue isn’t the best choice for air plants because it can damage sensitive tissues. It should never be your glue of choice.

You’ve got to opt for a plant-safe, waterproof glue (E-6000 glue). Why? Because this adhesive is gentle on your plants and strong enough to hold them in place. That’s the perfect glue for the job.

When it’s time to glue, carefully dab a small amount of adhesive onto the base of your air plant, avoiding any contact with the leaves. Wait for the glue to become tacky before gently pressing the plant onto your chosen surface, like driftwood or decorative rocks.

Tillandsia glued to rocks

Remember to give the glue enough time to dry before moving or handling your new air plant masterpiece.

As for mounting air plants with a craft glue gun, this can be done, but it’s a bit riskier. If you decide to go this route, make sure you use a craft glue gun with an adjustable temperature setting. Too much heat in that glue gel can damage your air plant’s delicate tissues.

How to Water Glue Mounted Air Plants

So you’ve got some air plants (Tillandsia) glued on a surface and you’re wondering how to water them, right? Don’t worry – watering glued air plants is no big deal. Just follow these steps:

  • Soften the glue – If possible, try to soften the glue and gently remove the air plant. You can do this by soaking the base just a little bit and then wiggling the plant until it separates from the glue. If this isn’t an option or you’re worried about damaging your plant, no worries – we’ve got you covered below.
  • Give it a dunk – Go ahead and dunk your glued air plant in water. Be sure to fully submerge it and give it a good shake to make sure it gets saturated. Don’t leave it in the water for too long though – a few minutes will do.
  • Shake it off – After dunking, hold your air plant upside down and give it a thorough shake to remove any excess water. This helps prevent water from pooling inside the leaves, which could lead to rot.
  • Air-dry – Find a bright spot for your plant to air-dry. Leave it there for at least 3-4 hours, ensuring it dries completely. Proper drying is key to maintaining a healthy air plant.

Just remember to water your glued air plants regularly (preferably once a week, perhaps more often if you’re only dunking) and they’ll thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Air plant care cheat sheet

How can I securely mount air plants without damaging them?

To mount air plants securely without causing damage, the glue of choice is a plant-safe glue like E6000, which is also waterproof. Just be cautious not to get glue on their leaves, as it can harm them. Always glue/mount your air plants from the base of the plant or roots.

Alternatively, you can use wire or fishing line to attach air plants to a mount, making it easier for you to water and care for them.

Can you use Gorilla Glue on air plants?

Is Gorilla Glue safe for air plants? Yes, it’s safe and a good choice if you do not have any E6000 to hand. Cyanoacrylate-based superglues are perfectly safe once they have dried. When dried Gorilla glue is non-toxic and 100% waterproof. Many people use this glue in aquariums.

Can you use Super Glue on air plants?

Yes, you can use Super Glue on your air plants. Like Gorilla Glue it’s non-toxic and waterproof once dried. I am not a big fan of superglues because they can be dangerous if misused, and I don’t like sticking my fingers together. Be careful.

Super glue is another clear glue so it’s ideal for plant displays as it’s not usually visible.

Can you use Liquid Nails Glue on air plants?

Liquid Nails is another plant-safe adhesive that can be used for mounting air plants. It’s also a clear liquid, waterproof and long-lasting. I prefer E6000 as it’s easier to use but Liquid Nails does the job as well.

Tillandsia safe glues

Can I use Hot Glue on air plants?

I do not recommend using Hot Glue on air plants, it’s not really up to the job. I prefer to use a dedicated plant-safe glue. Also, Hot Glue is not always waterproof or very durable.

The biggest problem with Hot Glues of course is that they’re ‘hot’ and can therefore easily damage the plant’s soft tissues.

Can I use Flourish Glue on air plants?

Flourish Glue is a superior Cyanoacrylate gel that can be used for mounting air plants to rocks, wood, shells, and even gravel. Flourish Glue is non-toxic and waterproof. It’s also used by aqua-scaping fans and is a popular choice for aquariums and terrariums.

How do I remove glue from air plants?

It is very difficult to remove glue from air plants if the glue has fully dried. You can try soaking the plant and object together for several hours or overnight. Alternatively, the only way to remove the glue is to scrape it away/off the plant.

This method, unfortunately, is likely to damage the soft tissues of your air plant leaves and therefore is not recommended. If you glued your plant at the base you might be able to remove the glue carefully without doing any major damage.

Can air plants be safely attached to natural surfaces like wood or shells?

Yes, air plants can be safely attached to natural surfaces like wood, shells, or rock. Just make sure to use a plant-safe glue gel, adhesive, or wire to secure the plant without causing any harm.

It’s essential to avoid placing air plants directly on chemically treated wood or surfaces that might leach harmful substances, as it could negatively impact their health.

Author - Stephen Little
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