Tillandsia Garden Art

I’d been gardening away for a client up in the San Francisco Bay Area this past May planting posies and pruning like a maniac.

One of my usual stops on the way home to Santa Barbara is a destination spot just south of San Jose for those who crave pottery, fountains, statuary and the like. They have a markdown area on the way back where I always find a pot I must have.

Instead, I found garden art which now is embellished with tillandsias.

This time I found something right outside the front of the store which was not marked down but that didn’t matter. I wanted it! I knew this terra cotta star ball (which is actually meant to have a light inside) would look great unadorned in the garden or all dressed up. I might eventually paint it but for now it remains as is.

Garden art before embellishing
The star ball before its embellishment with tillandsias aka air plants!
Air plants ready to be placed
Some of the air plants I create with!

You’ll find a video at the end which shows me at my work table creating this piece.  If you wanted to make something similar but couldn’t find one of these balls, then a lantern with cutouts or a birdcage would be a fine alternative.

This project is really easy to do.  I started by arranging the top, which is a melody of air plants, and worked my way down.   It’s a matter of what looks pleasing and somewhat balanced to your eye.  I attached the plants with wire or just worked them into the star with a little Spanish moss because this is not a permanent piece.  You could secure the air plants on with a dab of E6000 waterproof adhesive.

Air plants in the garden ball
These next few pictures show different close up views!
Another angle to see the air plants in the garden art
Air plants in the garden globe

As you can see, I’ve used Spanish moss in some of the stars.  In places it helps to anchor in the tillandsias and in others I used it merely for aesthetics.  If you want a jazzier look, then use the preserved moss which is available in a wide rainbow of colors.  Purple of hot pink perhaps???

Finished garden art with air plants
This is the finished piece. Because the stars are so even, it looks a bit like a fish face!

Here are more fun tillandsia projects:

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  1. loved your video !! on the terra cotta
    star ball before its embellishment with tillandsias aka air plants
    =any idea where i might purchase these spheres or other hollow/pierced terra cotta spheres (could not find any on internet)
    ….many thanks and happy gardening, sanders

  2. Thank you so much Sanders! I bought that ball (it’s actually a lantern) when a SF Bay Area nursery was having a closeout sale on them. I saw them on amazon a while ago but now they’re out of stock, perhaps discontinued. Maybe you can find one on ebay? Wish I could help! Nell

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