Growth Potential: ZEN Succulent's Guide to a House Plant You Can Keep Alive

It’s no secret we love greens, and with Summer coming in hot, they are pretty much all around.  Blooms are budding, birds are chirping, and growth is happening. But even though we love greenery, we are the first to admit that keeping plants happy can be a full-time job. How much water is too much water? Where will they get the sunlight they need? What should the soil look like? It’s all too easy to squander your hopes and dreams for a seed with the slightest touch from a black thumb.

Photography by Allie Mullin Photography

Photography by Allie Mullin Photography

So, in an effort to find a plant that has a little bit of chill and a lot of growth potential, we consulted with our friends at The ZEN Succulent. The ZEN Succulent is a modern terrarium and plant craft business with a cozy shop in downtown Durham, created and run by the mother/daughter team of Margaret and Megan George. The shop’s items combine their soil with locally sourced plants and terrarium elements from harvesters and fabricators in the Philippines, Japan, and throughout North America.

ZEN Succulent’s dynamic duo have clued us in to an alternative to buds that are more temperamental – air plants.  Air plants grow on top of surfaces rather than in the ground, and while there are many species that exist under this umbrella, one of the most typical is in the genus Tillandsia. In comparison with a lot of other plant options, these are relatively easy to keep alive.

Key Air Plant Parenting Tips:

-        Plenty of bright, indirect light!

Ideally, these would be hanging in your North or West facing windows for just the right amount of sunshine.

-        Watering every once in a while!

Air plants don’t need to be watered daily, and can survive happily off of a mist once or twice a week. Too much water can cause them trouble, so avoid being too heavy-handed.

-        Let them eat!

This step is not a “must,” but will leave your air plant looking vibrant and encourage it to bloom. Air plant food is easy to find (our friends at the ZEN Succulent carry it), and comes in the form of a fertilizer you spritz them with, preferably on a monthly basis.

Happy (air) planting! 

Photography by Allie Mullin Photography

Photography by Allie Mullin Photography

All photography in this post was done by Allie Mullen Photography