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glass containers - air plants

Glamorous Glass for Air Plant Displays

Find out how to create glass air plant displays beginning with the quintessential terrarium and then move onto unique glass displays like re-purposed glass hummingbird feeders.

This post may contain affiliate links, and I love all the products I promote.

Fun and creative ways to use GLASS to display AIR PLANTS

Gather Materials

To begin, gather items to set the tone for your display. To create a beach scene, use seashells and sand, or perhaps you prefer a mystical ambiance with crystals and geodes. Whatever media you decide on, make sure that it is dry. This will help to prevent your air plants from rotting.


Here is some examples of items that I’ve used to create air plant displays. The things you use will be unique to yourself.


1. Preserved Moss 2. Uncut Gemstones 3. Sand 4. Plant Stand 5. Monto Clay 6. Small Pinecone 7. Dried Spanish Moss 8. Found Rock 9. Lava Rock (black) 10. Crushed Granite 11. Dried Spanish Moss 12. Grapewood 13. Geode 14. Lava Rock (red) 15. Gold Pebbles 16. Sea Shells 17. Cholla Wood


There a few tools that are helpful, but not absolutely necessary, for creating your display. The chopstick shown is stainless steel, and is free with purchase from Bonsai Jack. The other tools are part of a planting kit.


Glass Container Ideas

Be inspired by these glass containers. Let the examples below spark your imagination.


1. Cookie Jar 2. Pink Milk Glass Basket 3. Vintage Pedestal Candy Dish 4. Open Pedestal Terrarium 5. Quart Size Mason Jar 6. Milk Glass with Hobnail Dish 7. Pyramid Terrarium

Air Plants

Now for the fun part. There are lots of different air plants to choose from. The following is a small sampling:

DIY Terrariums

When it comes to glass and air plants, we tend to think first of terrariums. And, with good reason. Terrariums are like magical little kingdoms. However, terrariums are not the most healthy environment for air plants. Excessive heat and condensation can create a deadly environment for your plants. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t create a terrarium, I’m just saying, that your plants will eventually need to be replaced. The more open to air the terrarium is, the better chance of survival your plants will have.

Lush Terrarium

terrarium with moss - air plants

When creating a terrarium, the first step is to fill the bottom of the container with some sort of dry media. In this case, I have used preserved moss. Sand and pebbles are also common choices.

branch in terrarium for air plants

Next, use branches, seashells, rocks or other materials to set the mood for your terrarium.

add air plants to terrarium

Finally, add air plants to your terrarium.

Desert Terrarium

monto clay for desert scene air plant terrarium

As another example, in this mason jar I’ve added monto clay and tilted the jar so that the clay would lay at an angle.

red rock for desert terrarium

Next, I’ve nestled a red rock into the clay, an essential ingredient for a southern Utah desert look.

Use tweezers to add air plants in hard to reach places

Use your tweezers to add air plants to hard-to-reach places.

Rocky mountain terrarium

This red rock terrarium is a nod to the desert I love so much!

You get the idea of how to create your own terrarium. Here are a couple more examples, just to get your creative juices flowing 🙂

Beach Terrarium

beach scene terrarium

I couldn’t make a tiny sandcastle, so I stacked up a mini cairn. No one will get lost here.

Pyramid Terrarium

pyramid terrarium with harrisii

A little window allows for air flow into this pyramid terrarium. It looks exquisite with a T. harrisii, polished river rocks and a dried globe thistle.

Beyond the Terrarium

When using glass to display air plants, the kitchen is a great place to start. Everything from a glass cookie jar to to mason jars are all free game when it comes to displaying air plants. Glass is great because its transparent, but don’t forget colored glass.

Melanocrater in dipping bowl

The green glass of this dipping bowl perfectly complements the green leaves of this melanocrater tricolor. River rock gives the plant a boost so it doesn’t hide in the bowl. (Can you see the emerging bud?)

wineglass and fasciulata

I love the total simplicity of this fasciculata resting in this wineglass.

Caput medusae amaranth in wineglass

Just to keep things interesting, contrast this caput-medusae and dried amaranth with the above fasciculata.

Here are a couple of ideas for glass air plant displays outside the kitchen.

melanocrater in vase

Another study in simplicity is this melanocrater tricolor in a square vase filled with light colored rock.

candy dish with air plants

This pedestal candy dish came from my great-grandmother. The red-tinted abdita coordinates with the candy dish and brings out the blush in the ionantha. To keep the plants from getting lost in the dish, the base of the dish is filled with white sand.

Look Outside the Box

When displaying air plants there really are no limitations. I’ve had these hummingbird feeders on hand for a while. My daughter used them in her fairy gardens, but kindly lent them to me to for displaying air plants.

peach capitata with narrow base

This peach capitata (so named because they turn slightly peach colored when blooming) has a nice, narrow base that fits in the feeder.

hummingbird feeders turned air plant vases

Rogue hummingbird feeders turned air plant vases prove you can find air plant display possibilities practically anywhere.

Your Turn

Scout around you home looking for glass to use to display your air plants. Everything is game-particularly if it’s made of glass. Nothing is safe from becoming party to an air plant display.

  1. Sharon Djurich says:

    Great do you water the air plants when they are in these mediums

    1. Anna says:

      To water my air plants when they are in glass containers, I simply remove the air plants from their container and soak them in water. After watering, I allow the air plant to dry completely up-side-down before returning the air plant to the glass display.

  2. May says:

    Hello! Anna. Thank you very much for your suggestions about
    using any glass to display the plants. They really look so
    beautiful and found them very relaxing just looking at them.
    Iam looking forward to hearing from you again.
    Happy air planting! May.

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks, May!

  3. Penny Weaver says:

    I am having a difficult summer with my plants. This is my first summer as I started with air plants last fall. Over winter they have done beautifully. Now, I have lost almost all of them. I thought it was a water problem but when I water I always let them dry on a towel for several hours or even over night. But they are just falling apart. Can they be too hot? I had them in a window and on a ledge all winter and they were really doing great. But not now! So sad 🙁

    1. Anna says:

      I think you are right. The intense summer sun was too much for them. Don’t give up. Chalk this up to a lesson learned. Take your air plants out of the windowsill and move them a few feet away from the window – about 3-5 feet. Bright, but indirect light is best.
      Hang in there – you’re getting it,

  4. Irene Pal says:

    Hello, Anna
    I love all your ideas! Learned so much from You, since I find the site! Thank You!
    For me it’s a little too late to have the glass displays. I have purchased wood branches and moss and glue to create my display, but it came out so beautiful.
    When I look at it just feel so happy.
    If I could share the pictures of it, I would love to!

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks for sending me a photo of your air plant display! It is simply amazing!
      Thanks so much for sharing,

  5. Anna says:

    I am happy that you found my site helpful. Please return the favor by providing links and credit to all photos from my site.

  6. Lisa Faulkner says:

    Dear Anna,
    I found a beautiful jewelry holder at a garage sale, it’s white and looks like a coral branch. You would normally put your necklaces and bracelets on the branches of the coral, but I found it’s actually a really beautiful way to display my air plants as it’s many branches hold them up in a variety of angles. I would love to know how to send you a picture! Thank you for such awesome information about air plants! I share this almost on a daily basis with plantain Tuesday is looking to give air plants a try!

    1. Anna says:

      I love the idea of using a jewelry holder to display air plants! Yes! Please send me a picture at [email protected].
      And, thank you for sharing Modern Air Plants.

  7. Frank says:

    Thank you for the displays and the name chart. I have so much more airplants that I dont know the names of.

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you Frank.
      I know from experience that knowing the names of air plants can be tricky. Even pictures aren’t 100% reliable as they can look so similar in photos. When purchasing my plants, I always ask the seller to label the plants.

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