With natural tendencies to grow on trees, rocks, or cliffs, most Tillandsia can be mounted (permanently attached) to almost anything. Besides creating beautiful art, many growers find that mounting Tillandsia makes it easier to hang and display the plants, and having a mount means never needing to touch them, helping to keep them pristine.
If grown in excellent conditions and allowed to stay in constant contact with a surface, many Tillandsia will happily mount themselves to an object with their glue-like roots. Until then, it is possible to simply glue Tillandsia to our choice of mounts.
Technically, almost anything will work as a mount but certain natural materials are easier-to-use and safer for plants. Most mounters use the following, which can be safely soaked in water:
The best adhesive appears to be brand name "E6000" because it is safe for plant tissue, strong, and not affected by water.
Sawdust or sand can be used to camouflage any wet, excess glue.
Wire is attached to the mount in order to hang it.
Optional but helpful items include a drill or Dremel for making holes or plant/root seatings. Sometimes, at least one hole is required for hanging wire.
With your materials at hand, visualize the finished piece. Consider how the plant aligns when hung, and use natural features of the mount and the plant to your advantage.
Consider where exactly you will add glue. If there are long plant roots present, consider gluing only them for maximum air circulation and the ability for easy demounting. If no roots are present, glue only the base of the plant, and only as little of it as needed.
Make sure the base of your plant is free of dirt, debris, or dead leaves that may easily fall off.
With a finalized product in mind, we can begin gluing.
Add a blob of glue to the mount. Use enough to cover some of the plant's base or roots but avoid adding so much that it flows off the mount.
Place the plant on the glue and use gravity to your advantage. The plant should not move or shift at all during drying, so use supports like chopsticks or paperclips, if needed.
Add some sawdust or sand to any exposed glue to camouflage it.
Do not test the bond- let it dry for at least 8 hours, but overnight is best. This is the point at which the whole project is by far most vulnerable to cat sabotage.
Once the glue is dry, the mounted Tillandsia can be treated like any other of its kind.
Mounted Tillandsia do not need special care and can be soaked in water, but due to any unknown variables of mounting, care should always be taken to ensure water does not get trapped either in the plant or in the mount.
After mastering the basic mount, try some advanced techniques like threading a long root through a hole in the mount and filling the hole with glue. Or try to combine multiple plants into one grouping. Use a Dremel to carve out perfect plant seatings or use fishing line instead of glue. Be creative and never feel constrained by popular or conventional wisdom!