Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tillandsia Care

One of my favorite plants right now... The  Tillandsia spp.

These rare species come from the tropics. They are found growing on trees and blending right into jungle wilderness in countries of Central and South America. They are unique in that they need no added soil for nutrients and survive without much water. In the plant world we refer to this as an epiphytic plant.

What I LOVE about these little gems...

They are an art piece in and of themselves. Setting a few on a coffee table, kitchen window, bathroom sink, or amongst your bookshelf is an easy way to add life and art to a space.

There are LOTS of species and varieties that are full of various colors and textures. My favorite right now are the one's with grey foliage.These species are what we describe as tomentose, meaning they have small plant hairs. This adaptation is meant to enable the plant to hold in moisture better than some of the other green varieties.


WATERING  is essential, as with any plant, and it is the most important factor for keeping these guys happy.

When Tillandsias are near a lot of natural lighting, for instance a window, you will need to water them more frequently to prevent them from drying out. If your Tillandsia is displayed in a Terrarium it will also need more frequent watering. For these situations water them 1-2 times a week.

 Methods to watering can change depending on the environment your Tillandsia is in. If your Tillandsia is attached to another object you can use the misting method. Using a misting bottle apply 3-4 mists to your Tillandsia every week. If you have your Tillandsias out where they can be easily moved you can run them under a sink for a few seconds and let dry upside down. The last tip is important, you do not want sitting water in the base of the leaves, this can end up rotting the plant.

Give your Tillandsias bright and filtered lighting.The higher the humidity in the air, the higher light intensity the Tillandsia is able to tolerate. It is recommended to water in the morning rather than at night. Air plants absorb the carbon monoxide from the air at night instead of during the day. If the plant it wet at night it is unable to breath.

The life cycle of a Bromeliad Tillandsia is one plant growing to maturity and blooming. Before, during or after your plant will start to produce young, referred to as PUPS. Most plants produce between 2-8 pups. Each plant will flower once in its lifetime. Flowers can last from several days to many months, depending on the species, care and its environment. Blooms are expected from mid winter through mid summer.

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