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The Terrific Tillandsia (a.k.a. the Amazing Airplant!)

March 22, 2014

Do you love plants but are short on space? Try a Tillandsia! Are you looking for an easy care plant that even a black-thumb can grow? Try a Tillandsia! Want a plant that is truly unique? Try a Tillandsia!

 

Tillandsias, aka Air Plants, are members of the Bromeliad family. They are close cousins of that wonderful fruit, the pineapple! Some Tillandsias grow in soil like most plants, but many of them are epiphytes. This means that they grow far above the soil, mounting themselves to rocks or trees.

Because Tillandsias don’t need soil to grow they make a fun option for indoor gardening. You can set them on the kitchen counter or a shelf, or mount them to decorative wood, stones, or shells. A popular way to display Tillandsias is in a tabletop or hanging terrarium.

 

Tillandsia care

 

Light: There are many kinds of Tillandsias, but most prefer bright indirect light. They grow very well by a bright window or under strong fluorescent light.

 

Water: Tillandsias can be watered 2-3 times per week by thoroughly wetting the plants. Water by misting or soaking the plant for 10 minutes. If you are misting the plants make sure they are getting enough water by spraying them thoroughly and then repeating the spray 30 minutes later. Always make sure to let the plants dry thoroughly. As long as they dry thoroughly between watering you don’t have to worry about over watering.

 

Fertilizer: Use bromeliad fertilizer two times a month during warmer months and less often during cooler months. Feeding your plants helps them grow, pup, and bloom faster.

 

Mounting/Grooming/Dividing: As air plants grow some leaves near the base may die off. These can be trimmed back with scissors. Any imperfect or damaged leaves can be trimmed as well. Old flower spikes can also be trimmed away if you don’t care about collecting seeds.

 

Tillandsias can be mounted on wood, stone, or other bases with wire and/or non-water soluble adhesive or low temperature hot glue.

 

Other: Mature plants that have bloomed will grow offsets or ‘pups.’ When these offsets are 1/3-1/2 the size of the mature plant they can be gently broken away from the mother plant if you desire. Leaving them in place will result in larger clumps of air plants.

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