Tillandsia, commonly known as "Airplants" is a genus of plant in the Bromeliaceae family that have the ability to cling on to most anything. Tillandsia tectorum is the fuzziest around. Instead of pulling water from their roots their leaves have specialized cells that absorb water. After flowering the plant forms pups and then dies.
- Light - part sun to part shade
- Soil - none
- Watering - let dry between spritzing
Images are used for general reference only. The size and shape of each plant will vary. As will bloom state and leaf color.
Light: Tillandsia do best in bright, indirect, or filtered light. Many species’ leaves turn bright red when grown in strong light. Avoid intense afternoon direct sun as it can scorch the leaves.
Water: Air plants love humidity and good air ventilation (do not cover them). Using distilled water or tap water that has sat out for 24-48 hours when misting and watering can be beneficial as the minerals in tap water can harm the plant. The amount of water needed depends directly on the light and humidity levels. Under dry, indoor conditions try to mist the plants daily and soak weekly. The amount of time needed to soak depends on the plant size, but can range from 15 to 30 minutes. Plump, firm leaves are happy leaves. Shriveled, stiff, and crispy leaves need more moisture. Allow the plant to dry upside down after soaking to avoid water sitting in between the leaves which can cause rotting.
Environment: Air plants are epiphytes, naturally growing on other plants, trees, and rocks by holding on with their roots. All of their moisture and nutrition is absorbed through their leaves rather than their roots.
Toxicity: Reported to be non-toxic.
- Tillandsia should be fertilized regularly with a plant food mixed into their water. This provides the nutrients they would normally get in the wild. Add diluted plant food to your watering routine at least monthly but not more frequently than once a week. Too much fertilizer will damage the leaves.
- Tillandsia often flower, but the flower does not last forever. Once dead it can be pruned. They may reflower soon after or flower after a long dormancy period.
- Air plants will form “pups” at the base of the mother plant, which can be removed and cared for separately once they reach one-third of the size of the mother plant.
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