February 28th, 2020

There is a lot to love about Tillandsia! Often commonly called air plants, they are the largest genus genus (around 650 species!) of evergreen, perennial flowering plants in the bromeliad (Bromeliaceae) family.

 

Native to the West Indies, Mexico, and much of Central America and South America, these intriguing epiphytes are found in diverse regions and environments like jungles, rain forests and deserts. And with an incredible array of shapes, sizes and textures, along with their relatively low-maintenance needs, air plants can be an excellent addition to everyone’s plant family!

 

CARE

The three tings to keep in mind with any tillandsia arewater, light and air circulation.

 

The trickiest of the three, is definitely the watering. Because these epiphytes absorb all their water and nutrients through their leaves, one has to be particularly  mindful that they are getting adequate moisture. Many people often believe that simply spritzing or misting is enough–it’s really not!

 

Although it is a good supplemental approach, the best way to go about watering your tillandsia, is with weekly soakings or baths. Depending upon your particular environment, submerging your tillandsia once or twice a week, for 20 minutes to an hour or so, is the best way to keep it well-watered. After submerging, be sure to give it a good shake an/or turn it upside down to dry, so the water doesn’t sit in the crown–which can cause its core to rot.

 

Finding a balance and noticing when your air plant is thirsty or well-hydrated, completely depends upon the environment and the plant. You can do it!

 

Bright, filtered indirect light is ideal for air plants, although some direct sun can be tolerated, provided it’s not too hot, or for too long. Morning sun and direct Winter sun are more forgiving.

 

 

Although these tropical and subtropical gems do like a certain level of humidity, adequate air circulation is also important to a happy air plant. Enclosed terrariums are not the best idea, as the air tends to be too stagnate and wet, which can quickly lead to rotting.

 

And because they don’t need soil, creatively displaying your air plants can pretty much be be whatever you can imagine. From drift wood, coral, shells, and stones, to interesting glass vessels or wire designs, you can have all sorts fun finding new and usual ways and places to house and display your Tillandsia.