AIR PLANT REVIEW – The Tillandsia Air Plant Family

Posted on October 28, 2014 by Les Stein

Air Plant Jungle OrbSeashell Orb Air Plant KitIonantha In Flower TillandsiaIonantha Mexican ClusterAeranthos in FlowerBeautiful Air Plant in Bloom

Tillandsias, commonly called Air Plants, belong to the Bromeliad family and are native to the West Indies, Mexico, and much of Central America, south to Colombia, eastern Brazil and Argentina. They are also grown and widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical states, from California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. 

There are well over 550 different varieties of air plants. While each variety is similar in the way they grow and reproduce, the variety among species is phenomenal. When Tillandsia begin to flower, the uppermost leaves become bright red and most produce tubular flowers with bright violet petals that are absolutely gorgeous.

After flowering, most plants produce offsets, called Pups, around its base. Mature plants will eventually produce many Pups and therefore continue the life cycle. If left to grow together, the Pups grow into beautiful Air Plant clusters.

Most Tillandsias require bright, diffused sunlight and will benefit from misting several times per week, as well as a good soaking every other week. Placing the entire plant into a tub of water from several minutes to several hours to fully benefit from the hydration. Bottled water works well, as does tap water that has sat overnight so the chemicals have time to evaporate. Never use distilled water, it will kill your air plants. When you remove your plants from the soaking bowl, shake off any excess water and let the plant air dry before returning it to its home. Be careful to not soak the delicate flowers, as they will dissolve.

Most growers suggest fertilizing Tillandsias about once every month or two by mixing a bit of water-soluble fertilizer into its soaking water. Use a Bromeliad, or all-purpose fertilizer with a 10/10/10 or 20/20/20 ratio and diluted to about 1/4 the recommended strength.

With proper care and a friendly environment,  will live and reproduce for many years.

Happy Air Planting!

Your friends at Plantstr

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