AIR PLANT/ TILLANDSIA?
Tillandsia, commonly known as airplant, belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae. It is an epiphytic genus with more than 600 recognized species, native to the forest, mountains and deserts of Central and South America.They usually grow without soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through structures on the leaves called trichomes. Their roots are mainly used as anchors.
Tillandsia varies in size, shape, texture, bloom and colors. They require minimal care and are tolerant to a wide range of environmental conditions.
CARE TIPS FOR TILLANDSIA
Light, Water and Air Circulation are the three important elements for growing tillandsia.
Tillandsia prefers bright light. If you are living in an apartment, the best place to place your tillandsia is at the balcony or near a window. Some species of tillandsia can be placed outdoor and be exposed to full sun. As a general guide, the soft and green-leafed tillandsia prefers a shadier spot while those thick and silver-leafed tillandsia prefers a brighter spot.
The frequency of watering tillandsia depends on your environment. A general guide is to water your tillandsia 3 times a week. However, if your environment is very windy or hot, you may need to increase the watering frequency. Tillandsia should be allowed to dry completely between watering. If the leaves of your tillandsia involute (curl or roll), it could be an indication of dehydration. In such cases, you may submerge your tillandsia in water for 4 to 6 hours to rehydrate the tillandsia. Usually the soft, green-leafed tillandsia require more frequent watering compared to those thick, silver-leafed tillandsia.
Tillandsia prefers a spot with good air circulation. It should preferably dry within 3 to 4 hours after watering. If the air circulation is poor and it does not dry within 4 hours after watering, it may be susceptible to wet rot. If you are placing your tillandsia in a terrarium, it is advisable to dry your tillandsia after watering before placing it back inside the terrarium.
Tillandsia in their natural environment. Pictures were taken in Florida.