By Garden Apothecary
Tillandsia plants are jungle plants, originating from Central and South America.
So (duh!), they love heat and humidity! They naturally grow on the bark and branches of established trees, under a canopy – similar to orchids. They do not have much of a root system to speak of and can be placed almost in any container.
They absorb all their nutrients and moisture from the air and rain.
Tillandsia’s are Epiphytes – -An epiphyte is a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant (such as a tree), and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it instead of the structure.
If your home or office is not in the jungle – no prob, here are some tips on keeping your plants happy and thriving:
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Watering completely depends on where you live and the temperature in your
house. Generally, people think all they need to do to care for their Tillandsia is
to mist it once in a while. This is OK – but doesn’t really do a good job of a
thorough watering. We recommend (from years doing plant research in the
jungles of Belize, and from recommendations from our grower friends) you bring
the plants in the shower with you about once a month. Toss them on the shower
floor, and while you shower they get fully saturated – but best of all – they get
to enjoy the warm water and humidity. I’ve never had any issues with them
getting some soap on their leaves, so don’t trip about it. The shower is great,
because it will clean the leaves off from dust and other household allergens –
allowing the plant to look nicer and absorb the nutrients and water better.
Weekly, you can give a little spritz with warm water in a misting bottle. If your
house is very warm or dry – soak them in the shower twice a month. Some
people soak them in a bowl of water for 24 hours – here’s why we don’t
recommend that. 1st – the water goes cold, and the plants can’t absorb the water
very well when it’s cold. 2nd – sometimes you will forget that they are in there,
which can make them over saturated and they will potentially rot. Just try them
shower method – it’s the best!
Placement totally depends on the temperature of your house. If your house is
on the cooler side, you can have these in more sun. If you house is warmer, they
can be in more filtered sun. But remember – they are living, growing plants!
They need sun – but not too much that it will burn them. Typically, if you have
a window in your bathroom – they will be really happy there.
Flowering will happen when they have ideal growing conditions. Once you sort
out the best place to have them, you will see flowers each year. And some are