If you are a newcomer to the Tillandsia world you may not know much about their roots. Or what they even look like since you may have received a plant with a cleaned up bottom. Roots on a Tillandsia are strange looking alien things if one has never seen them, you may start googling in a panic thinking some creature has taken over your plant, but have no fear! If you have been blessed with the appearance of fresh roots consider it a compliment! Some species grow them more readily than others but to me when I see them I smile every time. I love when I reach in for a plant that hasn't been disturbed for a long period of time and when I lift it up pieces of orchid bark or the lava rock used for bedding come up with them. It gives me joy! Roots are anchors for the Tillandsia- they are incredibly strong and are meant to hold the plant in place wherever it is growing - from a tree, boulder, etc. Collectors often mount their plants to a piece of wood or cork bark by applying either glue and then wire to firmly hold it in place so that it feel "safe" . Some of these plants do not root so readily so keeping them firmly against the material will help to promote the roots to grow. Of course there are other factors as well- duplicating their native environment as best as possible is essential to inspire their appearance...It is not such as easy task for most of us here in the United States, we do not have the types of climates that most of these plants come from but thankfully these amazing plants are quite adaptable and have been able to thrive and give us much happiness in our homes. So next time you find an alien looking snake thingy sprouting from the bottom of your plant, be happy!
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