Tillandsia Care

Here I will provide some basic information about your Tillandsia and some of the essential requirements needed to live and thrive....Please note that there is MUCH to know and learn, with many variables involved so this information here is a small portion compared to all that is available.

It will be a great starting point and if the Tillandsia bug bites you hard you will be amazed at how complex and wonderful they are and enjoy researching and learning in more detail.

LIGHT~

As a rule, air plants need bright, indirect light for proper growth and survival.

Some species will tolerate more or less but a general rule to live by is give them the brightest light possible without the risk of burning them.

It is essential to learn about the types of plants, whether Xeric - more silver/white or lighter green in color , thicker trichomes, wider leaves and Mesic- darker green, smoother or thinner leaves.

Knowing your plant will help in adjusting with the light and water needed from their natural habitat to acclimating to your own climate. 

   If growing indoors it is great to remember that what seems bright to us in our homes may feel like a cave to an air plant...open those curtains, pull up the blinds and let the light come in! East, south and west will always give the best light.

Use care when placing plants by a west window as the sun can still burn them- placing a short distance away will be safest. 

  If your indoor light seems a bit scarce adding florescent lighting is helpful.

This does not mean you need to go out and buy expensive grow lights, look for bright white/daylight bulbs that have a high lumen and high kelvin.

The florescent  or LED lights don't emit harmful heat and can be placed close to the plants. I often take a floor lamp with a bendable top and stand it right by them and point the light directly over the plants that I have indoors. 

AIR FLOW

Air flow is absolutely a must with Tillandsia.

 I always have fans on to circulate the air and open windows whenever possible to bring in fresh air  - especially after watering them (more on that next)

  Remember that AIR plants love AIR!!

WATERING

Watering becomes the source of much anxiety and debate and one can go batty with all the opinions and misinformation provided simply from "googling".

I believe that with the sudden increase in popularity of these plants the desire to make a profit may have lead to much of the seeming "plants that barely need anything to live" or "plants even a black thumb can't kill" in order to attract buyers.

Yes, these plants are very adaptable and tolerant but  the basics will still stand no matter what. 

   I am hesitant to give a "watering recipe" due to the variables of plant type, and the climate each individual may live in so I will once again stress the importance of LIGHT and AIR FLOW and hope you will keep those two factors embedded in your routines, however, since I know to anyone reading this  will very likely want to be given some watering direction so here is what I would suggest for MOST plants~

   The most basic, generic routine that would likely suit most people would be to soak their plants for 5 minutes or less 2 times a week if grown indoors with the exception of a handful of  plants that are commonly purchased which are Tectorum,  Xerographica and the bulbous types that many have struggles with. I personally only spray either of them whether  grown inside or out...

I spray all of my plants for that matter, soaking is not feasible for me. (remember this is my routine, not the "right" way or "wrong" way) 

A person can technically soak their plant all night long and will be fine- it isn't the water that can harm it, it is what has happened to the plant prior to its watering that can bring about a bad ending.

So once you have watered your plant drying it is what is most important.... Back to the air flow- I cannot say it enough... Air flow air flow air flow- fans turned up, dry your plants.

Think about them in the wild- no one shows up to turn them upside down and drain the water out.

They rely on the way they have grown off a tree or rock so the water spills over them (or purposely traps the water for certain species) and then the flow of the air and wind gently dry it back out.

  Don't be afraid to water your plants.

Plants that have been kept overly dry and the bottom leaves get crispy can result in a dry rot. This can be a shock to a person that was thinking of water  being  the culprit of plant death...when really their plant was so dry, then given a massive soak and the compromised bottom leaves create a different type of rot that kills the plant quickly.

Stay consistent with them and this will be avoided. 

   Bottom line- good light and air flow are your biggest priority. Learn about your plants and don't be afraid to ask questions...

NOTE~ I am by no means an expert, and I have no shame in admitting so.

I am simply a Tillandsia lover and I am personally still learning as much as I can and part of learning comes through "doing".

It is always a journey of trial and error, learning from losses and reading as much as possible and not being afraid to ask countless questions! Enjoy your journey:)