Tillandsia Air Plants Bring Gardening to Home Nooks and Crannies

Air plants. (Courtesy: Joe Calhoun at flickr.com)

Air plants.
(Courtesy: Joe Calhoun at flickr.com)

Baby it’s cold outside! And for many that’s too cold to engage with your outdoor garden. So bring your gardening indoors.

One interesting plant with which to do this is an air plant called Tillandsia. This flora does not need soil to grow. So it can be placed in a nook, on a bookshelf or a windowsill.

There are a plethora of samples of Tillandsia. In fact, the genus has about 730 species that include evergreen and perennial flowering plants.

They are commonly found in forests, on mountains and in desert regions in Central and South America, the southern United States, and the West Indies. They grow on top of tree limps or other plants. Some have no roots and grow on shifting desert sands. The thinner-leafed varieties grow in rainy climates and the thick-leafed variation grows in areas that are susceptible to drought. It doesn’t require soil because it absorbs moisture and

Tillandsia recurvata and another Bromeliaceae species on electric wire ner San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela. (Courtesy: Fev)

Tillandsia recurvata and another Bromeliaceae species on electric wire ner San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela.
(Courtesy: Fev at Creative Commons.)

nutrients through the leaves.

The flower grows through a process called CAM cycle. The plant’s stomata close during the day to prevent the loss of water and opens at night to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. It grows through a wide range of temperatures from 90°F (32°C) down to 50°F (10°C). It is susceptible to frost except for its most hardiness species called Tillandsia usneoides, which can tolerate night-time frost to about 14°F (-10°C).

Generally, the flower can be water through misting a few times a week. However, if the leaves turn crispy and curl inward, then it is suggested that you soak it in tepid water once a week for one to two hours.

It needs sunlight. So it should be placed in as much indirect light as possible. The ideal condition is to place it near an east-facing window so it can get direct sun for a few hours. This results in better color and growth. The plant is not receiving enough light if the leaves discolor or fade.

Tillandsia Schiedeana. (Courtesy: Roger Culos)

Tillandsia Schiedeana.
(Courtesy: Roger Culos at Creative commons)

All healthy forms of the plant have the potential to bloom, but the flower can differ between species. It can display blue petals to very tiny green blooms.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.