Woop woop, they have arrived!
First of all take time to admire and fall in love with these magical creatures after all no soil, no proper roots yet beautifully living of water, air and love.
Best thing to do to welcome them home is to give them a good soak in a water bath. Submerge them completely in water for about 20 minutes but don't worry if you have them bathing a little longer.
Gently take them out, best hold them upside down and shake off / remove any excess water. If you think the plant feels still a little wet and you want to be on the save side just have it rest for a little while upside down.
Looking Good! Take your happy Air Plant and set it on/in your concrete vessel. The recess should provide enough air circulation and when you place it now in a bright light spot a lifelong bond could just have begun.
Congratulations and don't be shy to share, ask or comment and feel invited to show your success I sure love to see!
As you may know there is a great variety of Air Plants available yet I have chosen just a few. Why?
Not just the size or sturdiness are points to consider but also the question of which light is preferred as the worry of displaying them together should not arise.
So here it comes, don't worry you will find a spot, as they are happiest when they are kept where they will receive bright, indirect sunlight or under fluorescent home or office lighting.
Yes! That's why they are happy on your desk and looking good and trendy in their concrete vessel.
What else? - of course if you love them you water them!
Well, there are many methods out there from letting them soak under rinsing water to spray regularly.
To me the rinsing water method is out of the question - water should never be wasted!
Water spraying them is, as I find, too messy for desk or sideboard displays. Well of course this is up to you but best results, and you know I shout out loud when I managed to get them flowing bright, is the soaking method. It's nice and easy.
Once or twice a month I give them a good bath and we all are happy. I do it more often if the air is really dry but you will soon see when the leaves are not so strong anymore and it requires more water.
Maybe one last tip [as written on the small info card delivered with your plant] use filtered water or rain water as sometimes tab water contains to much lime.
It is no secret that I simply love - no green thump needed - Air Plants and who says we have to wait for spring when we can enjoy these living beauties and their beautiful white green and orange pink red shades right now. Pimp your room, bookshelf, desk or wall, get your indoor gardening started with my new Tillandsia collection and unique concrete holders to suit your style.
Psst ... looking for care tips and more about Air Plants? - my HOW TOs might hold the answer you are looking for, enjoy!
Do you like a hot wonderful bubble bath? - guess what, your Air Plant does too!
Unbelievable right?! - but if you really want / need to do something really nice for your Air Plant prepare a lukewarm bath from -just- filtered water for it. Use the soaking method and you will literally see you Air Plant grow stronger right there.
Take your plant out once the leaves are strong and fully soaked up, anything from 20 to 50 minutes. Don't forget to let it dry fully before nesting it back.
There, that's it, another low cost Air Plant caring secret shared.
Happy Air Plant doping,
You have done the basics - water, air and love. You are ready for the next step and your Air Plant/s too?
Well ok, let's do this!
What if have been traveling and couldn't keep to my watering routine?
If you use the once week 20 minutes bathing method like me don't worry too much, as long as your Air Plant is still alive you give it first of all water. Don't forget best is filtered
Please allow it to soap this time for about 2 hours. Shake excess water off as usual, let it dry [best upside down] and it all is good place it onto it's concrete holder.
Done that, but it does not look really happy just yet?!
Yep I can imagine. Let's get the scissors out!
A bit of grooming is needed. It is normal that lower leaves of your tillandsias dry out as the plant grows. Sometimes even due to climate change or because of the simple fact that there was not enough water. You can pull those leaves off, gently please.
If a leave is broken or the tip has dried out you will have to trim. The trick here is to trim in an angle to leave a natural pointy looking tip. However, don't worry it will do fine if the aesthetics of a straight cut appeals more to you.
Don't be shy or worry too much about harming your Air Plant - it will regrow.
And there is also the option of Fertilizer and Temperature adjustment to really make up for your oversight!
Always have your Air Plant enjoy temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit / 8 degrees Celcius. However best is 50 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit / 10 to 32 degrees Celcius will help them even more.
Fertilizing your air plant/s is nothing you need to necessarily to do. I mean I have not done it yet and these magical plants showed the beauty in blue, purple and pink once or twice already.
However, you keep them in top shape and could promote reproduction if you do.
There are special fertilizer out there but I have been told a water-soluble fertilizer will do. By that I mean stuff like Mircal-Grow or Rapid Grow, houseplant fertilizer at 1/4 strength or lower. Well, I would love to hear your insides as I have not done it so far.
I hope you enjoyed this little post - cheers to happy Air Plants and I look forward to your comments and pictures via the social
media links or email!
Woop woop, they have arrived!
Tillandsias or Air Plants are tropical plants that usually live for several years however will bloom and produce flowers only one time during their lifetime.
The flowers are striking and brilliantly colored, and the bloom period will last from several days to many months, depending on the species. Take the Rubra on the left for example, we are about 2 months in and the blue flower is not fully grown yet. Have a look below and find it a bit further along. The C. Medusae, 2nd picture below, is about 4 months into the process and the dark blue to purple flowers have yet to grow out of the pink capsules. Different species bloom at different times, also depending on their care and environment. Although I have seen it happening all year around it is said that a plant will most likely go into bloom sometime between mid-winter and mid-summer.
Each pup will follow the lifecycle by growing into a parent plant, blooming and producing pups of it's own.
If you require pups for your project please feel invited to get in touch as I will often be able to help.
Air Plants will produce offshoots, or "pups." You'll notice the pups have a separate and distinct center of their own, distinguishing them from the other leaves. Once the pup reaches at least one-third of the size of their parent plant, the pup can be removed by gently pulling it apart from the parent. Some recommend to use knifes, however I found the pulling apart after the plant has been watered was the kindest method for the parent and pup plant to be separated. Hold both the parent and the pup at their bases and gently twist in a downward motion.
Well, if you leave the pups to grow on the parent plant the Air Plant will create a clump. The alternative and often faster way to create a clump is by wiring multiple plants together. They will begin to grow into and around each other.
Often clumping is also found on permanently mounted Air Plants. You can mount Air Plants to almost any surface for display as they do not require soil to grow and thrive.
I feel so lucky that this wonderful Rubra Air Plant surprised me this Easter with an amazing explosion of its seed bomb!
So now what to do with it?!
First of all it took almost a year to get here. The Rubra bloomed for a couple of months first [image on the right], changed her leave colour from this lovely pink back to green and a dark brown hard 'cone', the seed pod, formed in the centre.
I got a sheet of clean paper and used tweezers to empty the seed pod. I tried to gather as many seeds as I could.
I put the plant aside and got my container which is lined with soft tissue paper.
The seeds are usually carried by the wind and have this white silky soft fluff around them. I used it to pull them gently apart from each other to place them on a sheet of soft tissue.
My seed covered soft tissue sheet is in a dairy container. I read that others used cotton for the first watering as well as experimenting with a straight away planting into moss. I think the latter will work fine in green houses but sadly I don't have one - well not yet anyway!
Step 4 [below]:
Soaking the seeds in filtered water.
Step 5 [right]:
Covering my dairy container to simulate the green house conditions. I know it's not ideal but it was the only container on hand and it is only for the first month. After that I will have a clear container and move them onto a moss bark base. For their first year of growth in a warm light filled spot on my window sill.
In regards to the 'mother' plant I am not sure what will happen with her. I read that it will die but I am not sure about that yet. Even though it looked very stressed after that stunning seed explosion it took on water and is still going strong.
Well altogether - they are called Air Plants as they get their nutrients from water and the air and as you can see you can propagate tillandsia from seeds, but it takes two to four years to grow the plant to a suitable size for enjoyment. The best way and the way I am used to is to propagate Tillandsia through the division of the offsets, or pups.
Want to learn more about pups check out my blog post about the Air Plant Life Cycle!
Let's just see how things go, it's my first time to do this as well so wish me luck!