Tillandsia / Air Plant Care Tips


How To - Caring For Your New Air Plant

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.

Concrete Air Plant Holder Twisted Cube by PASiNGA
Concrete Air Plant Holder Twisted Cube

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.

Air Plant Care, Getting Started by PASiNGA

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 it!
Antje


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How To - Caring For Your Air Plant

 

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.

The Light

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.

Air Plant Rubra in a Concrete Dodecahedron Vessel by PASiNGA
Air Plant Rubra in a Concrete Dodecahedron Vessel

What else? - of course if you love them you water them!

The Water

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.

 

Happy growing,

Antje



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Hinting Spring | The New Air Plant Collection

 

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. 

Antje 

xx 

 

Psst ... looking for care tips and more about Air Plants?  - my HOW TOs might hold the answer you are looking for, enjoy!

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Doping For Your Air Plants

 

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,
xx

Bubble Bath image via Pinterest
Image found on Pinterest


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The Air Plant Life Cycle

Blooming I. Rubra Tillandsia by PASiNGA
Blooming I. Rubra Tillandsia


Blooming

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.



Tillandisa I. Rubra Pups by PASiNGA
I. Rubra Babys

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. 

 


Pups

 

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. 

Tillandsia C. Medusae Pups by PASiNGA
C. Medusae Pups



Clumping

Tillandsia I. Rubra Clump by PASiNGA
I. Rubra Clump

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. 

 

C. Medusae growing pups by PASiNGA
C. Medusae growing pups


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Growing Air Plants From Seeds

Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA
Seeds of the Ionantha Rubra Tillandsia

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?! 

Blooming Rubra Tillandsia Air Plant In A Concrete Dodecahedron Vessel by PASiNGA

 

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.


Step 1: 
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.

Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA
Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

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! 

Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA

Step 4 [below]:

Soaking the seeds in filtered water.

Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA

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.  

Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA

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. 


Tillandisa I. Rubra Pups by PASiNGA
Ionantha Rubra Pups

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!
Antje



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Growing Air Plants From Seeds - The Germination Process

Growing Tillandsia Air Plants from Seeds by PASiNGA
Seeds of the Ionantha Rubra Tillandsia

Here we go - I think we are about two months in and I am happy to report things are slow but successful so far.

 

It looks like that the decision to have the seeds sit, well almost swim, in a proper wet environment was a good one as it has triggered the seeds to grow. As for the temperature, I have to admit that I did not make a fuss about that and decided, since I can't offer a greenhouse, the windowsill at room temperature must do. But, I have to admit, I talk to my plants quite a bit, so maybe that helped ;)


The first look inside the container after the lid came off - yippee the germination process is in full swing!

Since I found also some rotting seeds I decided to give them a good bath in filtered lukewarm water. Clean, already of a strong green colour and just about 4mm big.

I put them back in the cleaned container. This time the sheet is just damp, not proper wet like last time, I closed the container again and put it back into a light filled but not hot spot.


Meanwhile more Tillandsias started to surprise with delightful bright colours ...

B. Multiflora Tillandsia by PASiNGA
The B. Multiflora Tillandsia in its full bright pink blooming colour - usually this one is green
Abdita Tillandsia By PASiNGA
The Abdita Tillandsia surprised with multiple flower heads in this stunning purple colour while the leaves vary from green, orange to soft and bright pink

Juncea Air Plant in its early stages of blooming by PASiNGA
Juncea Air Plant in its early stages of blooming

 

 

Above are the B. Multiflora to the left and the softer Abdita Tillandsia to the right. On the left is the Juncea grass in its early stages of blooming. The grass like leaves have already started to change colour to a more orange / red shade. I am just in awe that every time I go and get one for you to wrap or to care for them they hold a surprise like this for us.

 

Green thumps up and cheers to happy simple gardening,
Antje

 

 

Psst... 

How the seed growing begun can you find in this post - 'Growing Air Plants from Seeds'!  And should your plant been grown up or should you have some Air Plant pups already the Air Plant Life Cycle may be of interest to you. 


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