Air plants are the common name for Tillandsias , a type of Bromeliad that grows on rocks, trees
shrubs etc without soil ...they receive all of their water and nutrients from the air through
specialized leaves. Unlike other plants, the roots of tillandsias are not used for absorbing water
and nutrients but serve only as anchors to attach to trees or rocks. Most belong the the genus
Tillandsia.....there are over 650 known species plus many hybrids. Tillandsias grow in parts of
the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and South America on trees as epiphyes,
and on rocks (saxicolously). Tillandsias make unique houseplants and can be used in
vivariums, terrariums. Tillandsias can also be grown outside in certain locations and situations.
# Shake off excess water after watering (especially in the large fleshy varieties).
Turn upside-down and let the base dry before putting it back in its container.
# Give tall, thin-leave varieties (T. Butzii, T. Juncea, etc.) an extra spray on their tips,
as they dry out faster.
# Place plants in containers with natural holes, as opposed to gluing them. This will
make it much easier to water them, especially when you use the soaking method.
And you don't have to wait for the whole container to dry before putting it back in its
# Trim away any brown, dried or injured (bent) leaves (this will not harm the plant).
# Leave pups (babies) on mother plant, as Tillandsia airplants are much heartier if
left to form a colony (specimen). But, if you wish, you may cut off bloomed-out flower
when its color dries up. Trim dried *mother" plant away after new plants ("pups")
have formed. If more than one new plant has formed, they can be removed once
they reach the size of the mother plant.
# Don't worry about roots. You can cut them off to make it easier to place them in
containers (they will grow back). This also makes it easier to water them.
# Don't leave water sitting in the crevices of big, fleshy Bromeliads - Tillandsias.
Shake them off!
# Don't put them in containers that hold moisture around the base (or, let them dry
well before returning them to their containers).
# Don't throw Bromeliad - Tillandsias away if there is any green left to the plants.
Soak them for 24 hours.
# Don't soak the flower while in bloom (prolonged periods of soaking will rot them).
# Don't water plants in clumps as much, as clumped Bromeliad - Tillandsias hold
# Don't combine thick- and thin-leaf varieties in the same container, since their
watering schedules will be different.
# Don't let them freeze!
Reasons Bromeliads - Tillandsias Die
# They were not initially cared for properly (their owner was told they need little or no
# Thick- and thin-leaf varieties were combined in the same container (different
# They did not get enough light (they were more than 10 feet from a bright window
# They were placed in DIRECT SUN. Garden windows are generally too warm unless
they are shaded or facing north.
TIPS FOR AIR PLANTS