The most important factors in Tillandsia air plant care are: Light, Water, and Air Circulation
Lighting for Tillandsia air plants should be bright but filtered (April - October). They should not be left in the direct sun in the summer months (this will cause
the plant to become sunburned ). Tillandsia air plants love direct sun (November - March). Tillandsia air plants may be grown in the house directly in front
of a window. Fresh moving air is advisable, but remember, the most important care need is bright filtered light.
The thicker or stiffer the leaves and the more gray or white their color, the more light the plants need. These light-colored, thick or stiff leaved plants grow
in full sun in their native habitats and can often tolerate full sun in humid areas outside of their native areas. However, to be on the safe side, it is
recommended that even these types of air plants be grown in light shade....between 4000 - 7000 footcandles of light is best. The green to light green air
plants with softer leaves are adapted to growing in shady conditions and do best in 2000 - 4000 footcandles of light.
BEWARE: Trees, overhangs and window tinting can rob your plants of needed light. Place plants no further away than 3 feet in front of a bright window.
Full spectrum artificial light (fluorescent) is best. Plant should be no further than 36" from the fluorescent tubes and can be as close as 6". A four-tube 48"
fixture works well. Bulbs can be any full spectrum type Gro-Lux, Repta-Sun, Vita-Lite, etc. Light should be set with a timer, 12 hours per day.
The recommended method of watering is by drenching so the air plants end up thoroughly wet(to point of runoff). For indoor plants, you can do this in your
kitchen sink and use a watering can or your sink hose sprayer....it only takes a few seconds to get the plants thoroughly wet. The frequency depends on
temperature, humidity, plant specie(some species prefer less water), plant size, and air circulation. For most indoor and outdoor situations, watering 2 - 3
times per week is sufficient. If conditions are hot and dry, water more often, if cool and humid, less often. Plants should be given enough light and air
circulation to dry in no longer than 4 hours after watering. If air circulation is not good, you can use an electric fan. Spray misting is insufficient as the sole
means of watering even if done daily but may be beneficial between regular waterings in dry climates to increase the humidity. To check for dryness, look
at the leaf bases in the central part of the plant. Plants may look dry, but moisture may be present in the central meristematic area....if this area remains
too wet for too long, rot may develop.
An alternative watering method is soaking. Soaking is recommended if plants become severely dehydrated, indicated by limp, wrinkled, or curled leaf
edges. If symtoms indicate dehydration, drenching usually won`t bring the plants out of the dehydrated state, so the plants should be submerged in water
for up to 12 hours. Soaking every 10 days to two weeks will keep plants happy and meet their water needs.
After watering, plants with thick fleshy leaves that tend to trap water in their centers should be turned upside down and gently shaken to remove trapped
Water quality is not important for most tillandsia air plants, so you may use tap water, rain water, or bottled drinking water. Don`t use distilled water. IF THE
PLANT IS IN A SHELL, be sure to EMPTY THE WATER out. Tillandsia air plants will not survive in standing water.
Following each watering, Tillandsia air plants should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in 4 hours or less. Do not keep plants constantly wet or
moist. If plants are allowed to stay wet for too long, fatal rot can develop.
Optimum temperature range for tillandsia air plants is 50 - 90 degrees F, but they can tolerate temps from freezing to above 100F. . Do not expose to
Use Bromeliad fertilizer (17-8-22) twice a month. It is GREAT for blooming and reproduction! Other water-soluble fertilizers can be used at 1/4 strength
(Rapid Grow, Miracle-Grow, etc.) if Bromeliad fertilizer is not available. Don`t fertilize newly received plants for at least 3 weeks.
TILLANDSIAS IN VIVARIUMS AND OTHER ANIMAL ENCLOSURES
Enclosures must have at least one side of screen mesh. Full spectrum fluorescent lighting is Ideal full spectrum incandescent lighting will be sufficient when
care is taken to avoid placing heat producing bulbs too close to plants The higher the wattage, the more distance should be used to avoid burning or
heat-damage to plants. Good air circulation and proper watering schedule must be maintained.
MOUNTING TILLANDSIA AIR PLANTS
Mount plants on almost anything, - Driftwood, manzanita, seashells, coral, lava rock, crystals using a non - water soluble glue such as "Liquid Nail", E-6000
craft glue, or just silicon caulk. #1 ) Set plants on the prospective mount. If you like the arrangement, proceed. #2) Place glue on mount, #3) Place plants
onto glued area. Larger plants may be supported with fishing line until glue dries. #4) Cover glue with sawdust or sand to camouflage.
For more information, click on this link: Additional Tillandsia Information