Tillandsia Air Plants
Tillandsias – “air plants” – can live where few other plants can because in nature they live perched on branches and rocks and need no soil. Their soil-less habit is why we call them air plants. Tillandsias’ leaves are covered in little scales that absorb water; roots anchor tillandsias to their host but absorb little if any water. Tillandsias grown in the home cannot survive on air alone. Like other plants, they need water and light, too.
Care & Environment
Indoors, tillandsias prefer bright indirect light. Brief early morning or late afternoon direct sun can be beneficial. The more humidity and cloudiness in your area, the more sun your tillandsia will bear. Varieties that look more silvery, less green, tolerate more sun.
Outdoors in mild climates like San Francisco, tillandsias thrive. The more frost, extended cold rain, and dry heat in your climate, the less likely tillandsias will succeed outdoors.
Your tillandsia should get wet a minimum of once a week. Some types (silver-colored and fuzzy) will tolerate less water. Dunk them in a water-filled bowl, or wet them under a steady stream of tap water once or twice a week. If you prefer to mist, do so heavily daily or every other day, taking care to moisten the whole plant. You can soak your tillandsias for up to an hour for a deep hydration as needed.
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