Tillandsias, commonly known as "air plants," require no soil to grow and flourish. Tillandsias are often grown in seashells, driftwood, coral and rocks for a unique display. The plants belong to the Bromeliad family. They have the unique ability of extracting water from the air by using tiny sponge-like growths on their leaves.
Humidity and Misting
Tillandsias grow in regions of the tropical Americas. They are found in jungles, mountains and even deserts. All varieties grow by extracting water out of the environment. Tillandsias that are grown in areas that offer 50 percent or more humidity rarely need any water supplements; but, when grown with less humidity, the plants thrive on being lightly misted daily. A fan can be placed beside the plant to help dry the foliage after misting.
Dunk tillandsias, especially the jungle varieties, in water once or twice a week. The plants enjoy being submerged for up to 12 hours and then removed to dry. Tillandsias do not like to stay extremely moist for longer than four hours so placing a fan beside the plant is beneficial to help it dry out.
In tropical region, Tillandsias can be grown outdoors with ease. The plant will thrive in fresh air, humidity and abundant rainfall. Many homeowners enjoy growing the plants on trees, beside porches or in rocks that line walkways.
The Tillandsia enjoys a light liquid fertilizer once a month. It can be easily be misted on the plant using a handheld sprayer. A mixture of 10-20-10 is ideal. The fertilizer should be mixed 1/4 strength so the Tillandsia does not burn.
Propagation is achieved by seeds. An older plant that is older than seven years often produces smaller plants around its base. These plants are called "pups." The tiny plants can easily be removed from the parent plant.