Growing Tillandsias

Overview

Tillandsias are air plants--plants that grow without soil. They are from the Bromeliaceae family and are native to the southern United States, Mexico and Central and South America. These fascinating plants have captured the hearts of many home gardeners as they watch the plant grow and produce flowers and offspring without ever being in soil. Like orchids, these plants are found in nature growing on rocks and trees. It is most popular to mount your Tillandsias on pieces of wood, a rock or a shell, but just about any hard surface can be used. You can also suspend it from something with a piece of fishing line.

Step 1

Attach the Tillandsia to the mounting medium using craft wire, fishing line, Liquid Nails or hot glue allowed to cool for 5 seconds. Do not use copper wire or pressure-treated wood as they will kill the Tillandsia. You only need a dab of glue or a lightly tied wire around the center of the plant and mount, as the plant will attach itself in time.

Step 2

Keep your plant in an area of filtered sun, April through October, and full sun November through March. They like air circulation, so if you are keeping them indoors, provide a fan to move the air around them for a few hours a day.

Step 3

Submerge the plants in a sink full of water for a few minutes two or three times a week, in the morning. Then place them back in the sun and air to allow them to dry out. It should take no longer than 4 hours for them to completely dry. Outdoor plants that are getting rain will not need to be watered until hot, dry periods.

Step 4

Mist the plants with a spray bottle between waterings during hot and dry periods or if the Tillandsia is indoors in air conditioning or central heat. This will provide added humidity to the plant, but should not be used as watering.

Step 5

Add bromeliad fertilizer or a pinch of orchid fertilizer to the spray bottle twice a month. Follow manufacturer's directions for the amount of bromeliad fertilizer to apply.

Step 6

Take indoor plants outdoors in the spring and summer to give them some fresh air and filtered sunshine. They can be outdoors during rain and will even enjoy a gentle breeze.

Things You'll Need

  • Tillandsia plant
  • Mounting medium
  • Attaching medium
  • Spray bottle
  • Bromeliad or orchid fertilizer
  • Small fan

References

  • Air Plant City
  • Tillandsia International
  • Toronto Botanical Garden
Keywords: Tillandsia, bromeliads, air plants

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.