How to Divide Tillandsia


Tillandsia is an exotic and unique plant. A relative of moss, tillandsia draws its nutrition from the air and can be attached virtually anywhere to look like it's growing in midair. Tillandsia also attracts attention because of its striking inflorescence, which produces flowers of various colors depending on the variety. Each plant may only produce one inflorescence before it dies, but the plant can be propagated by dividing the pups that grow from the base of the plant.

Step 1

Wait until the time is right. Tillandsia's pups emerge shortly after it flowers. They start off as buds but eventually grow to the size of the parent plant. Ideally, you should wait until there is more than one pup on a plant to divide it--these plants will only produce one pup at a time. And the pup that you divide should be at least half the size of the parent plant before you divide it.

Step 2

Remove the pup from its anchor. Use the tip of a sharp knife to carefully detach the roots from whatever medium they are anchored onto.

Step 3

Divide the pup from its parent plant. Use your knife to trim it as close to the parent plant's base as possible.

Step 4

Attach the pup to its anchor. Like the parent plant, a tillandsia pup can be attached to any non-toxic surface. Anchor tillandsia by gluing (apply waterproof glue anywhere but the roots or the base of the pup), tying (fishing line works well) or stapling it to its anchor until it has time to develop the clinging roots that will attach it to its anchor.

Step 5

Spray the plant with a mister until it is saturated with water. Mist the plant daily until it anchors itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Anchor
  • Sharp knife
  • Mister


  • Bromeliad Society: Tillandsia
  • Tillandsia Species and Hybrids: Popular Bromeliad Plant
Keywords: divide tillandsia, tillandsia pup, propagate tillandsia

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.