Gardening

Tillandsia

The Tillandsia is one of the best known air plants. The curious thing about this genus is that all plants can grow on other plants such as trees. These plants are sure to make your garden have a more exotic decoration and stop being so boring or traditional.

In this article we are going to explain the characteristics and care that the species of the genus Tillandsia need and describe some of the most representative ones.

Main features

To grow these plants you don’t need hardly any experience. You don’t have to know much about gardening either to maintain them, since these plants adapt to natural environments with special characteristics. These plants are gaining a lot of fame over the years and have become an essential plant for those who like to spend time in their garden to have it ready for any visit or for yourself.

As we have mentioned above, it has an American origin and is distributed mainly from the United States to some regions of Mexico and some of the Pacific islands. It is known by the name of carnation of the air and is a kind of aerial plant. Its development is epiphytic, that is, it grows around another species that are usually larger, such as trees.

It is a plant with evergreen leaves that can measure up to 8 meters in length. The stem is hanging in shape and forms some finer strands. They are quite branched plants so they appear to have more density. Its flower is made up of 3 sepals that join at the base and can be green or blue. It is an excellent exotic color for decorating the trees you have in the garden.

Perhaps the main or most striking feature of Tillandsia is that it has no roots. As it is an epiphytic plant, it does not need roots to grow. The few roots that you may have are only to fix the plant to the place and not to incorporate water or nutrients into your body. It should also be made clear that, although Tillandsia binds to other plants, it is not a parasite. She is able to synthesize her own food and does not steal the nutrients from the plant where she is located.

Tillandsia care

We are going to see as a summary the general care that plants of this genus require. Since it is a very simple plant to grow, we should not have problems when granting them. It is not demanding at all in the growing conditions, but it does require that certain conditions are met for its development to be correct.

The first thing is to take into account the lighting. In these types of plants, the amount of light they receive is a determining factor in their development. During the summer, it cannot get direct sunlight as its leaves can be damaged. This does not usually cause problems since they grow on trees and they give them the shade they need. In winter, it is capable of supporting direct light well, so there will be no problem if it does.

Although these plants do not require proper irrigation, they need a lot of moisture to live. It is necessary to use rain or mineral water for irrigation. You have to spray them a little daily, especially in summer, to keep the humidity high and that it can grow well.

As for the subscriber, it is interesting to pay it every 15 days so that it grows in good condition. We will use a liquid fertilizer that we will apply when we are spraying the plant.

One of the pests that most often affect Tillandsia is the red spider. These insects land on the underside of the leaves when the environment is drier, destroying it completely. To avoid this pest, we only have to maintain the humidity that the plant needs well.

Some of the best known species of Tillandsia

We are going to analyze some of the best known species of this genus and a brief description of each of them.

Tillandsia cyanea

The Tillandsia cyanea must be planted on another plant and seek to have good lighting but without direct sunlight. It needs high temperatures and humidity, since with the cold they do not usually develop. It is hardly attacked by pests, except the red spider in cases of low humidity.

We can multiply it by dividing the adult plants and the best time to do it is in summer.

Tillandsia usneoides

The Tillandsia usneoides can reach 6 meters in length. It is used as an indoor plant but without the need for a pot. It is best to wrap them around a non-rusting wire or a piece of tree bark. It needs good sun exposure but no direct sun. It is not advisable to have temperatures below 13 degrees.

To water them, we only have to spray them daily in summer and in winter once a week, depending on the rainfall regime.

Tillandsia aeranthos

The Tillandsia aeranthos usually reaches 60 cm in length. It blooms in summer and its flowers are purple and dark blue. They are commonly used as indoor plants. This plant does need full sun exposure and does not withstand frost.

Tillandsia ionantha

The Tillandsia ionantha can be played from suckers, which makes its simplest reproduction. You have to water them with a sprayer several times a week. They can’t stand direct sunlight, but they do need plenty of lighting and plenty of air.

Tillandsia bergeri

The Tillandsia bergeri is one of the varieties with the fastest growth. If they are curled upwards, it is because they lack water. You will have to soak them in water for 12 hours with few salts.

Tillandsia stricta

The Tillandsia stricta can be both indoors and outdoors. It needs several fertilizers a year and it can be reproduced by suckers.

I hope this information helps you to learn more about Tillandsia and the main plants of its genus.

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