All Posts   Posted:   February 16, 2019 by Courtney Olson

What is a Tillandsia? Tillandsia’s are a part of the family Bromeliaceae, a family of mostly epiphytes, meaning they are plants that grow on other plants, trees, nurse logs, rocks, whatever they can get their hands on. Tillandsia’s absorb water from their foliage, their roots simply act as an anchor to secure them in place.

If you’re anything like us, the first time you laid eyes on these wild forces of nature you were simultaneously baffled and instantly in love. How is it possible, I mean where’s the soil, how do you water it, is this some crazy invention a mad botanist came up with? No, it sure is not, this is how these amazing plants live - out of the dirt - such independent spirits! In addition to being absolutely adorable, Tillandsia’s are not only low maintenance, but also pet safe, and can produce a bloom, usually in pinks and purples.

Native to South and Central America and found in the southern most parts of North America, Tillandsia can be found in a wide range of climates. Simulating the air plant's natural habitat will ensure it a long and healthy life. A few general tale-tell signs of what to provide your Tillandsia come from the appearance of its foliage:

  • Thin green foliage often means from a humid, tropical/subtropical environment, and needs regular weekly soakings for about 10 minutes, also benefits from spritzing throughout the week.
  • Thick foliage, or silver fuzzy foliage means dryer air environments and only needs to be run under the faucet briefly or to get a dunk in a bowl of water once a week.

All Tillandsia’s prefer room temperature water - filling a bowl then letting it sit for an hour or two will do the trick. After their weekly watering, they want to drip dry in a warm room, sitting upside down so any excess water will drain out. Sitting water caught in between their foliage can cause rotting.

Tillandsia want bright indirect light, like the filtered light they would receive under tree canopies. Most can handle direct morning light, but anything stronger may cause burnt tips. Some species are hardy down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, much lower than a lot of the popular tropical houseplants. Your tillandsia will greatly benefit from fresh, moving air, so crack open those windows on a warm spring or fall day!

Like any other houseplant, air plants need care based on the environment they are in. The general care above is a guideline that may need to be adjusted to your conditions—home, the office, a dorm room, etc. Some additional things to consider for you Tillies:

  • Air—humid environments mean less watering, skipping a week or shorter 5-minute baths. Dry air means more watering, twice a week or longer 15-20-minute baths.
  • Light— very bright or direct sun = more watering with longer or more frequent baths. Less light = less water with shorter or less frequent baths.
  • Fertilizer— not a super common practice with Tillies, but like any other houseplant they would greatly benefit from some extra love every now and then in the spring and summer months. Spritzing with an air plant fertilizer once or every other week may even promote blooming.

These low maintenance beauties can be displayed in so many ways. In a glass terrarium, hanging from the ceiling, mounted on the wall, or in cool geometric shapes. Let your imagination lead the way when displaying your little cutie. Stop in to one of our garden centers or our new urban plant shop in the Bridgeport Village shopping mall, and find your new perfect houseplant today!

What is a Tillandsia? Tillandsia’s are a part of the family Bromeliaceae, a family of mostly epiphytes, meaning they are plants that grow on other plants, trees, nurse logs, rocks, whatever they can get their hands on. Tillandsia’s absorb water from their foliage, their roots simply act as an anchor to secure them in place.

If you’re anything like us, the first time you laid eyes on these wild forces of nature you were simultaneously baffled and instantly in love. How is it possible, I mean where’s the soil, how do you water it, is this some crazy invention a mad botanist came up with? No, it sure is not, this is how these amazing plants live - out of the dirt - such independent spirits! In addition to being absolutely adorable, Tillandsia’s are not only low maintenance, but also pet safe, and can produce a bloom, usually in pinks and purples.

Native to South and Central America and found in the southern most parts of North America, Tillandsia can be found in a wide range of climates. Simulating the air plant's natural habitat will ensure it a long and healthy life. A few general tale-tell signs of what to provide your Tillandsia come from the appearance of its foliage:

  • Thin green foliage often means from a humid, tropical/subtropical environment, and needs regular weekly soakings for about 10 minutes, also benefits from spritzing throughout the week.
  • Thick foliage, or silver fuzzy foliage means dryer air environments and only needs to be run under the faucet briefly or to get a dunk in a bowl of water once a week.

All Tillandsia’s prefer room temperature water - filling a bowl then letting it sit for an hour or two will do the trick. After their weekly watering, they want to drip dry in a warm room, sitting upside down so any excess water will drain out. Sitting water caught in between their foliage can cause rotting.

Tillandsia want bright indirect light, like the filtered light they would receive under tree canopies. Most can handle direct morning light, but anything stronger may cause burnt tips. Some species are hardy down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, much lower than a lot of the popular tropical houseplants. Your tillandsia will greatly benefit from fresh, moving air, so crack open those windows on a warm spring or fall day!

Like any other houseplant, air plants need care based on the environment they are in. The general care above is a guideline that may need to be adjusted to your conditions—home, the office, a dorm room, etc. Some additional things to consider for you Tillies:

  • Air—humid environments mean less watering, skipping a week or shorter 5-minute baths. Dry air means more watering, twice a week or longer 15-20-minute baths.
  • Light— very bright or direct sun = more watering with longer or more frequent baths. Less light = less water with shorter or less frequent baths.
  • Fertilizer— not a super common practice with Tillies, but like any other houseplant they would greatly benefit from some extra love every now and then in the spring and summer months. Spritzing with an air plant fertilizer once or every other week may even promote blooming.

These low maintenance beauties can be displayed in so many ways. In a glass terrarium, hanging from the ceiling, mounted on the wall, or in cool geometric shapes. Let your imagination lead the way when displaying your little cutie. Stop in to one of our garden centers or our new urban plant shop in the Bridgeport Village shopping mall, and find your new perfect houseplant today!