Welcome to the fascinating world of Tillandsia, or Air Plants! Now that you have brought your new friend home, it's time to learn about caring for him.
Follow the directions below for ongoing care of your plants;
- Light; Air Plants should be kept where they'll receive bright, indirect sunlight or under fluorescent home/office lighting. Periods of direct sunlight are just fine, but more than a few hours of hot sun will deplete the plants of their moisture. If your plant will be in a spot with some pretty direct light, try misting them every couple of days to keep them hydrated.
- Water; Air Plants live on air, right? Uh, not right! While air plants don't grow in soil, they definitely NEED to be watered. While the plants can survive for long periods of drought, they will not grow or thrive and will eventually die off if water is too scarce. Follow the directions below for watering your plants on a regular basis and they will stay alive and well for quite some time. The good news is that since these plants are very forgiving, you shouldn't stress over their care schedule. There's certainly no need to get a babysitter when you go on vacation.
- HOW do I water my air plants; As a main method of watering your plants, we recommend giving them a thorough rinsing under running water or letting them soak in a bath of water for 20-30 minutes. You can use a bowl, the sink or even the bathtub if you've got a bunch of them. After their shower or bath, gently shake the plants to remove any excess water from the base and the leaves, and set out to dry in an area with enough air circulation to dry them out in about 4 hours. If your plants need an in-between watering, misting them with a spray bottle is a great method. A plant in bloom should be rinsed rather than submerged in water, and take care when rinsing the delicate flowers.
- How OFTEN do I water my Air Plants? Your plants should be watered once per week, and 2-3 times is recommended for optimal care. A longer, 2 hour soak is recommended every 2-3 weeks. If you are in a drier, hotter climate, more frequent watering or misting will be needed. You'll begin to notice that after watering, your plant's leaves will feel stiffer and full of water and they'll be softer and lighter in colour when they are in need of water. Wrinkled or rolled leaves can be a sign of dehydration.
- Temperature; Air Plants will do best in generally warmer conditions (a good range is 10-30 degrees).
- Grooming & Aesthetic Maintenance; Everyone needs a little grooming once in a while! It is normal for some of the lower leaves of your tillandsia to dry out as the plant grows or acclimates to a new environment, and those leaves can be gently pulled right off the plant. If the leaf tips have dried out, you can snip the dried tip off (try trimming at an angle to leave a natural-looking pointy tip), and the same can be done for the plant's roots. Don't worry about harming your plants during grooming - they'll regrow.
- Fertilizer; Fertilizing your plants is not necessary, but will keep them in top shape and should promote blooming and reproduction. We recommend using Bromeliad fertilizer (17-8-22) or an all-purpose fertilizer at 1/4 strength, if bromeliad fertilizer is not available.
- Blooming; Air Plants are tropical plants that usually live for several years and will bloom and produce flowers only one time during their lifetime. The flowers are striking and brilliantly coloured, and the bloom period will last several days to many months, depending on the species. Different species bloom at different times, also depending on their care and environment. A plant will most likely go into bloom sometime between mid-winter and mid-summer.
If you should have any questions or concerns, please contact us by phone, email or drop by the garden centre.