Bromeliad Air Plants

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Blooming, Care and Culture, Classification, Growing Indoors

At your garden center you will see these small grey-leaved plants attached to shells, coral, driftwood etc.

The long and narrow leaves are covered with furry scales, and it is these tiny plates which absorb moisture from the air and nutrients from the dust which settles on the foliage. No need for compost and no need for water, but the Air Plants do benefit from regular misting in the summer.

All the plants are species of Tillandsia. Keep them in bright light away from direct sunlight and provide a winter temperature of at least 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). Once they reach maturity the bright flowering spikes appear and the surrounding leaves may change color, but the blooms last for only a few days. T. bulbosa and T. tenuifolia have a bulb-like base and produce blue flowers in red bracts. Another type with a bulb-like base is T. caput-medusae which is chosen for its thick, twisted leaves. If you want silvery foliage there is T. ionantha or T. argentea. For long rush-like leaves you should look for T. juncea.

These grey Tillandsias have showy-flowered green-leaved relatives which need watering in the usual way.

Bromeliad Air Plants.jpg
T. bulbosa pictured.

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One response on “Bromeliad Air Plants”

  1. pat garcia says:

    I have a potted plant with multi colored leaves but all the tips are turning brown! What do I do? thanks, pat

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