How to Make a Tillandsia Wreath
Author: Melanie DearringerNo Comments
A living wreath is the perfect twist on the holiday decoration. With only a little effort you can have a unique decoration or gift that is sure to catch everyone’s eye this holiday season.
Plants that require very little or no potting medium are the best for crafting a living wreath. Tillandsia is a genus of bromeliad that is ideal for crafting wreaths. Tillandsias are true air plants and require no soil to grow. Their roots act as anchors and they can be attached to a wide variety of substrates.
Because they are true air plants and require no potting medium to grow, Tillandsias are much easier to make a wreath out of than other plants. Most other plants require sphagnum moss placed in a wire frame. Tillandsias can be attached directly to a grapevine wreath or other wreath form.
The first step in making your wreath is choosing your plants. There are all different kinds of design ideas. You can make the wreath very uniform in color and shape by using all the same variety of Tillandsia. You can fill the entire wreath with plants of different textures, size and color or you can make an arrangement with plants that vary in size and shape on just one portion of the wreath. Once you have a design in mind choose plants that will work well for your wreath.
Tillandsia aeranthos ‘miniata’ is a great plant for creating a uniform wreath that is covered in Tillandsias. It is a small plant that is only two inches tall and an inch wide. It is evenly green throughout and dense with leaves. It does not flower, but it will create offsets quickly making a very full and lush wreath.
Tillandsia ionatha ‘Fuego’ blushes bright red when flowering. Its brilliant color and small form is perfect for a holiday wreath. The ionatha species and its many cultivars are very popular Tillandsias. They are easily found in retail shops or online and are very easy to grow.
Tillandsia gardneri is a beautiful silvery plant that is slightly larger growing. It produces soft pink inflorescence. It would be an excellent focal piece on a large wreath.
Tillandsia albertiana grows long and narrow, with thin leaves reaching up to form a more vase like rosette. The plant’s leaves are a purple bronze color with red flowers.
Tillandsia capitata ‘Rubra’ has leaves that are a brilliant red orange. This plant would add exciting color to a living wreath.
Tillandsia schiedeana v. minor has very fine silvery leaves. It will grow about six inches tall and six inches wide. The plant will quickly reproduce and easily fill out a wreath. It produces an attractive red flower spike with a small yellow flower.
Tillandsia vernicosa is more tolerant of colder weather than other Tillandsias. If you are determined to have and outdoor wreath, this may be the best option. It has greenish bronze leaves that are very stiff and pointy. The leaves create a sort of whirling rosette. The inflorescence is red with several branches. It produces a small white flower. This plant can grow up to eight inches tall and wide.
You can also use other genera of bromeliads, as long as they are epiphytes. Neoregelias and Vrieseas will work well, though these plants will probably grow a bit larger than most Tillandsias. These plants can also be a bit more particular and may require more focused care.
After you have chosen your plants and have picked out a wreath lay your plants around the wreath until you have crafted an arrangement you like. It is important to make sure you like your arrangement before you begin to attach the plants to the wreath. It will be difficult to rearrange the plants without damaging them once they are mounted.
Some plants have woody stolons that you can weave into the vines on the wreath. Other plants will require craft wire to make them secure. You can even use a bit of hot glue to attach them to the wreath. Carefully fix the plants to the wreath knowing that they will produce offsets and fill out the space even more.
You can add embellishments to your wreath such as craft moss, living Spanish moss or twigs and berries. If you use a ribbon or bow, keep in mind that it may get wet when you water the plants. Try to place it away from the plants or make it easily removable. That way you can take it off when you spray the plants.
When you have mounted your plants you are ready to hang your wreath. There are a few Tillandsia care considerations to keep in mind when finding the right spot for your wreath.
The most important consideration is light. Make sure your wreath is in a place that will get plenty of bright indirect light during the day. During the winter months direct light is also ok. The sun will not be strong enough to damage the leaves. Silver and white leaved Tillandsias generally require more sunlight than green leaved Tillandsias. If the leaves become brown on the tips or develop brown spots they may be getting too much sunlight.
Be careful not to let the plants touch a cold window as well. Cold drafts or freezing temperatures will easily damage the leaves.
Tillandsias take in water through special scales on their leaves called trichomes. Therefore the plants need to be misted regularly. The natural curve of the plant’s leaves will become exaggerated when the plant is getting too dry. Misting your wreath at least twice a week should be sufficient. If your wreath is exposed to very low humidity, you may need to mist it daily. Silver and white leaved Tillandsias will need a bit less water than green leaved Tillandsias.
Tillandsias also require sufficient air circulation. The plants should be dry within four hours of being misted. If the plants stay too wet too long, they could rot. Tillandsias like high humidity but also need fresh air.
These bromeliads like fertilizer. Use a bromeliad fertilizer that is soluble in water. Dilute it to half strength. Mist your Tillandsias with the solution once a month. Fertilizer will help the Tillandsias grow and produce more pups.
You can hang your Tillandsia wreath outdoors if you live in a temperate climate. The plants require temperatures that are consistently warmer than 50 degrees. If a frost threatens, you need to bring your wreath indoors. In colder climates you can keep your wreath inside for the winter and place it outside during the summer.
YEAR ROUND DECOR
Tillandsia wreaths are festive enough for the holidays, but versatile enough that they can be used all year. You can enjoy watching a living wreath grow and change throughout the year.
Have you crafted living decorations with Tillandsias or other bromeliads?
“Tillandsia aeranthos ‘miniata’” Tropiflora.
“Tillandsia Cultural Information”
“Tillandsia schiedeana v. minor” Tropiflora.
“Tillandsia vernicosa” Tropiflora.
“Plant Care.” Russel’s Bromeliads.
Hechtia Care Cheat Sheet
Learn how to care for your Hechtia bromeliad with this quick and easy informational guide.Learn More
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