Epiphytic Tillandsias

LIGHT: Almost all tillandsias require bright filtered sunlight or early morning and/or late afternoon sunlight. Good air circulation is also very important. Screened pool cages provide nearly perfect conditions for most gray leaf tillandsias.

FERTILIZATION: Any good balanced liquid fertilizer applied at 1/3 to 1 /2 the recommended strength every two to four weeks will suffice. Feeding will produce more vigorous specimens.

WATER: Watering frequency will vary with environmental conditions. Water more often in hot dry situations; less during cool cloudy times. If the plants are outside with natural 50% or greater relative humidity, twice weekly soakings will be about right. If grown indoors, they should be misted lightly daily and drenched at least weekly. This is best done at the sink. Tillandsias should always dry somewhat between waterings.

TEMPERATURE: The majority of commonly grown tillandsias are hardy to about 32° F if kept slightly on the dry side.

PROPER MOUNTING OF THE PLANTS: Material chosen as a support should be firm and with a slightly irregular or porous surface. This helps the roots secure a firm contact with their substrate. Popular materials for growing mounted Tillandsias are cork and driftwood. The chosen material should not have any preservative or sealer applied as this will often prevent rooting and may kill the plant. The material should be large enough to give the plants space to grow. Space should be available for growth both up and toward the sides.

The plants should be very securely attached to their mounting. Loose or wobbly plants will never root adequately. Monofilament nylon fishing line or plastic covered bell wire are good materials for tying the plants. Avoid bare copper or galvanized wire as it may burn the stem or leaves. Many plants may be attached by using Liquid Nails (not Crazy Glue – which will hurt the plants). The plants should be attached just above the root system and just below the leaves. A second set of ties may be required higher up on larger plants if they are heavy.