Tillandsia ionantha 'fuego' - Small
Origin: Southern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America
Light: Bright, indirect
Water: Every one to two weeks, soak your air plant in room temperature tap water for 5-10 minutes.
- After soaking gently shake excess water from your plant. Turn it upside down and place it on a towel in a bright space. This is very important! Air plants will quickly rot if they are allowed to stand in excess water
- From the time soaking ends, the plant should be able to dry fully in no more than 3 hours. If your plant stays wet longer than this, it may rot. Try placing it in a brighter place with more air circulation to facilitate faster drying.
- Once a week, mist your plant thoroughly, so that the entire surface of the plant is moistened (but not so much that there is water dripping down into the plant).
- The hotter and dryer the air (summer, early fall) the more you need to water. The cooler and more humid the air (winter and spring) the less water your air plant will need. Remember, though, that heaters and fireplaces dry the air!
- Do all watering in the morning. Evening soaking or misting disrupts the plants ability to respire overnight, and extends drying time.
Temperature: They do best between 50-90 degrees F
Nutrients: Incorporating orchid or Bromeliad fertilizer into your watering regimen once or twice a month is a great way to keep your air plant happy. Just add a pinch to your water and proceed as usual. Fertilizing your air plant encourages it to blossom and reproduce
Interiorscape Use: Aeriums, Terrariums, mounted displays, standalone on surfaces etc.
Common Pests: Mealybugs, Aphids, Spider Mites, Scale, Thrips.
Common Issues: Signs of under-watering your air plant include the leaf tips turning brown or crispy. The natural concave shape of air plant leaves tends to become more exaggerated when under-watered.
Unfortunately, if your air plant has been over-watered, it’s often too late to save it. If the base of the plant turns brown or black, and leaves are falling out or off from the center, your plant has likely succumbed to rot.
Comments: Tillandsia are epiphytes, meaning they grow on a host, they require absolutely no soil to survive. The roots, or fingers act only as anchors to attach themselves to their host. Air Plants are found growing on trees, rocks, fences, power lines and numerous other objects.