Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Let's learn about some unusual plants called Tillandsia or Air plants.  They are epiphytes.  Epiphytes are plants that grow harmlessly on other plants. They take in all their moisture and nutrients through their leaves.   Other epiphytes are orchids, mosses and bromeliads.  But we will be discussing the genus Tillandsia.


This large Tillandsia Streptophylla X Xerographica is setting in a beautiful green blown glass that belonged to my Mother.

I bet you have seen these little plants before.  You may have even bought one.  Once you get your darling little Tillandsia home and take it out of the bag, you probably stared at it not knowing how to care for it.  Here is my most import tip:  DO NOT PLANT IT IN SOIL!  It will die!  They do have roots but they are used to hang on to trees or rocks.


There are so many ways you can display your Tillandsia.  One of my go to ideas is to put them in a large shell.  Then it looks like a little critter is crawling out.  As you can see in one photo, Green Acres nursery (little plug for one of my favorite nurseries), inserts them upside down in a sea urchin shell. A waterproof glue like E6000 can keep them in place. 


They are really easy to care for.  They like to be in bright but filtered light.  Do not put them in direct hot sun as that will dry them out very quickly.  These plants are used to living high in trees or on rock faces in tropical regions.  They like good air circulation and need moisture.  But they like to dry out between watering. So once or twice a week I drench my Tillandsia in water.  Usually under the kitchen sink.  I shake off the excess water and put it back in it’s home.


Here's another tip: The thinner the leaves the more often they will need to be watered. If the leaves have a fuzzy texture they will need water less often. The fuzzy bits help hold the water for the leaves to take in.

Have fun with your plants.  Hang them from the wall attached to wine corks.  You can even get little terrariums for them.  These are small and round and usually have two holes.  This provides good air circulation.  Add some colored sand in the bottom then tiny shells, drift wood and moss.  Then place your baby inside and hang.  Just make sure to take the plant out of the terrarium to water.  When dry you can put it back inside.

I hope you get one of two and try them out! Have fun and Happy Gardening!

It's Another Beautiful Day!


Dés said...

Great photos! Is the one that's blooming in the sea shell yours? It's obviously very happy :)
I bought several in those little hanging globes on clearance around Christmas time and about 60% of them survived (I think some where WAY overwatered at the stores). LOVE how the others have bounced back and are actually growing now. They make me very happy.
Thank you for the tip about the different leaves and watering. That is good to know.

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

You bet Des! I am glad to hear yours are doing well. Thank you for following!

Spiky Obsession said...

I love your Tillandsia Streptophylla X Xerographica , I am sure it was a photo from you a while back that started me looking for it. Sadly in the UK they are almost impossible to track down without it becoming a quest.

LakeandGarden said...

Hi Candice,
Those large shells with the succulents growing out of the bottom are just fabulous - I had to look twice - I thought at first they were sculptures!
Thanks for sharing,