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Thread: Getting started with tillandsia

  1. #1

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    I've found an outstanding source for quickly obtaining a good number of named Tillandsia.

    I have one big concern: These plants need plenty of humidity but most can't take a southern window exposure (at least according to some websites).

    My bathroom faces the south. I would love to have a collection of Tillandsias hung upside down and mounted with suction cups covering that window. However, it seems to be extremely bright all day long.

    The only other choices I have are western or eastern facing windows, both of which have air conditioners mounted in place of one of their window panes. Somehow, I don't think being next to an air conditioner would work.

    Please share how you are growing your Tillandsias.
    Diana Pederson
    Michigan
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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Air plants enjoy frequent misting and a weekly dunk in water, however, they detest being constantly wet as this promotes rot.

    The best thing to do is find a specie(s) that suit your growing conditions. For example, I have T. abdita, bulbosa, caput medusae, ionantha 'ionatha' and juncea. These are wired to corkbark adjacent (hanging 2" to the side) to 80W of fluorescent lights. They get 1 mist/week and a 2h immersion in distilled water once per week. They are all doing well and producing new leaves and aerial roots. The caput medusae has flowered. These species can tolerate bright light with lower humidity--just make sure they don't cook. Most plants enjoy bright light, but many cannot tolerate the hot temperatures that often are associated with it.

    I wouldn't glue them. I would buy some corkbark and attach them to it with thin-gauge wire used to hang pictures (this can be found cheap at home depot/lowes). You can then suctioncup the corkbark to the window. Alternatively, you can buy some driftwood and attach them all to it--this would allow you to move them to or away from the window as needed, but would make watering more difficult.

    Good luck.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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  3. #3

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    I think this post is the perfect opportunity for me to get some info on Tillandsia.

    Every time I go to Home Depot I stop at the Air Plant display. I always pick a few up, think about buying them, and then put them back down because I know next to nothing about what it takes to grow them successfully. On that note, here are a few questions:

    -What is the easiest Air Plant to grow?
    -Do they grow well under artificial light?
    -How much light do they require?
    -Do all Air Plants require mounting, or can you grow them other ways?

  4. #4
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Tillandsias at Home Depot? I wish that was the case where I live.

    I believe my last post answers most of these questions and while mounting is not an absolute necessity, it is by far the prefered method and goes a long way in preventing rot as tillandsias should not be wet for more than 4-5 h.

    A caveat to one of my former lighting statments: most air plants can tolerate direct sun for a few hours, but they PREFER bright light. Exposing the plants to the former will increase water needs.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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  5. #5

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    That's crazy that your Home Depot doesn't have Air Plants. They have a MILLION at my local ones. Can you buy CPs at your Home Depot?

  6. #6
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    I can occasionally.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

  7. #7

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    Any pix on mounting?

  8. #8
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I don't have a digital cam.

    Mounting the plant onto a substrate is easy. Take a piece of corkbark and cut it into an appropriately-sized piece with a saw. Cut some 20-gauge steel wire ($5 for a 100' role at home depot or lowes), gently wrap it around the plant and bark to secure them together, and twist the wire to tighten.


    Glueing is an alternative, but it can take longer, is messier, may not last as long, makes it more difficult to unmount the plant if need be, and may be toxic to the plant.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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