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Thread: Tillandsia watering

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    Tillandsia watering

    I just bought some air plants for the first time and have been having a lot of trouble determining how often I should water them. It seems like every air plant store has completely different guidelines for how often to submerge them, from once a week to once a month, how often to mist them, and even how often to fertilize or what fertilizer to use. I thought I would ask here to see what recommendations you guys have.

    Currently I have a glass globe with 3 small plants in it, plus one larger plant that is currently just sitting on a table. I have them sitting under a skylight near my carnivorous plant shelf so they get a bit of light from the T5 fixture as well.

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    I'm no expert but I do keep a few scattered around my shelves. I sort of use the plants to judge when they need water. Apart from misting them fairly regularly, aka whenever I happen to be messing around with something on the shelves, I give them a good soak when they feel light. With a few of them I can tell the difference in weight just from holding them in my palm if they need water or not. It usually ends up being about 2 weeks, sometimes less. I don't really fertilize on a regular schedule for them but they get sprayed with maxsea usually twice a month.

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    I get something roughly akin to this:

    by hose-watering overhead daily in the summertime, weekly or bi-weekly in the winter. Liquid fertilizer at 200-400ppm once a week, and 50-100ppm during winter. 20-10-20 with micros, alternating with a cal-mag fert and a leaching watering every now and again.

    They don't need huge quantities of fertilizer, but for a show-quality appearance it helps.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theplantman View Post
    I get something roughly akin to this:

    by hose-watering overhead daily in the summertime, weekly or bi-weekly in the winter. Liquid fertilizer at 200-400ppm once a week, and 50-100ppm during winter. 20-10-20 with micros, alternating with a cal-mag fert and a leaching watering every now and again.

    They don't need huge quantities of fertilizer, but for a show-quality appearance it helps.
    That's quite the impressive greenhouse you have there. I don't think I'm quite to that point yet, though. So you just hose them down with fertilized water?

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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    You seem to be looking for a "one size fits all" strategy ... I hear similar "complaints" with growing orchids. The reality is that no such "recipe" exists. Watering methods vary widely because growers' conditions and the plants themselves vary widely. What works for me could be totally unsuitable for you and vice versa. Take any advice with a grain of salt, on account of this, and reconcile yourself to needing to experiment until you find which method or combination of methods works well for you.

    "Blessed are the cracked….
    For they are the ones who let in the light."



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    I am new on here and am happy to be able to discuss my Tillys with others. Currently I have many, but why is it the ones I love don't love me? I think they are Juncea? I was told to let them "be" and they will only need watering once in awhile. No matter if I water them once a week or neglect them until they start to look like they are browning, they still get rot. I shake them and dry them in the sun upside down. I don't see how water can get into the well. Of course these are my favorite so they are giving me the most problem. Any ideas?

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    I settled on giving the plants a thorough spray every morning. I was originally also soaking them for half an hour every week, but decided it was unnecessary and a big hassle so I stopped and haven't noticed any change in the plants. All of them seem to grow fine this way, even with the moderate to low humidity. The only plant I've had issues with is T. paleacea which I can only keep a few healthy leaves on at a time. I feel like I'm overwatering it but cutting the water back hasn't made any noticeable difference.

    I've never had any issues with plants rotting, even though I don't shake off excess water after spraying.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    How dry is your grow area? My household humidity is in the 50%-60% range and I soak most of my Tillandsia about once every one to two months. Aside from that I spray them when I think about it, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly. I have seven or eight easy taxa (not sure which, got them from a grab bag type arrangement at a florist) and they all do fine, though some of the colorful ones have lost their pigmentation and are apparently underlit. I plan to move them into a terrarium eventually, but they're doing fine as houseplants and growing steadily.

    If you pay attention to them daily, you'll probably learn their preferences soon enough. It's pretty obvious when they are underwatered, and they are good at enduring. Some varieties are prone to rot when overwatered - I had a nice T. butzii nearly croak on me that way and lose 3/4 of its size. But as far as I understand that's usually only a problem when you soak them.

    Cheers,
    ~Joe

    PS - You might consider wrapping your T. paleacea in T. usenoides to nurse it up to a healthier size. I had a shrimpy T. bergeri that came around after I mounted it and some companions in a ball of moss. I think it's kind of a microclimate thing. I've only done it with Tillandsia a few times but I've had a lot of success with that idea for other plants prone to dessication.
    Last edited by seedjar; 02-11-2017 at 03:39 PM.
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