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Tillandsia is a genus in the bromeliad family consisting of over 600 species!  As epiphytes they need no soil to grow, bloom, or reproduce as nutrients are gathered through trichomes which are little, white vessels on their leaves. Tilly’s do have roots but they’re only used as an anchor.

Caring for Air Plants*

Air plants are easy to care for. Basic care instructions are provided here and, if followed, your air plants should do well. However, if you want them to thrive I highly recommend you take the time to learn about the growing conditions where your air plants originated. You will find that some are native to rainforests, while others are found in more arid conditions or on mountaintops. Consequently, they each have different lighting and watering requirements.

If you have any questions regarding the care of Air Plants, feel free to contact me!

Misting is my preferred method of watering.  Mist 2-3 times per week during the summer months and 3-5 times during the wintertime when the air is drier indoors. Turn the plant upside down to shake off any excess water.  This is especially important if it is a shell-mounted arrangement as the water will stand, causing the plant to rot. If displayed in a globe or terrarium, gently remove the plant, mist thoroughly, shake well & replace it in its container.

Use this method if your plant is starting to curl at the ends or if you have missed a misting or two.  Place the plant upside down in a bowl of water for 15-20 minutes, drain off the excess water, and allow it to dry.

The optimal temperature is in the high 60s to 70s, but they can tolerate temps in the range of 50 to 90 degrees.  Avoid heating vents – although plants need good circulation they can dry out quickly.

Use a Bromeliad fertilizer (17-8-22) once or twice a month. DO NOT use anything stronger than that as it can damage the plant. Another option is using water from an uncrowded freshwater fish tank. (Do NOT use water from a saltwater tank!)

Tillys are tropical plants and need light to thrive. Bright, but NOT direct sunlight is best, especially in summer as they can get sunburned. Bright fluorescent lighting is a good alternative

* These are recommendations based on my experience and circumstances. As such your results may vary and you assume any risk to your Tilly’s if you try any of these recommendations. Each plant is different and you will learn through experience what’s best for each type.

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