Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to care for the Tillandsia bromeliad

Tillandsia cyanea

While visiting with my friend, Bob, I asked him if I could show off his beautiful indoor plant specimens and he graciously agreed. Putting a bromeliad or any houseplant out on a screened porch for the summer is like a tropical vacation for your plants. 

As long as they don't get more direct sun than they should, they will do well.  My friend, Bob, has had this Tillandsia for several years and it is obviously thriving in this perfect spot. Indoors, it receives filtered sun in his dining room.

Bob's natural knack for giving plants just the right amount of water and attention has really paid off, as you can see. Bromeliads are generally fairly easy to keep and with regular care will live with you for a long time.

Bob owns a Tillandsia cyanea, and they produce a beautiful feathery pink bract with lovely purple flowers blooming from it. This bromeliad can be propagated from offsets that appear as it matures.   

These Ecuadorian natives can grow in the house, mounted on fern bark or even a piece of wood with sphagnum moss and fishing line wrapped around it for safe holding. They can be dunked in water or thoroughly watered in the sink, if used that way.  

Care Instructions:
  • Bright indirect light or some filtered sun. A north-facing window can be ideal.  
  • Water when the top of the soil media is very dry.
  • Plants in 4" diameter pots (10 cm) will use about 3/4 cup of water when ready. 
  • Plants in 6"pots (15 cm) require about 2 cups (or almost 1/2 liter) of water when necessary.
  • You can put your bromeliad in the sink and give it a good soak, then let it drain. Because it's planted in a bark media, this can be the best way to make sure that it is thoroughly and evenly watered. 
  • Factors such as room temperature, the amount of sunlight they are receiving, and how much of a root ball they have, will affect how often they need watering.  This is true for all houseplants.
  • They like a little water kept in their "cup" which is the center of the rosette.
  • They do appreciate some humidity by misting or another means.
  • The Tillandsia cyanea can be propagated from offsets or "pups" which are young plants that will start to sprout up, next to the mother plant, as it matures.
*See a video clip on bromeliads from my 90's TV series, click below:

The Indoor Garden TV

***Learn how to make a hanging art piece using your tillandsia, in this video:

Mounting a Tillandsia on Bark 


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