Tillandsias grow differently than most other houseplants, so they can be confusing to the beginner. They are really very hardy, and require much less attention than other houseplants.
How to care for your Tillandsias:
Care for them by spraying them with water and occasionally with diluted orchid fertilizer. Some people like to add diluted fish emulsion.
Once a month submerge in water for an hour. Dry, and return them to the arrangement. Protect them from frosts. Most prefer cooler night temperatures - 10-15 degrees less than daytime is ideal Bright filtered light is the general rule, and the higher the humidity of the air the higher light will be tolerated. Outdoors, the silvery-leafed varieties can usually be grown in full sun. In an unshaded greenhouse or close to unshaded glass in a sunny room or conservatory the same plant will quickly burn because the air dries out like an oven. Provided that the atmosphere is not too dry (as in an air-conditioned home) they can survive with water misting and the occasional bath. If you are growing them indoors and the air is dry, you will need (at minimum) to submerge the plant in water for 2-3 hours about every two weeks. Otherwise, in a shade-house or unheated home, you can use a soaking mist once or twice a week in summer, once a month in cooler weather. Fertilize by adding a pinch of Orchid fertilizer to your mister.
Glass Globes With Tillandsia:These specialty planters have become so popular that I get calls all the time about caring for them. Follow these simple instructions to enjoy your glass-surrounded plant for many years: The Glass Globe Terrariums can be found at your local gardening centers or online. They start at around $7.00 and go up from there. HooksandLattice.com is a good website to visit for the terrariums. Tillandsias are found growing naturally all over the United States. They thrive in all climates. If you don’t want to, or are not allowed to (check on your state’s laws) source them naturally, there are tens of varieties found in nurseries. A single Tillandsia plant costs around $3.00. The larger the globe the more care you can give your plant. Water your plant when you first receive it by soaking 20-30 mins. Take note of the size and color and you should see how happy the plant is. Keep this "picture" in your mind. Allow your plant to dry almost completely before placing in the globe. Prior to arranging the Tillandsia, soak them in water for 3-4 hours and then take them out to dry. Remember what they look like so you can judge their health in the future. Select a container with a substantial opening. Cover the bottom with sand and/or rock. Arrange the Tillandsia inside the container however your design’s eye desires!
These are my favorite Tillandsia to plant:
Mist your plant every 4-5 days with ONE Spray for tiny globes, 2-3 sprays for globes 3-5 inches, more if the plant is in a large open globe. The key is to judge the drying time, the smaller the globe, the less circulation, the longer the plant will hold the moisture. If you over water the plant will die.
REMEMBER what your plant looked like after soaking? If it has lost that happy healthy look, take it out and soak it for 30 minutes to an hour, shake, allow them to dry almost completely, and then replace in globe.
Do not place your globes directly in front of a window where they get direct sun. Remember the glass will intensify the sunlight and the heat. Indirect light is best and some will even grow in low to moderate light.
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