The Main Plant entry for Air Plants (Tillandsia)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Air Plants.

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Leaves: Evergreen
Suitable Locations: Terrariums
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Epiphytic


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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 7, 2011 3:25 PM

In spite of the common name, Air Plants, these epiphytes cannot survive on air alone. They must have moisture and nutrients which are absorbed through a system of fine hairs, called trichomes, on their leaves.

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Posted by Marilyn (Northern KY - Zone 6a) on May 21, 2013 10:40 PM

"Tillandsia are epiphytes and need no soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through the leaves. The roots are used as anchors only. Reproduction is by seeds or by offsets called "pups". A single plant could have up to a dozen pups.

Although not normally cultivated for their flowers, some Tillandsia will bloom on a regular basis. In addition, it is quite common for some species to take on a different leaf colour (usually changing from green to red) when about to flower. This is an indication that the plant is monocarpic (flowers once before dying) but offsets around the flowering plant will continue to thrive.

Temperature is not critical, the range being from 89.6F down to 50F. They are sensitive to frost, except for the hardiest species, T. usneoides, which can tolerate night-time frosts down to about 14F. In some situations Tillandsia are often termed pioneer plants occupying environments, like rock cliffs, that few other plants can. They grow through a process called a CAM cycle, where they close the stomata during the day and open it at night to uptake carbon and release oxygen."

Taken from wikipedia's page at:

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
This is a small size Gardneri can get up to a foot across by Cahac Mar 7, 2013 8:09 PM 0
Interesting Bkgd by webesemps Jan 17, 2014 11:29 PM 2
Hardiness? by eclayne May 17, 2014 7:55 PM 6
This may be T. ionantha. by purpleinopp Dec 18, 2016 11:04 AM 3
Tai's Tillandsia's by NickyNick Oct 9, 2019 12:17 PM 24
Succulent care by Sbdogz Sep 25, 2019 9:15 PM 4
Unknown plant ID (Maybe a kind of spider plant?) by Araceae Sep 27, 2019 6:58 PM 5
Hey Scott..... by Gina1960 Sep 24, 2019 4:31 PM 8
Mystery Tillandsia by fairladyorchid Sep 18, 2019 1:38 PM 4
September Bromeliads 2019 by sunkissed Oct 1, 2019 11:49 AM 40
Advice by piegirl25 Aug 22, 2019 2:21 PM 12
Air plant identification help by cylpol1 Aug 18, 2019 8:15 AM 3
Low light succulents? by CrazedHoosier Aug 27, 2019 8:57 AM 170
Bromelid by prabhisetty Aug 2, 2019 2:00 PM 2

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