Houseplants forum: Worried About my Xerographica

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Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 24, 2016 10:30 AM CST
This is Big Bertha, my Xerographica. I noticed three days ago that some of the bottom leaf connections are getting a bit loose. They're not soft but seem to be opening up more. Today there is more brown on the stem so I am worried it's developing rot. There are also some unusual markings on the bottom of the leaves that look like scratches (but I am very gentle when handling). I soak it once a week for an hour and keep it upside down for about five or six hours to dry thoroughly before putting her back on the stand which is the top of a vase with only it's 'butt' in the vase so am wondering if this also may have anything to do with what is happening. I only let my tillys get indirect sunlight. What am I doing wrong? Crying

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Apr 24, 2016 3:30 PM CST
Marie, I don't know much of anything about Tillies, just that some grow wild in the trees here in Florida. I'm wondering if perhaps your Air Plant (Tillandsia xerographica) is not getting enough humidity and air circulation? Have you thought about mounting it to a slab of wood?

Hopefully those who grow Tillandsia will pop in with advice or suggestions.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 24, 2016 3:46 PM CST
Thanks Lin. I was wondering about the air circulation, if the trunk being in the vase was stopping the air flow? I think the humidity is ok.

I am uncertain about mounting it to anything because of having to soak them. Wasn't sure how troublesome that would be. But I've only had mine a few months and am getting some conflicting info while researching online. I just read something today that said the Xerographicas and others with similar leaf growth should not be soaked at all which I hadn't read before. I hope I won't sacrifice some of mine before I get it right. I really am enjoying them.
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Butterflies Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Esperanza
Apr 24, 2016 9:56 PM CST
It really depends on the sunlight and air movement. It is one of the more xeric forms of tillandsia that likes a lot of bright light . One way to know where you stand with how thirsty they are is how tight the ends are curled. Some do have more curls than others but for the most part you can see in curl difference how tight it looks under different levels of hydration.. Have you pulled at all on those outer leaves? They will fall right off if it is rotten, Sometimes they can have rotten spots but as long as the growing center is alright it will recover just fine.
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 24, 2016 11:40 PM CST
Thanks Audrey, I just pulled on the leaves and they are strong, not budging. Tomorrow I'll start giving it more sun and see what happens. The center is fine. Is it ok to soak it as I was doing or should I just mist it from now on? I fertilize them once a month.
Sf, ca (Zone 10b)
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Laurelca
Apr 25, 2016 8:01 AM CST
Hi GrannyMarie,

I soak mine "face down" about once every 1-2 weeks. Then I let it dry on a towel face down. This sound like the same process you do. I haven't had any problems in the 3 yrs I've had tillandsias with the soaking except for the fussiest of types. Mine does get very bright indirect light under a skylight.

The only one of your pics where I'd say it might look to me as if there is a little rot is the 4th one down on the inside of that lower leaf. I have had single leaves get dry and brown and fall away without losing the plant.

Hope your tilly keeps going strong!

Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 8:21 AM CST
Thanks Laurelca,

This morning I moved it to where it will get a little more bright indirect sun and I'll start soaking it every 2 weeks instead of every week and see if that helps. Since it may be having a problem should I pass on fertilizing it the beginning of May as I was planning?
Sf, ca (Zone 10b)
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Laurelca
Apr 25, 2016 8:28 AM CST
Do you always keep it in that pot? Do you have a shelf or a surface where the whole thing will be exposed to light and air? I keep mine on a shelf. I also feed mine every time I soak with a very diluted solution.

I kind of think as long as your leaves are strong you will be okay. But keep watching it.

I don't know how much you know about tilandsias, but I enjoyed the air plant book by zenaida sango. You might be able to check it out of your library? I started watering more based on her guidelines! Smiling
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 10:22 AM CST
I was wondering about the vase and if it was stopping air circulation to the bottom side. I can easily put it on the shelf by itself.

I've only had tilandsias a few months and am doing a lot of research which is starting to get frustrating because I'm starting to get conflicting advice. That is one reason I joined NGA. Smiling

Thanks for the book suggestion! I've been trying to find a good informative one. Will see if my library has it.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Apr 25, 2016 10:44 AM CST
Just remember that in nature Tillandsia grow attached to, or in the crooks of tree branches ... usually with lots of humidity and air circulation.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Butterflies Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Esperanza
Apr 25, 2016 11:21 AM CST
I soak mine once a week in fish pond water in the mornings. They live in a south facing window most of the time. Thanks for the reading material suggestion Laurelca. I understand your frustration on conflicting information on the web Marie. There is a lot of that. I think what your doing sounds just fine, but just make sure all sides have air flow and are not pressed tight against anything.
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 12:43 PM CST
Lin, yes I've been reading about the humidity and air flow and I'll set them outside on the covered porch once the temps are more stable and see how they like it.

Audrey and Laurelca, there was 1/2" -- 1" space around the base of the Xerographica in the vase. It wasn't tight but that may have been restricting air flow to it's bottom. I moved it to a new holder that should allow it plenty of air flow now. Also moved it to a plant stand that gets more bright indirect lighting till I can put it outside. :)

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[Last edited by GrannyMarie - Apr 25, 2016 12:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Audrey
Central Texas (Zone 8a)
Organic Gardener Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses Butterflies Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Esperanza
Apr 25, 2016 1:21 PM CST
That is great looking holder! Thumbs up
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 1:31 PM CST
Thanks. It's a French Fry Stand Cone Basket Holder. Hilarious! They're great for long tillies.
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 1:42 PM CST
Have smaller ones too. They're snow cone holders. Hilarious!

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[Last edited by GrannyMarie - Apr 25, 2016 2:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Apr 25, 2016 2:07 PM CST
Ooh ... I love those holders, would love to know where to find something like that!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 2:10 PM CST
You can get them on Amazon. Can I post the link here?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Apr 25, 2016 2:18 PM CST
Oh, yes .... if you can post the link that would be great!! Thank you!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Marie
Ohio (Zone 6b)
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GrannyMarie
Apr 25, 2016 2:27 PM CST
Here ya' go:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U6NS134/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_5pzGw...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XVMKME/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_qtzGw...

I don't have this one but I thought it was nice too.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0067YBHV4/?ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_gtzGw...
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Apr 25, 2016 2:29 PM CST
Thank you Marie! I love those and definitely want to order a couple!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

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