Texas Gardening forum: a new plant experiment

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 4, 2017 2:23 PM CST
It doesn't grow around here, but Tillandsia recurvata is common further south. I was drinking coffee outdoors at a restaurant and the patio was littered with little twigs bearing the plants on them. It had been windy, so I think the twigs just broke and fell. I gathered up a pocketful so I could try growing some. I fall into the category of people who think they are neat and cool rather than ugly and messy eyesores Smiling . Here's some photos of how I'm hoping to grow them. The database says they are not suitable for container growing, but I'm hoping they will latch on to the coir basket (which has a Valentine's Day orchid that went on sale after the event). I wish I had picked up more, but my jacket pocket would only hold about 1/2 dozen.

These two were the largest clumps. The biggest one is a little larger than my fist.
Thumb of 2017-05-04/needrain/14fe81

You can the twig behind this one. I used the twigs for anchors, but two small plants just slid off the twigs, so I just tried to work them into the coir around the wires and hope they grow attachments.
Thumb of 2017-05-04/needrain/8a94ed

A couple more visible. Not nearly enough to give dense coverage around the container. Maybe I'll ask some friends or relatives that live south gather some and mail to me :).
Thumb of 2017-05-04/needrain/537d1a

Has anyone tried growing them this way? Seems like they might thrive with the same care the orchids receive - regular water and weak fertilize, hanging under the tree canopy. If they do live, don't know how they'll like inside during the winter. I'd guess probably not very much. Not many of my plants enjoy their treatment in the winter months.
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - May 4, 2017 2:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
May 4, 2017 9:15 PM CST
They should do fine like that. They do like a bit of humidity and it is commonly recommended to keep a spray bottle and mist them when indoors for winter. One of my girls has a variety of Tillandsia indoors in Minnesota and they survive just fine.
How much further south of you do these grow?
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 5, 2017 5:35 AM CST
@pod Kristi, I'm not sure where they begin. I'm not sure why they don't grow here. Too cold or dry heat pr a combination of those maybe. Post Oaks are the primary native trees here, but lots of mesquite and some pecan trees. By the time you drive over to Abilene which is prox 50 miles west, the oak trees have given way to mainly mesquite. Post Oaks aren't inclined to play host to other things. I've never seen mistletoe in one. It will occasionally get in a Blackjack Oak, but not the Post Oaks. I have a couple of mots of Live Oaks which Tillandsia likes a lot, but they aren't growing on the trees here. Tillandsia sure grows on the Live Oaks and Juniper in the hill country.
Donald
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
May 8, 2017 4:35 PM CST
Unless I am mistaken, it even grows on utility wires here. I brought one in and put it on the Xmas tree. It is now perched on a bookshelf, blooming (?) and happy with no care.
Porkpal
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 9, 2017 7:23 AM CST
porkpal said:Unless I am mistaken, it even grows on utility wires here. I brought one in and put it on the Xmas tree. It is now perched on a bookshelf, blooming (?) and happy with no care.

You are probably correct. There's an amazing photo of it growing on utility wires on the Wikipedia entry for Tillandsia recurvata https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... . I haven't seen it like that!!

The Wiki entry says it is sensitive to cold, which may be why I never see it in my part of Texas. It also says it likes still air, always something in short supply here :). I'm afraid the birds are going to pull it all off and use it for nesting material. They always steal a lot of the coconut fiber to use. Sometimes I have to replace one because they pull too much and the potting soil starts escaping.
Donald
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 12, 2017 5:56 PM CST
Here are mine. I picked them up in a parking lot back in January after a wind storm. We have a lot out here. Thanks fir the cultivar. Never knew what to do with them. I"ll try a coir pot, too. For now, they sit on my window ledge.
Thumb of 2017-05-12/ShadyGreenThumb/87d8be

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - May 12, 2017 5:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 12, 2017 8:15 PM CST
The largest ball I picked up is putting out new bud stalks. It had old ones on it. I'm excited about that. I haven't seen the blooms up close in real time. So far, except for the emerging buds, I can't tell what they are doing. Smiling . They don't seem to be dying for now.
Donald

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