Ask a Question forum: How to clean Air plants from the outdoors

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Trinidad and Tobago
Yanis29
Jan 23, 2018 5:48 AM CST
I recently returned home to Trinidad and Tobago from college in Canada and have been noticing a lot of Wild Tillandsia ( the capitata variety inpaticular) on the trees around my yard, and since being introduced to the air plant culture, and taking care of many while abroad I though Id try to do the same here.
I do greatly understand that some wild plants are an important part of the ecosystem of the trees and shouldn't be removed from the wild, but this is hardly the "wild" it's my backyard.

Now I am just wondering what can I do to clean safely off all the dirt, moss and pest that maybe on them... Any suggestions?
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Nut!
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Clematis Region: Michigan Adeniums
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BigBill
Jan 23, 2018 6:23 AM CST
I would just leave all of those "goodies" right where they are. Each Tillandsia is a micro-community unto itself. If you disturb things by cleaning them to make them more acceptable in your home, they might not like that and do poorly.
To a Tillandsia, your yard IS the "wild"! It is not how you perceive it, it is how they perceive it. Tillandsias are not air plants, they are epiphytic Bromeliads. An epiphyte grows on another host plant for support since they do not develop a root mass allowing them to be terrestrials.
You might be better off leaving them outdoors and enjoy them right where you find them.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."

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