Texas Gardening forum: Tillandsia recurvata

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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 7, 2018 10:01 AM CST
LOL! I want a whole, old fashioned paper grocery sack (the big one) full of them! The ones I have were just picked up from a restaurant patio located on S. 1st where they had fallen off the Live Oak trees and along Lake Austin Boulevard where they had fallen off onto the sidewalk and street. I may have to resort to try and talking some Austin friends into collecting some to mail, but they all have other, important life things going on and I hate to do it.

I only have five plants left, but at least they are growing. Seems the Carolina Wrens like them for nesting material - and maybe some other birds, too. If I don't have them securely attached, they are in danger of disappearing from the wind and varmints and birds. Anyone know how to make sure they are securely attached without using glue? I have used twigs, paperclips, string and really small coated wire, but nothing has been entirely satisfactory. There were a couple of baby plants up from seed, I guess, but those surely found their way into some bird nest.

How far north from Austin does ball moss grow in numbers where it could be collected? A trip to Austin isn't feasible right now, but somewhere between here and Austin might be if the range is far enough north. They aren't in my area naturally at all.
Donald
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 9, 2018 9:42 PM CST
So do you want the Tillandsia for yourself or for the birds to use?
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 9, 2018 10:49 PM CST
I can start collecting it for you. But a full bag would take me awhile plus some climbing. Seems they like to be in the oaks waaaaay up there!

I've attached it using nylon zip ties.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 10, 2018 9:43 AM CST
tx_flower_child said:So do you want the Tillandsia for yourself or for the birds to use?


LOL! For me! The birds can find their own nesting material. I'm sure among what they find would be some Tillandsia if they can pull it loose.

I try to keep some spare coir liners on hand because they get so badly damaged due to being pulled on for nesting material that I have holes. I made a new gourd house for the Carolina wrens and hung it kind of late this spring. It's a bit larger gourd than the ones I already have in use. I try and keep some hung to encourage the wrens to use and not using the hanging baskets. It works most of the time. I hope I don't end up drowning a bunch of babies sometime or other. They can really hide those nests and I often water the baskets by submerging it in the stock troughs. Sometimes I let them soak for a few minutes and sometimes, when I'm doing that I forget them by being distracted doing something else and the few minutes can turn to a lot of minutes - like measured in hours.

That method really works for the coir baskets where I grow the Achimenes and Eucodonias. That's pretty much all I use the coir baskets for. They dry out quickly, so the dunking works well. I think the photos show why I like those containers for them. But the way the grow makes me think I could use them for growing Tillandsia if I can get them attached well enough. I sorta would like to use two of the wire frames attached to make a container about the size of a basketball and cover it with T. recurvata. I could stuff the interior with something light - maybe packing peanuts that aren't the dissolving kind or crumble up some packing styrofoam. That's what's in my head, anyway.
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Here are three photos showing the phases of growth of a Eucodonia. I just got the last ones hung out this week. They aren't inclined to get an early start in spring. This particular plant has been a favorite for the wrens in the past. It has soft texture, including the stems, so they can damage it enough that it ultimately flops open. 'Course one year the squirrels thought is was their own special chaise lounge, too. I'm sure it was comfy, but it made me really cranky Grumbling .
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Donald
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 10, 2018 9:58 AM CST
ShadyGreenThumb said:I can start collecting it for you. But a full bag would take me awhile plus some climbing. Seems they like to be in the oaks waaaaay up there!

I've attached it using nylon zip ties.


Seriously? I was really just joking. My friends in Austin think it's nuisance trash Smiling . I am serious about it at the same time, though. I'll set up your choice of places and prepay for your favorite adult beverage of your choice along with the postage to get it here if you do it. I'm not joking about that. But don't feel obligated or bad if it doesn't happen, either.

Hadn't thought of zip ties. That's a good idea and might be a really secure method of attaching them while keep it unobtrusive. I've actually been doing a net search for sources of Tillandsia. I've enjoyed the T. recurvata I picked up last year. It may be my latest plant where I develop an excessive, compulsive interest in growing. I hope that doesn't happen, but Lowe's had some marked down when I was in Abilene last week and there were some glued to a saucer sized plate. So it came home with me. One was clearly dead which is why I guess it was marked down. Not worth trying to get unstuck, for sure, but I have three salvaged. Not T. recurvata. I don't know what they are, but for the minute they are attached. They look too different from the recurvata to get to stay indefinitely, but something for me to practice with.
Donald
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 10, 2018 11:31 AM CST
I'm going to have to look up the kind of Tillandsia that you want. All of the nurseries here sell it and many have very creative ways to 'plant' it. I'll be near one this afternoon which will give me an added reason to stop. It's one of my tied-for-first-place local nurseries. I go for plants and yummy stuff like liquid fish emulsion but they are extremely creative with arranging things including tillandsias.

Back at ya later.
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 10, 2018 11:36 AM CST
I love this tillandsia! Its plentiful here. I wish it flowered.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 10, 2018 12:18 PM CST
T. recurvata does bloom, but they are fairly inconspicuous. I thought I took photos last year when one bloomed, but I can't find any. Closeups are hard for me get successfully. I know I tried, but I may have deleted them as useless. I have one where you can clearly see the seed pods, but not a bloom. They are small, pale sort of grayish purple blue and so the contrast isn't great between the bloom and the foliage. You have to have your nose right at it to see them - and you have to be looking or I think you still might not notice them.
Donald
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 10, 2018 3:58 PM CST
I have and old wagon wheel frame bent into a heart shape with Spanish Moss and a tillandsia recurvata growing in it from the local forest. It's both creepy and cool at the same time. Green Grin!
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Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
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plantmanager
May 10, 2018 4:18 PM CST
I love it! What is the structure? Is it an old play house?
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 10, 2018 4:53 PM CST
That's the kids' old tree fort DH built 25 yrs ago. Here it is from the front.
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The heart is hanging where the swings used to be.

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 10, 2018 4:54 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 10, 2018 5:29 PM CST
That looks great, Cheryl. What a nice re-use for the structure. All the hangers-on, too Big Grin . It's very appealing. Quite a bit of the look I like best. Only you can leave some of yours out all winter and I can't do that. I know T. recurvata can handle quite a bit of below freezing temps and survive, but not this far north. I lost some this winter that I'd been leaving out. I got too complacent because they'd managed a couple of previous winters and I'm always short of room so that made taking the chance too tempting.
Donald
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 10, 2018 6:20 PM CST
I pick up tillandsia as it falls where ever I go. I will start collecting them for you. The one on the heart I kept on the widow ledge outside for about 2 years. It survived our odd snow fall even. I never spritz it, I just let it sit there. It did just fine. What a great plant, huh??
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
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plantmanager
May 10, 2018 6:35 PM CST
I guess you have enough humidity to grow them without having to baby them.
That is a great tree fort. Bet the kids loved it back then. I'm surprised it's in that good a shape after 25 years!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 10, 2018 8:55 PM CST
Thanks @plantmanager . Those 4x6's are 4ft inthe ground. There are 6 of them and they are not going anywhere! It's still safe enough for grandkids if we ever get any! There's not a bit of rotting, surprisingly holding up better than our 20 year old deck! DH put hurricane clips on the roof. We always said we'd run to the fort in a hurricane. LOL. We had many fun sleepovers up there when the kids were little. We have the materials and are preparing to put on a new metal roof. Won't that sound pretty in the rain!.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
Image
plantmanager
May 10, 2018 8:57 PM CST
I hope you do get grand kids who could use it! That would be so much fun. A metal roof would be fantastic during a rain.

Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
May 11, 2018 8:50 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing All the side bar ads on the news websites I visit are showing photos of Tillandsia today. At least my ads look nice.
Donald
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 13, 2018 12:25 AM CST
'Creepy and cool at the same time.' Can't beat that with a stick!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jun 24, 2018 2:44 PM CST

Moderator

Looks like needrain found a "source" for tillandsias. We're at the lake and the crepe myrtle tree is full of them. I cut quite a few that I could reach. The tree was pretty stressed. It's been over 100f up here before rains and now again, after rain disappeared. We're going home!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Jun 24, 2018 3:13 PM CST
Bubbles said:Looks like needrain found a "source" for tillandsias. We're at the lake and the crepe myrtle tree is full of them. I cut quite a few that I could reach. The tree was pretty stressed. It's been over 100f up here before rains and now again, after rain disappeared. We're going home!


How much do you need for packaging and postage? I hope they can survive on a piece of screen wire for a while. I'm having surgery on my right shoulder this week and the good physician assures me I will be like a one-armed man for six weeks - maybe more. I'm not accustomed to anything like that, so I'm antsy. I think I will starve, for one thing. I got my hair buzzed off to make the head easier to wash. I've been trying to get some things done, but it's slow going. I may be quiet on NGA. I use a keyboard and type with both hands. It will be really awkward to try and communicate with only the left hand. I've been to practice using it and, frankly, it seems pretty useless. I'm sure I'd miss it to, but I'm really strongly oriented to the right arm.
Donald

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