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SilverDragon

Air plant advice?

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SilverDragon

I have some new tillandsia I'm adding to my collection of tropical plants. I've never cared for them, but have a pretty good idea what to do (soak them once a week, leave them otherwise). I just wanted to run it by you guys and see if there is anything about them I should know otherwise. Right now they are in a dish in a NW facing window. Any advice or tips is appreciated.

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Gonzer

Tillandsias are, unfortunately, not geared for indoor culture. They prefer good air circulation (AC doesn't count), bright light (in most cases, such as your species), and an irrigation schedule that allows them to get fully soaked and time to completely dry. You have to have a feel for how often to water by gauging your temperatures.  Keep them outside as long as possible. No need to soak them unless you've forgotten to water them for a few weeks.  A thorough misting will accommodate their water needs if done regularly. They'll be happy campers if you don't crowd them too.

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SilverDragon
3 hours ago, Gonzer said:

Tillandsias are, unfortunately, not geared for indoor culture. They prefer good air circulation (AC doesn't count), bright light (in most cases, such as your species), and an irrigation schedule that allows them to get fully soaked and time to completely dry. You have to have a feel for how often to water by gauging your temperatures.  Keep them outside as long as possible. No need to soak them unless you've forgotten to water them for a few weeks.  A thorough misting will accommodate their water needs if done regularly. They'll be happy campers if you don't crowd them too.

Hm well I do have a fan constantly on in my room. I'm guessing if I put these outside, they'd need to be acclimated for a bit first?

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Gonzer
8 hours ago, SilverDragon said:

Hm well I do have a fan constantly on in my room. I'm guessing if I put these outside, they'd need to be acclimated for a bit first?

The gray-leafed Tillandsias won't  need any acclimatization period, you're good to go.

 

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gtsteve

One thing that I have learned over the years is that often 'common knowledge and accepted practice' sometimes changes over the years.

Specifically,  the other day at a plant meeting we all heard from a 'Dr.' in biology who specializes in Tills that Tillandsias can handle more water and fertilizer than they are credited with and can benefit from it. 

Take from that what you want. I have not tried to force feed mine yet, but then I am a very lazy gardener.

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Gonzer
10 hours ago, gtsteve said:

One thing that I have learned over the years is that often 'common knowledge and accepted practice' sometimes changes over the years.

Specifically,  the other day at a plant meeting we all heard from a 'Dr.' in biology who specializes in Tills that Tillandsias can handle more water and fertilizer than they are credited with and can benefit from it. 

Take from that what you want. I have not tried to force feed mine yet, but then I am a very lazy gardener.

Yeah, I was old school, like you described, for years. Then started upping the water and fertilizer rates which has led to a hundred-fold increase in number of plants. I feed 1/2 strength every time (or just about) I water and my stuff has never looked back. Granted, there are opinionated differences among collectors when discussing the pros and cons of fertilizing, especially among some of the more well known experts. Some folks act as if the fate of the world lies in the balance according to what side you're on. Who to believe? Screw 'em, experiment yourself. I'd rather discuss the merits of putting mayonnaise on fried chicken myself. At least with that there is no right or wrong.

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Silas_Sancona
10 minutes ago, Gonzer said:

Yeah, I was old school, like you described, for years. Then started upping the water and fertilizer rates which has led to a hundred-fold increase in number of plants. I feed 1/2 strength every time (or just about) I water and my stuff has never looked back. Granted, there are opinionated differences among collectors when discussing the pros and cons of fertilizing, especially among some of the more well known experts. Some folks act as if the fate of the world lies in the balance according to what side you're on. Who to believe? Screw 'em, experiment yourself. I'd rather discuss the merits of putting mayonnaise on fried chicken myself. At least with that there is no right or wrong.

Mayo on fried chicken, Whoah nelly! Now thats crossing a thin line buddy, lol :mrlooney::lol:   Pineapple on Pizza debacle anyone?... 

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palmsOrl
3 hours ago, Gonzer said:

Yeah, I was old school, like you described, for years. Then started upping the water and fertilizer rates which has led to a hundred-fold increase in number of plants. I feed 1/2 strength every time (or just about) I water and my stuff has never looked back. Granted, there are opinionated differences among collectors when discussing the pros and cons of fertilizing, especially among some of the more well known experts. Some folks act as if the fate of the world lies in the balance according to what side you're on. Who to believe? Screw 'em, experiment yourself. I'd rather discuss the merits of putting mayonnaise on fried chicken myself. At least with that there is no right or wrong.

I agree, my Tillandsias have always responded well to generous fertilizer and water, as long as they dry out in between most waterings (or rains).

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Mostapha

no hot glue, often you will find them glued to rocks, shells or driftwood. even though they have no roots to speak of they do grow similar to air roots that attach them to their host. tie them on with fishing line or another string, eventually they will take hold, hot glue damages those little clinging roots.

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Gonzer

Another important part of a Tillandsia fertilizing regime (often overlooked) is what type of nitrogen is in the food you use. Tillandsias DO have roots (sorry Mostapha) that run the gamut from very few to extremely large and numerous. These are, as stated above, sized according to where the plant grows in nature; rocks, trees, soil, etc. They are however not the main recipients of fertilizer as in most plants. That chore falls on the trichomes, those silvery little scales that cover the leaves. Since most Tillandsias are grown soil-free a urea-based nitrogen fertilizer does them virtually no good since urea uses soil microbes to break down and become usable to the plant. Therefore,  specialty fertilizers whose nitrogen component is either ammoniacal or nitrite based (or both) is the preferred choice.

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