Tillandsia (lat.Tillandsia) - the name of the genus of herbaceous evergreen epiphytes of the Bromeliad family, which, according to various sources, has from 400 to 700 species. In nature, these plants can be found in the American tropics and subtropics - in Argentina, Chile, Central America, Mexico and the southern states of the United States. The genus got its name in honor of Ellias Tillands, a famous Finnish botanist: Karl Linnaeus chided Charles Plumier for calling the plant a barbarian American name (Caraguata), and gave the genus the name of the first and only famous botanist from Finland.
Today, some species of the genus Tillandsia have become popular in indoor culture.
Read more about growing tillandsia below.
The genus Tillandsia represents evergreen or terrestrial epiphytes. The differences between the species of the genus are sometimes striking, so it is difficult to give an accurate description of the representative of the genus. Most of the species of the genus parasitize on stones and trees, absorbing nutrients and moisture from them with their root system. Some representatives of the genus have a more or less developed stem with spirally arranged leaves, while other species do not. In some representatives of the genus, the leaves are gray, elongated, narrow and covered with scales that absorb moisture from the air, while in others they are dark green, sometimes with a reddish-brown tint, partially covered with scales, leathery, slightly curved and forming a rosette, in the center of which it grows oval spike-shaped inflorescence with bright large bracts arranged in two rows and densely overlapping each other. And there are species with flat, smooth and long leaves of bright green color. The flowers of tillandsia are small, tubular, with pointed-bent petals. Tillandsia blooms in July-August. After flowering, the mother plant dies off, but before that it forms new shoots. Tillandsia flower grows slowly.
Indoor tillandsia flower is not capricious. Caring for tillandsia at home is so simple that a novice florist can cope with it, but growing these plants has its own nuances.
For convenience, the types of tillandsia can be divided into two groups:
For plants of group A, a place in partial shade is suitable, in extreme cases - in the shade, and for tillandsia of group D, from March to September, bright, but diffused lighting is required, and from October to February they need direct sunlight. As a last resort, you can place these plants in partial shade.
The temperature of all tillandsias in summer is 22-30 ºC during the day and 15-18 at night, in winter - at least 14-15 ºC. The maximum permissible temperature is 34 ºC, and the permissible minimum is 10 ºC, although for a short time Tillandsias can tolerate temperatures as low as 4 ºC.
The air humidity in the room with tillandsia must be kept at 60%. To do this, from March to September, it is advisable to spray Tillandsia daily with soft water three times a day, trying to prevent splashes from falling on the inflorescences. In the rest of the year, spraying is carried out once a day in the morning. The water should evaporate from the leaves of the plant within 4 hours.
The room in which tillandsia grows needs to be often ventilated, but drafts should not be allowed.
Tillandsia at home can grow in a pot or on an epiphytic tree - depending on the type of plant. Atmospheric varieties with few roots are best grown on a post or driftwood with remnants of bark. In this case, the epiphytic species of tillandsia will receive nutrition and moisture from the bark and the environment, and watering can be completely replaced by spraying.
The tillandsia plant requires a special way of watering: water must be poured into the center of the rosette of leaves. Due to the increased sensitivity of tillandsias to chlorine, tap water is unsuitable for humidifying them, and distillate is not suitable for them either. Watering should be carried out with melt or rainwater, the temperature of which should not be lower than 20 ºC. For group A, daily spraying of the ground part of the plant is sufficient, and the substrate is watered only after it is completely dry. As for the plants of group D, there is little daily spraying - the substrate must be kept moist in the summer, and in winter you can let it dry out a little.
If there is not enough light in the room, and the temperature is lower than necessary, then the intervals between waterings of the substrate are increased, however, daily spraying of the leaves should be continued in any case. Excess water from the trays is drained, since the plant in stagnant water may die. If you allowed the substrate to dry completely, soak it in water for a day.
Twice a month, homemade tillandsia should take a warm shower - you need to wash the dirt from the axils of the leaves, in which the water stagnates. However, when the plant takes a shower, as when spraying, you need to ensure that water does not get on the bracts, as this can dramatically reduce the flowering time of tillandsia.
Caring for tillandsia involves applying fertilizer for orchids or special fertilizers for bromeliads, which do not contain boron and copper, which poison tillandsia. The concentration of the nutrient solution should be four times weaker than that indicated by the manufacturers. Fertilizers are applied from March to September, simultaneously with watering, directly into the tillandsia outlet. Some species are best fed by leaves. The frequency of feeding is once every six weeks.
Tillandsia is transplanted once every 2-3 years, and only species with green leaves - epiphytic plants do not need to be transplanted. However, you need to renew the top layer of the potting medium annually. You can determine that indoor tillandsia needs a transplant by the following signs:
Tillandsia is transplanted in the spring, carrying out a complete replacement of the substrate. It is preferable to take a pot low, but wide, and a loose and permeable mixture of four parts of earth with humus, one part of moss, one part of coarse sand and one part of peat is suitable as a substrate. Tillandsia also grows well in a soil mixture consisting in equal parts of deciduous soil, peat and humus with the addition of sphagnum, fern roots and pine bark. You can also use commercially available orchid or bromeliad soil. Be sure to put charcoal drainage at the bottom of the pot. How to transplant tillandsia? Very carefully remove the plant from the old pot, freeing the root system from the old substrate, and transplant into a new pot, easily crushing the soil and trying to give the plant stability. Water the tillandsia after transplanting.
Tillandsia flowers are varied - their flowering can last for several months, or it can end in a few days. Their color also differs in a variety of colors - orange, pink, white, blue, lilac, purple, bright yellow, crimson, red ... There are species that bloom willingly, and there are those that need to be forced to bloom using growth regulators, for example, Zircon.
Flowering usually occurs in summer, but different factors sometimes interfere with the development of the plant, so you can see the formation of the peduncle at other times of the year.
Tillandsia propagates by seeds and vegetatively.
Group D tillandsia seeds are best bought in a store. A substrate consisting of sand and peat is placed in a container for germinating seeds. Seeds are laid out on the moistened substrate without embedding them in the soil, after which the crops are covered with a transparent film or glass, placed in a bright place and kept until emergence at a temperature of about 25 ºC. Seeds can germinate in a month or even later, and tillandsia bloom should not be expected earlier than in 5 years.
During the flowering of tillandsia, lateral shoots - babies - begin to form. After flowering, the mother rosette dies, and in order to preserve the plant, shoots must be planted from it, which have already formed their own roots and have reached a height of 10 cm. Root them in a mixture of sand and peat, taken in equal parts. The process lasts 2-3 months, after which the rooted children are transplanted to a permanent place in the soil for orchids. If the plant has only one shoot, then the mother outlet is removed after flowering, and the baby is left to grow in the same soil.
Atmospheric tillandsias reproduce by dividing into beams. Delenki are inserted into supports with wet sphagnum, where they continue to grow.
Healthy, robust plants are rarely attacked by disease or pests, but mealybugs, whiteflies, or scale insects can invade tillandsia weakened by transplanting or poor maintenance. To rid the plant of pests, wash it with soapy water, then let the tillandsia dry and treat it with an insecticide - Actellic or Karbofos. If there are many pests, you will have to repeat the treatment. In total, you can spray the plant with insecticides up to 4 times, maintaining an interval of 10 days between treatments.
Sometimes Tillandsia may have a fungal disease due to a violation of the conditions of detention. Dark spots on the leaves of tillandsia are a sign that a plant is infected with a fungal infection. In this case, treat the plant with a solution of a fungicidal drug - for example, Fundazole.
There are troubles with the plant in addition to pests and diseases. For example, if the leaves and bracts of Tillandsia begin to fade, or the leaves begin to curl, or wrinkle, or die off, acquiring a brown color, these are most likely signs of dehydration.
The shed leaves indicate that the plant has undergone stress due to sudden changes in temperature or fluctuations in lighting, but this can also be a sign of rotting.
Brown spots on the leaves can appear due to sunburn.
If the plant dies and the leaves become covered with limescale, this is due to the fact that it was watered with hard water.
From excessive watering, the tillandsia rosette becomes soft and disintegrates, and the leaves turn brown or brown.
Lack of flowering, depressed appearance (loss of leaf turgor, violation of their color) can be the result of sharp and repeated temperature changes.
If the color of the leaves begins to fade, we can conclude that the plant suffers from an excess of light, and from a lack of lighting, the color of the leaves, on the contrary, becomes darker, the growth of the plant slows down, and the bracts are not formed.
Brown leaf tips are a symptom of a lack of moisture, drafts, hypothermia, or watering with hard water.
The most popular types of atmospheric tillandsia (group A) are:
People call it "old man's beard" or "Spanish moss". Plants of this species have thin stems, reaching a length of several meters, and filiform, two-row leaves up to 10 mm in width and up to 5 cm in length. The reflective scales covering the stems and leaves make them appear silvery or gray. The plant has no root system. It hangs from branches and stones like a lace cascade. At home, you do not need to fix the plant on a support, you just need to hang it so that it grows down. In summer, usneiform tillandsia blooms with yellowish-light green flowers;
It is a compact epiphyte with linear gray-green leaves forming a wide rosette. The long peduncles of this plant are distinguished by bright bracts - red in the lower, yellow in the middle and light green in the upper part. Purple flowers are hidden in the bracts;
It resembles a bright green bunch of grass. It is an epiphyte that forms a dense rosette of narrow triangular leaves up to 20 cm long and up to 1 cm wide, covered with gray scales. Short curved peduncles end in a dense spike-shaped inflorescence with oval pink bracts arranged spirally and lilac inconspicuous flowers;
It is an epiphytic plant similar to squid, jellyfish or octopus. Its tightly closed light gray leaves form the base of the bulb, bending only at the top. They stick out in different directions, creating bizarre outlines. The water accumulating in the bulb flows down from the leaves. The head of the jellyfish, during flowering, releases a panicle of several spikelets with granular red bracts and narrow-tubular blue-violet flowers, creating a contrast to the bracts;
It can also be called filiform or hair-like, it is an epiphyte with long, narrow, curved or spiral-wound leaf blades expanding towards the base, which grow in a bundle from the base of the shoots. From the outside, this plant looks like a dried grain;
It resembles corals, forming small rosettes of curved silvery-green, claw-like leaves, over which bluish-purple spike-shaped inflorescences rise. During flowering, the upper leaves in the rosettes turn red and look like part of an outlandish flower;
An epiphytic plant, sometimes stemless, and sometimes forming a long leafy stem. Its curled or straight, linear leaves are covered with ash or brown scales.The plant does not form a peduncle, and its apical inflorescence consists of one or two flowers. The pointed lanceolate bracts are glabrous, as are the elliptical sepals, reaching a length of 4 cm. This plant blooms in April-May.
Of the green tillandsias (group D), the following species are most often grown in room culture:
Which is, perhaps, the most popular type of green tillandsia - only blue tillandsia hybrids are more in demand. The plant forms a kind of rosette of leaves, similar to the leaves of cereals with a changing color: they are reddish at the base, and then become brown-striped. The plant reaches a height of 20 to 30 cm. In summer, a flattened ear with ornamental dense lilac or pink bracts that look like artificial ones begins to develop in the center of the rosette. The rapidly fading tillandsia flowers of a blue-blue hue with bent rhombic petals bloom gradually from the top to the base;
It looks like blue tillandsia, but it is somewhat more elegant. Her spike is not so flat, the bracts are painted in red or pink shades. The flowers are also blue, gramineous leaves, thinner than those of Tillandsia blue, form loose rosettes;
This beautiful and elegant plant has an inflorescence that resembles a yellowed acacia leaf. Densely arranged flat and long tongue-shaped leaves, forming a rosette, as if wrapped around the base of a flower arrow. A thin peduncle is crowned with a symmetrical inflorescence with two-row oval leaf-shaped bracts of red or orange color;
Tillandsia blue hybrid, the most popular indoor plant. It is very beautiful: scaly, narrow and pointed leaves form a rosette, in the center of which a blue flower blooms on a short stem, surrounded by lilac or pink bracts. The flower fades quickly, but its bracts remain bright for a long time, gradually turning green;
It is an evergreen herb with a branching or single stem, two-row linear cylindrical leaves, bent or twisted, and densely covered with ash scales. The peduncle covered with linear-lanceolate leaves reaches a height of 13 cm. The inflorescence is dense, consisting of 1-2 white or pale purple flowers. Bracts densely pubescent. The plant blooms at any time of the year;
Epiphyte with 8-15 leaves with spherical swollen sheaths, sharply turning into twisted subulate plates. The leaves are covered with gray scales, and the straight peduncle is crowned with an inflorescence with reddish leaves, consisting of spikelets of green or red color. Bracts are oval, pointed, sessile flowers with blue or purple pointed linear petals. The plant can bloom at any time of the year.
Sections: Bromeliads Houseplants Epiphytes Beautiful flowering Plants on T
Indoor bromeliad is a herbaceous perennial with high decorative qualities. It consists of a strong and reliable root part, a shortened stem, leathery leaves about fifty centimeters long of a green or variegated shade in the form of a funnel, a tall peduncle with a red or bright yellow inflorescence at the top, and fruits that form after flowering. More than thirty species are grown in room culture, which have adapted to indoor conditions and are considered the most unpretentious.
Exot multiplies after flowering, and this is the most favorable period for obtaining several individuals of the flower. Fading away, tillandsia forms babies, babies grow, and the mother plant dies off. Blooming tillandsia is gaining strength and nutrients, which it transfers to children. At the last stage of flowering, you will notice that the exotic pet has turned green.
Be patient and wait until the baby develops by 50-60%, that is, throws out the first roots. After that, it is separated with a sharp knife and planted in the bark. Babies develop unevenly, and during separation, try not to damage the mother base, process the cut site.
It is impossible to germinate tillandsia from seeds at home, unless, of course, you have a specially equipped greenhouse. You can buy one plant from which babies grow in the future. Note that the mother plant is the most resistant in the genus bromeliads and can live for another year and a half.
A plant that has just been brought from the store is best transplanted. If the acquired plant has released an arrow of a peduncle, the transplant can help to dry the flower. After 3-4 years in the absence of flowering, potted species can also be transplanted. In the wild, this handsome man grows on the top layer of the earth or on the bark of trees, the mind does not need soil as such.
Important! In normal soil, the plant rots.
For planting and transplanting a plant, pieces of bark are needed with the addition of moss, peat, sand, akadama, river pebbles, coconut fiber. The pot should be taken wide and low, the smallest size relative to the plant. Clay and ceramic pots will keep the root system from choking in the soil.
Plastic pots should have many drainage holes
Atmospheric species do not need soil, they feel great when suspended. They are hung on a wire, soft tape or rope. Also, a flower can cling to pieces of bark, stones covered with moss, or shells with its roots.
Option for placing atmospheric views on stands
Yucca belongs to the Agave family. More often called a palm tree, it can be found as a decoration for offices and large houses.
To achieve a beautiful palm-like appearance, you need to trim the trunk. After the expiration of time, shoots are formed on it. Over time, they will get stronger, and you will get several trunks.
Important! Yucca palm requires free space, as it is large. She is an unpretentious evergreen. With sufficient and proper care, it will delight the owner for a long time.
The plant can be attacked by the bromelique scale insect. They fight it with a soap solution or remove the pest from the leaf blades. Parts of the plant damaged by fungal or viral infections must be removed, the flowerpot must be treated with a fungicide solution.
This plant is called exotic among exotic plants. Due to its catchy and very unusual appearance in the interior of the room, Tillandsia attracts everyone's attention. In order to grow such a beauty at home, you need to make some effort, but it is worth it.