Hello! I recently bought three tillandsia and I have a couple questions about them.
How much sun and water do they need?
Is it best to keep them inside or outside?
The how and where depends on your climate especially when it comes to moisture. I dont grow any of mine in full sun its to hot here. The right amount air flow is very important to tilly's. Once you get them happy they are an easy care plant.
They are so pretty! I have several of them and I grow them on my south facing window sill with filtered light. I also have a few mounted as a live art picture frame. I spray mine twice a week with spring or purified water only. Tap water isn't good for them. Another method to watering them is soaking them for 30 minutes in a bowl, but in the morning only once a week. I don't grow mine outside as I'm afraid that a bird will grab them up as bird nest material. Good luck with your new babies and thanks for sharing :)
Soaking is dangerous if they are the frosted type Tilly's ..silver , grey...it will rot them
I've been growing several varieties (including many grey and silver colored species) of Tillandsia indoors throughout the years with very good success. My indoor Tillies are soaked (I never mist) in de-chlorinated tap water for approx. 4 hours, once a week, religiously. I have not experienced rot or other problems by doing so.
There will always be varying opinions pertaining to Tillandsia (e.g, light, water, air circulation, fertilization, etc.). What works for one person may not work for another and their Tillandsia. Wish I had an accurate count of how many times I've read (or heard): "It can't be done, that's impossible, it's too difficult"... or how about "you can't use tap water, you can't use copper, no direct sunlight, no high humidty, if the leaves are green-grey-silver-white"... and the list goes on. Some pics below.
This post was edited by o2tiller on Thu, Oct 9, 14 at 1:03
Very nice, indeed. Thanks for taking the time to post.
tiller, are you saying you soak the heavy frosted plants?????
^ Yes, I soak all of my indoor Tillandsia. Because of the quantity of my collection, watering indoors is done once a week by soaking the plants. After the soak, they are allowed to dry off for an hour or two before being repositioned. Some species that get by with very little water in nature (like tectorum and paleacea) are also soaked in the same manner as my other tillies. No problems, and they are thriving. Because my growing conditions (indoors) are controlled, realitive humidity ranges from 20-30% during the daytime and bounces up to approx. 50% at night (I'm sure this has to do with lights being off, along with CAM respiration during the night).
Thanks for the kind words, TJ. Hopefully the OP won't mind a few more pics (by no means do I want to derail the OP's thread or be disrespectful with adding posts and pictures).
This post was edited by o2tiller on Thu, Oct 9, 14 at 1:08
I've been getting away with soaking my heavily trichomed tillandsias as well, streptophylla, crocata, seleriana, and a pruinosa. I think as long as they're not sitting in a super high-humidity area after the soak it's fine. Even after an hour dip I notice mine dry out almost entirely after about 2 hours, indoors and outdoors.
The above mentioned Tillandsias do not take kindly to heavy soaking. Their makeup is one where constant soaking will degrade the trichomes. A light misting would be best.
I soak all my Tillandsias (which range from heavily frosted ionanthas to Spanish moss) in recycled fresh-water aquarium water (which has fish urine in it, naturally). The water I put in the tanks is Brita filtered, too. I spritz the plants with a combination of filtered water and tank water. I bathe every plant once a week on Sunday for at least an hour, but the greener, more delicate ones I'll often give a second soak for 1/2 hour on Wednesday (this all coincides with when I change out aquarium water; I had previously put that water on potted plants).
Lately it has been humid here in Albuquerque (20-30%! and it's been a little rainy). The plants don't seem to be begging for soaking like they did in drier times. My Tilliandsias have also been outside in a north-facing porch all summer. We get very bright light here and these days it is breezy, too. Recently I decided to set the grayer plants out in full sun for 10-15 minutes every afternoon because I wanted to see if that would help some of them turn a bit red or just make their lives more interesting, like the Xerographica and the Concolor. So far, so good.
I enjoy seeing people's pictures and reading about how they keep their plants happy.
Albeit the soaking method may not be an optimal method of watering for many, It turns out that soaking has been favorable for my indoor Tillandsia throughout the years (including the species I mentioned above, along with the four mentioned by noah123).
I do agree that "constant soaking" has the potential to degrade the trichomes. In my situation (application of indoor controlled growing techniques) I have learned constant temperatures, lack of humidity, light intensity, photo-period duration, and good air flow, come into play with attaining a favorable outcome in regards to the soaking method.
Because of the southern 'right-coast' location where I reside (with extreme temperature & humidity shifts), my approach to growing/watering Tillandsia outdoors is a completely different scenario.
True. Southern and Gulf resident's methods are different than those of us here in Southern Cal but no less effective. Your temperature and humidity extremes can really make it difficult. Here, my T. tectorums and all plants in that complex are lucky to get a thorough drenching once a month while some of you might soak them twice a week with great results.
Beautiful plants o2tiller Im just getting started I have two. Is your tilly room seperate from your house and what kind of light do they receive.Also how many fans do you have and how often are they on.
Appreciate the compliment, simplegreenguy.
Two... very often turns into 10, then 20, then...
My indoor Tillies are indeed kept in a separate room (but not separate from the house). I use a spare bedroom with one small south facing widow (have a small assortment in front of this window utilizing sunlight). The majority of my collection is kept inside different sized enclosures, mainly used for viewing.
Artificial lighting is used for the enclosures. Have been gradually switching over to LEDs during the course of the past 2 years. Still experimenting with different size diodes, different wattages, different lumen outputs, and different spectrums. Photo-periods (lights on) are 10-11 hours in the spring and summer, and about 9 hours in the fall & winter. I use 'very quiet' 12v d/c computer fans inside the enclosures to create air movement (on timers running 1/2 hour every hour when the lights are on).
Some of the mounts for my plants come from pine trees that grow around the house. I use pine bark slabs on a lot of my vertical spaces (free and easy to attach). Very easy to remove plants for watering or other maintenance.
This post was edited by o2tiller on Thu, Oct 9, 14 at 1:05
I do not really soak any of mine, and I have most of them hanging from my apple tree, which provides partial shade in summer and fall, although not very much in spring. They seem to be able to handle the spring sun, however. I also have Spanish moss hanging from the same tree, it is pretty much gets full sun, but I water it frequently. When we have hot weather (such as recently) I mist my tillies every other day or so, but I don't know whether it is really necessary, but it doesn't hurt them, as they dry off quickly.
Photo from Jan 20, 2014