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Tillandsia ionantha question

Posted by tropichris maryland zone 7a (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 20, 09 at 10:25


A couple of months ago I bought a tillandsia ionantha. I put it in my terrarium, and, a couple of weeks later it turned red and bloomed. But, about two weeks later it lost the red color. It is slowly dying, but hasnt made any pups at all. can someone please help me?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tillandsia ionantha question

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 20, 09 at 15:37

Tillandsia need air circulation. If it is sitting in still air in a glass box, it's not happy. I am not an expert, maybe someone can suggest a way to keep it happy in the terrarium. I grow all mine outdoors.

RE: Tillandsia ionantha question

Hi tropichris,

I'm no Tilly expert either, but it seems to me if it's in a terrarium it would be suffering from an overdose of high humidity as well as the lack of lots of circulating air.

I believe they also need to dry out between waterings; but not to worry, we have a resident Tilly expert within our ranks and I'm sure you will soon hear from him.

All the best, Nev.

RE: Tillandsia ionantha question

Chris, Kim and Nev said it all; too much humidity and no air circulation. There are basically two types of Tillandsias; gray-leafed and green-leafed. The grays (your ionantha) prefer high light, and less humidity and drier conditions than your terrarium gives off. Green tills are more adapted to lower light levels and higher humidity and are normally too large for an enclosure but they manage with less air moving around them. Limited air circulation is simply a death sentence for gray tills. They've gotta have it. Take your plant outside where there's bright light, lay it down or string it up, mist it completely a couple of times a week and you should see pup growth soon.

RE: Tillandsia ionantha question

It was a screen top cage. The light is high- one 50 watt heat lamp designed for lizards and frogs, and one 15 watt lamp. It is by an east-facing window.
I water all of the epiphytes in the cage every day so they dont dry out.

I have animals in the tank, too.

None of this matters now because it was already dead, with rot being the culprit. >:(

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