Epiphytes!

I’ve never had much luck with Tillandsia species, when I kept them in the house. They would do well enough for a short period of time, and then they would just start losing color, shrinking up and dropping leaves. I even sprayed them daily and submerged them weekly.  I’m sure that they weren’t getting enough light, but they probably weren’t too happy with the low humidity in the house. I managed to keep one alive through the last winter by sticking it in a glass dome and placing it in a large window. In May, it went out to the greenhouse to *hopefully* bring back some of it’s vigor.

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I believe this one is Tillandsia brachycaulos, though it was sold without a name to me.

Apparently that’s all it took. It looks great now, and has actually been putting out some roots. These so called air plants use roots as anchors, and not for nutrient uptake. I don’t fertilize it, even with those orchid sprays you see in the stores. It looks like it doesn’t need it.

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You can see the little roots finally securing this plant to it’s cork chunk. I threw some Tillandsia usneoides on the sides of the cork, and they are growing well too.

These tillandsias are all part of the bromeliad family (pineapples, anyone?). I do enjoy larger bromeliads too. In fact, bromeliads were some of my first plants that I started growing as a hobby. I’ve had many different kinds over the years, but currently I only have a few.

I won’t post another photo of my Neoregelia ‘Fireball’, as I did that just a few posts ago. I haven’t done a photo of my Neoregelia punctatissima ‘Rubra’ though!

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This one flowered earlier this summer, but it has sent out a few pups. Eventually it’ll form a colony of plants. What a neat hanging basket!
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The pups that it throws in my greenhouse aren’t quite as deep purplish red as the ones that came with. However, they are a really nice combination of stripes and green!

I have a few other bromeliads as well, but they aren’t epiphytic. I’ll save them for another post.

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