lucenda
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airplants

Surfing on the internet; I found beautiful pictures of plants called air plants. They claim that the plants are really easy to care for.
It looks like a nice project to make a mini-container with those plants this winter. Has anybody experience with this kind of plants?
Can I put a couple of them in a fish-bowl with sand and rocks?
Thanks in advance!!

imafan26
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One plant I know, is not kept in a pot and does not even like to get wet. It looked and felt like a ball of crisp green hair. It is just hung up in good light in a sheltered but airy spot. I just lives on the moisture in the air. I used to have one years ago. It is very easy to care for. It was sold as air plant and I did not know what species it was.


Another air plant I know is called Pele's hair or Spanish moss. It is a type of tillandsia. Spanish moss is just hung out on a patio or on a tree. It needs to be watered every day and divided so the center does not turn black from not getting enough light.

https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_tius.pdf

Other tillandsias can be mounted on rocks, stumps, driftwood or rafts with hot glue guns and just sprinkled with water. They all need bright light. If they are planted, the soil looks more like cactus mix. More pebbles than dirt and they are kept fairly dry. They grow very slowly.

https://plants.web-indexes.com/airplants ... lants.html

The last plant we call air plant Bryophullum pinnatum It is a succulent with fleshy serrated leaves and the flowers are green and red, sausage shaped and full of air. As kids, it was fun to pop them. They can grow by leaf cuttings, and they like moist semi shady conditions.

https://www.growhawaii.com/hawaiian_air_ ... e_info.htm
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pinksand
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I have three different air plants that I absolutely love!

Here is a photo of a couple that I put in a bowl of sea glass and shells I collected on the beach and had no idea what to do with so I threw them all together and it seemed to work :)
Image

I also have one that bloomed stunningly last Summer and has since shot out 4-5 of pups that I'm hoping will eventually bloom like the parent plant.

There is a lot of mixed info out there on their care. You often hear that they will get all the water they need from the air. However, I was advised to submerge them in water and let them soak once a week for 30 min - 1 hour. I have found that they seem happier when I follow these instructions, but some weeks I forget. This also keeps them healthy if you go out of town (I soak them a little longer). One of them is kept near a Southern window so I try to particularly keep it hydrated and will mist it every other day with a spray bottle. they also seem to be particularly thirsty in the dry Winter.

Here's a link to site that recommends a similar watering process. https://www.airplantsupplyco.com/pages/air-plant-care

I've had mine for a few years now and the watering schedule seems to work well. They're funky little plants :) I say go for it!
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imafan26
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Those are tillandsias and they look great! Your watering schedule works for you. Have they bloomed?
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pinksand
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imafan26 wrote:Those are tillandsias and they look great! Your watering schedule works for you. Have they bloomed?
The one that is farther back in the picture was just finishing blooming when I purchased it a few years ago. I've read that the plant will only bloom once and the only chance for future blooms is in the pup plants... is that right? I have another that isn't pictured that bloomed beautifully this past summer and when I trimmed the spent flower stock it started shooting out pups all over the place... I'm hoping those will eventually bloom... we'll see!!! Either way, I think they're pretty fun little funky plants :)

I think that putting them in a bowl with sand and rocks sounds like a nice idea... going with a desert look! Mine has attached roots to a few of the pieces of sea glass, so it's possible yours will do the same with the rocks or sand.
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lucenda
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Thank you so much!!
Using glue to secure a plant to driftwood is new for me; but I am going to try it out!

I ordered 5 small air plants; and I cannot wait to get them! I am planning to make 4 small bowls. With shells and sand looks beautiful; thanks for the tip!! I will also go with the desert look.

Can I put some moss in the third bowl with an air plant? Or is that too wet?
I’m thinking about rainforest with moss. I have a glass jar with a glass lid for it. Water it only once; secure it with the lid and then watch it grow.
The link above says that the Tillandsia has to dry out; or it will rot; so I have to think about another kind of plant.

Thanks;
Lucenda.

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Happy Days
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Oops ... lost the photo (too much bandwidth whatever that is) ... will try again later.

Be careful! You can get hooked on the Tillandsias. :lol:

This is my personal fave, T. xerographica. It grows quite large.
Last edited by Happy Days on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Happy Days
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Image

I think I got it this time. :roll:

lucenda
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Thanks!! I'm afraid I'm already hooked...
Happy Days; do you have this plant just in a bowl; withhout pebbles orso? Does it really survive like that?

imafan26
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Moss needs a lot of water tillandsia mounted can take it but usually they are outside where they can dry. Tillandsia's are like bromeliads they bloom once and never again. After bloom they send out the pups and the pups will also bloom just once. I had a century plant once (an agave) I had it in a small pot so it never became a giant. It bloomed once after 15 years, made lots of babies and promptly died (it was supposed to do that). Outside when they are massed, if the clump gets to big, the patch is thinned by pulling out the old mother plants.
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Happy Days
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lucenda wrote:Thanks!! I'm afraid I'm already hooked...
Happy Days; do you have this plant just in a bowl; withhout pebbles orso? Does it really survive like that?
Yes, I figured it was too late. :lol:

Yes, it is just sitting in the bowl. That's a 14" bowl for reference. I let my Tillandsias sit in a little water in the sink from time to time and then turn them upside down to drain. Otherwise they just hang out where they want to. :wink:

Image

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Happy Days
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imafan26 wrote:Moss needs a lot of water tillandsia mounted can take it but usually they are outside where they can dry. Tillandsia's are like bromeliads they bloom once and never again. After bloom they send out the pups and the pups will also bloom just once. I had a century plant once (an agave) I had it in a small pot so it never became a giant. It bloomed once after 15 years, made lots of babies and promptly died (it was supposed to do that). Outside when they are massed, if the clump gets to big, the patch is thinned by pulling out the old mother plants.
Imafan's right. Out West, I used to have most of my Tillandsias and Staghorn Ferns mounted on wooden boards hanging in a lanai patio. I sprayed them with a hose once a week or so and they drained naturally.

Imafan, did you repot any of the Century Plant pups?

This is a small blooming Tillandsia in my window.


Image

imafan26
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Yes, I replanted a few and a few of them replanted themselves. I keep my cactus and succulents on their own bench off the irrigation system. So when the agave bloomed there were literally hundreds of little plants around. I potted the ones I wanted to keep. The ones on the ground were taken out.
When agave is in the ground it is massive. When full grown and it blooms, it puts up a spike up to 30ft long. So, I could not have that many in the ground and not in that location.
When a century plant blooms it often makes the news.

https://www.thestate.com/2012/06/21/2324 ... RE15KV9LMg
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Happy Days
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Those are spectacular in bloom. I have a few smaller Agaves and I do like them. I have a Parry's Agave that is cold-hardy here.

You are in a great climate for succulent gardening.

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lorax
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imafan26 wrote:.... Tillandsia's are like bromeliads ....
Tillandsia *are* bromeliads, from the drier areas of Latin America.

They're the absolute bane of my existance - T. cyanea for example, while a beautiful low-maintenance houseplant for you winter-addicts up north, forms colonies on the phone lines here and can actually disrupt telephone calls and in large enough colonies it's heavy enough to bring down the lines and cut us off.

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applestar
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:lol: Sounds like "gremlins" :o

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Happy Days
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Exactly right, they are members of the Bromeliad family.

I have seen pictures of them growing in the phone lines like that. Like so many plants, they can go rogue in climates favorable to them.

We have the same situation here with certain plants that were introduced and quickly became invasive or noxious. Even some of the native species can grow like crazy when the conditions are right :(

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lorax
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Oh, they're natives for me. I pull them off the phone lines and curse! But they're not nearly as noxious as some of our other natives, and certainly less than some of the introducees.

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Happy Days
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Can't say as I blame you. One of our worst invaders is kudzu vine, a non-indigenous plant. It's now called "the plant that ate the South". :x And the insect that will eat it also destroys soybean crops.

Is there a particular species of Tillandsia that grows on your phone lines or several different species?

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lorax
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In my region, it's a mix of T. cyanea and T. coccinea, which unfortunately look nearly identical until they start blooming.... I'm really fond of Cyanea, but find Coccinea's colour to be almost too pink.

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Happy Days
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How fast do they grow?

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lorax
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Well, I can go from clean lines to fur in about 6 months....

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Yes, thank you, tillandsias and bromeliads are in the same family. I sometimes forget that. Bromeliads are a large family. I grow more of the neoregelia, guzmania and pineapple (ananas) they like to be watered in their cups. They are sort of opposite of tillandsia's because they like a lot of water and prefer to be in the shade.
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Happy Days
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Lorax, that is fast growth. Being in a more temperate climate with winter freezing, I sometimes forget how quickly things can grow and take over in other climates.

Do you get alot of rain where you are?

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