What is a Tillandsia?

My husband brought home this funny little plant that says it’s a Tillandsia. I have no idea what a Tillandia is or how to care for it. Can you help??

Hi Anna,

Red Tillandsia Plant

Tillandsia Plant

Colorful hanging Tillandsia Plant

Hanging Tillandsia

Tillandsias (Airplane Plants) are epiphytes and do not need soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through their leaves. The roots are mainly used as anchors. Although not normally cultivated for their flowers, some Tillandsia will bloom on a regular basis. Most Tillandsias adapt easily to growing indoors without any soil or other planting medium.

Indoors, Tillandsias need to be watered about 1-3 times a week, usually by just spraying the plant. Some varieties need regular dunking to grow well.

bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., temperatures from 50-75 degrees are ideal, never below freezing and 10 -15 degrees cooler at night.

Fertilize by adding a small amount of orchid or bromeliad plant food to your spray bottle.

Airplants are highly susceptible to mold and decay; prevent this by providing good air circulation.