How do I Care for a Tillandsia HousePlant?

I bought a Tillandsia for my desk because it was small and really sweet looking. Then I realized I didn’t know how to care for it so the flowers would last. Can you help me? Emily


Hi Emily,

Here is a picture of a Tillandsia in bloom. I hope we are talking about the same plant.

Pink Tillandsia cyanea

Tillandsia Bromeliads are easy to care for but they are very different than other houseplants. Their nickname is the Air Plant.

Here are some care tips:

Water: Tillandsia Plants cannot get water through their roots like other houseplants. Wet your tillandsia 2-3 times per week; more if the air is hot and dry, less if the air is cool and humidity is high. Misting is not enough. You need to totally submerge the plant in water. Do it early enough in the day so that the plant will be completely dry within 4-5 hours. Provide good air circulation around the plant so the leaves dry within 1-3 hours.

Light: Bright indirect light

Tillandsias do well in temperatures between 50°-90°F ( 10°-32.3°C). 10-15° cooler at night. Night temperatures should stay above 50°F (10°C).

Pot: You can mount tillandsias on wood, seashells, coral, lava rock, and anything else you want using a non – water soluble glue. They can also be placed in terrariums.

Fertilizer: Place a tiny amount of bromeliad plant food in your spray bottle when you mist the plant. Feed a tillandsia plant this way every two weeks or so.

Propagation: A tillandsia plant  blooms once then sends out “pups” which are small plant offsets. When these pups are about 1/4-1/3 the size of the Mother Plant, detach them and start new tillandsia plants.