Air Plants, Tillandsia,
About Air Plants
Air plants are the common name for Tillandsias. Air plants grow without soil.
Tillandsia is a genus of around 540 species in the Bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae), found in the forests, mountains, and deserts, of Central and South America, and Mexico and the southern United States in North America.
The thinner-leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick-leafed varieties in areas more subject to drought. Moisture and nutrients are gathered from the air (dust, decaying leaves and insect matter) through structures on the leaves called trichomes.
Tillandsia species are epiphytes,they normally grow without soil while attached to other plants. Epiphytes are not parasitic, depending on the host only for support. The roots are used as anchors only. Reproduction is by seeds or by offsets called "pups". A single plant could have up to a dozen pups.
Although not normally cultivated for their flowers, some Tillandsia will bloom on a regular basis. In addition, it is quite common for some species to take on a different leaf colour (usually changing from green to red) when about to flower. This is an indication that the plant is monocarpic (flowers once before dying) but offsets around the flowering plant will continue to thrive.
In some situations Tillandsia are often termed pioneer plants occupying environments, like rock cliffs, that few other plants can. The grow through process called a CAM cycle where they close the stomata during the day and open it at night to uptake carbon and release oxygen.
Tillandsia is a primary ingredient in an herbal supplement to treat pollen allergies.
Caring for your Air Plants
A full Care Instruction Sheet comes with your Ecobubble order