Monday, September 9, 2013

Tillandsia growing problems

 I have trouble keeping the "air plants" or Tillandsia alive from year to year and the losses can be put down to my killing them with kindness by over-watering or pampering them too much. It is hard to get your head around the fact that these plants obtain their moisture from the air and that their tiny roots which attach themselves to bark or a rough surface are able to get enough nutrients that way to survive.
 Over winter I lost my large plant of T. secunda which had reached a metre tall. It rotted in the centre from too much water. Mature Tillandsia are stunning to look at especially if they have colonised a sculptural piece of wood or decorative container and at this time of year they often carry iridescent purple or hot pink flowers which contrast with the silvery felty leaves. 

In the garden the Tillandsia 'Spanish Moss' or 'Old Man's Beard' has been very succesfull in the shade of a large mandarin tree

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