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Growing Air Plants, Tillandsia

Easy to grow Tillandsias are a type of Bromeliad that do not have a cup in the center to hold water like many of the Bromeliads.  They can be easily grown in a bright window or outside in warmer weather.  They can be attached to a rock, seashell, piece of wood or even a fishing line.  They can be attached using a wire or they can be glued by applying a small amount of glue to the base of the plant.  I have used duco airplane cement, glue gun and even a hot glue gun to them without harming the plant.  They absorb all the moisture they need thru their leaves and only grow roots to attach themselves to something so you only need to mist or water the foliage occasionally.  Never soak them or allow them to stand in water.  They will surely die if you plant them in soil, if you must have them in a container pot them with orchid bark or rocks.  They do well growing on the top of the bark or rocks that many orchids are potted in. Do not be alarmed if your plant does not grow roots or comes to you without any roots, some varieties never grow roots.  They require very little in the way of fertilizer and never fertilize a plant when you first get it as it can be a shock to the plant.  After you have had the plants for a good while you may mix a liquid fertilizer such as Jack's or Peters in a very dilute solution, one quarter or less than recommended strength and mist your plants with it.  This can be done as little as once or twice a year.  All Tillandsias bloom and many develop beautiful colored foliage when they get ready to bloom.  If yours have not bloomed and you would like to see them bloom they can easily be forced into blooming.  Place the plants in a clear plastic bag with an apple (a older one with spots that you do not want to eat will work fine) and close the bag up and put the bag in a lighted spot but with no full sun on it and leave for 5 to 7 days.  The apple gives off ethylene gas as it decays and this is what stimulates the plant to bloom, usually in two to four weeks after you have taken the plants out of the bag they will start to show buds or color.  What fun plants to grow.  Enjoy!