The first thing we will have to do with our Tillandsias, as well as with any plant, is to find a good location for it that meets the following requirements and needs:
-Light: The location must have good luminosity and clarity for the correct growth of the plant. The vast majority of Tillandsias appreciate a little sun in the morning or in the evening, avoiding the hours of greatest solar radiation (noon) to avoid burns and / or stress on the plant. We generally recommend high clarity without direct sun. If we want to give direct sun, it is advisable to gradually acclimatize them to the sun. Many Tillandsias do not tolerate direct sun, or it is not necessary for their optimal growth. As a general rule, those with greener leaves do not tolerate direct sun, while those with whiter or gray leaves tolerate direct light. If we are in a place with high relative humidity (for example in coastal areas) they will be able to withstand direct sun better than in places with low relative humidity (inland areas).
-Ventilation: They must be in a ventilated place. It is an important factor to have healthy and happy plants. They love the smooth air movement between their leaves. On the contrary, if we have violent winds, we will have to hydrate them more. Ventilation is also important for the plant to dry out after watering, if we leave it wet in a place without ventilation, the plant can rot with its consequent loss.
-Temperature: Many Tillandsias such as aeranthos, bergeri, ixioides, usneoides endure temperatures even below 0º and up to 40º degrees without problems and can be outdoors in the rain all year round. But it is not the same for all species. In general we recommend putting them under a roof in winter, if the temperature drops below 10º and indoors if we have temperatures below 5º. They can withstand low temperatures if it is for a few hours and having the plants dry. The damp cold is also detrimental to some Tillandsias. That is why it is advisable to put them in winter shelter from excess humidity and dew, especially if we have frosts, either under roof or indoors, in a place that does not get to freeze or get wet since Tillandsias withstand cold well in dry, without being wet. When the good weather begins, they appreciate being outside and benefit from the rains. Our cultivation is especially focused on rustic species capable of withstanding the cold / heat well, you can find information on each plant in their respective descriptions, as well as consult us and we will advise you.
-Irrigation: The water consumption in most of Tillandsias is little and the frequency will depend on our conditions of light, ventilation, temperature, humidity, species ... The more light, air and temperature, the more irrigation. On average we could say 1 time a week, in summer more, every 2 or 3 days, and in winter less, every 10/15 days. In winter irrigation is greatly reduced, we will not water if the temperature is below 10º, in this season we will take advantage of the good weather days to hydrate them.
We can do the irrigation by spraying, spraying the entire plant for at least 10 seconds. We can also do watering by immersion, immersing the plant in a container with water for 15 minutes. If the plant is flowering, DO NOT immerse the flower, and do not spray, we will focus on hydrating the leaves of the plant. We will not water it if it is in direct sunlight. It is convenient to do the watering in the morning, so that it has the whole day to dry and that it reaches the dry night. Ideally, it should dry in about 2 hours to prevent rot. In summer we can also water in the afternoon, avoiding watering in the hottest hours. It is advisable to water with water at room temperature. It is important and recommended that no stagnant water remains inside the leaves for those plants with pseudobulbs since they can rot easily, we can gently shake the plant to remove the water or cultivate it horizontally or upside down thus the water it will not remain inside.
The quality of the water is important. Lime and chlorine is harmful to them. The ideal is rain water or water of weak mineralization. A PH between 5 and 7 is ideal. You can use osmosis water, diluting a little orchid fertilizer from time to time, see fertilization section.
It is convenient to sin by dryness than by excess humidity since we can rot the plant. Tillandsias have to dry quickly after each watering. They also let us know when they need water, their leaves close wide (like a block) or long, curling, when they need water. This should not be confused with some species that have highly channeled leaves, especially on the base leaves, which is normal. They appreciate the rains from spring to autumn, thus remaining hydrated for a good time.
-Fertilization: A supply of nutrients will stimulate growth and blooms. We will use liquid fertilizer for orchids diluted to 1/3 of the dose indicated on the container. We will use weak mineralized water to dilute it. Using fertilizer in waters with high salt content can lead to burning / stressing the plants due to an excess of minerals, one of the symptoms is dry tips on the leaves. We recommend fertilizing 2 times a month from spring to autumn, letting it rest in winter.
-Flowering and reproduction: Once our Tillandsia has flowered and its inflorescence is dry we can cut it, this will stimulate reproduction and the plant will focus on producing suckers. They normally produce pups after flowering, but there are also some species that pups before and after flowering. We can separate them when they are of considerable size, for this we can do it delicately with our fingers or with the help of, for example, scissors, cutting at the junction with the mother plant, at the base of the pup. It has to be done delicately so as not to damage both the mother plant and the pup. On the other hand, we can let the pups grow in the mother plant without separating them, in this way we will achieve a group of plants to form over time. It is normal for some dry tips on the oldest leaves or even for them to dry out completely, they are natural processes, the mother plant will give pups and little by little it will die. All dry leaves or inflorescences should be removed and our plants clean to avoid cases of rot or diseases.
-Indoor cultivation: Indoor cultivation is possible throughout the year. If it is true that it costs them more to flourish indoors. We will place it as close as possible to the window, in a bright place without direct sun, away from heat sources such as radiators, stoves ... It is advisable to ventilate, opening the window frequently, especially after watering. Normally, because the interior tends to be drier, they have to be watered more frequently, always providing ventilation.
We can tie our Tillandsias to a bark, a drif wood, fix it to a stone or mineral or simply tie it with a wire and hang it, making sure that it does not get hit or fall by the wind. The important thing is that it is exposed to the environment and to good ventilation. We do not recommend glass balls or containers where the plant is inside with poor ventilation.
These cares are general and vary according to the conditions of the place (humidity, light, temperature, ventilation ...) that is why it is important to observe them, to know both them and the environment where we grow them. We recommend reading the section Discovering the Tillandsias to learn more about them. For any information, do not hesitate to contact us.