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Roof air plant

Tillandsia tectorum

Air plant

Native to Ecuador & Peru, this evergreen, perennial species grows along cliff faces and rocky outcrops. It's an epiphytic plant and thus grows without the need for soil substrate. Best sited in bright light, foliage is narrow and linear, measures approximately 25cm in length, coloured silvery-grey and covered with small white hairs. Popular for its furry appearance, it can be a difficult plant for novices. Flowers are small and tubular, coloured purple and surrounded by pink-purple coloured modified leaves known as bracts.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Division
Place the plant in a bowl of water for two or three hours to hydrate it. Gently spread the leaves of the plant to reveal the pups at its base. Separate the pups from the parent plant by gently pulling the plants apart at the base. Put the pups into the bowl of water as you separate them from the parent plant. Mist the pups each day, in the morning or early afternoon. Tillandsias are nocturnal and respire at night, which means they breathe in carbon dioxide at night. If the leaves are covered with a film of water, they cannot absorb the gas from the air.

Special features

Geography

Origin
Ecuador & Peru, South America.

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Air, Sand, Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Personality

Family
Bromeliaceae
Flower colour
Purples
Scent
None

Problems

Generally disease free, Slugs & snails can be a problem if placed outside in summer. They can also suffer from aphids & mealybugs.

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