has soft green leaves with a pink inflorescence and violet flowers. Tillandsia 'stricta'
has many variations due to its large distribution across South America. With locally occurring varieties having evolved to changes in habitat. The plant is a medium size plant being roughly 12 to 15 cm width and height. The bloom on the Tillandsia 'stricta'
, whilst striking is relatively short lived. However after blooming the plant will rapidly grow offsets that will bloom in 8 to 12 months.
Tillandsia are also know as epiphytes. Epiphytes are also referred to as air plants or aerophytes. Epiphytes, under most conditions do not need soil for growth, are not considered parasitic and attach to their host as a means of support only.
Greener, softer leaved plants, without obvious scales prefer less sun and more moisture. They tend to thrive in cooler environments.
Thick hard silver leaves and thick or dense bases will thrive in a high light and dry environment.
Finer or softer silver leafed varieties will thrive in high light and higher moisture environment.
The Tillandsia plants ideal environment is outdoors where they can receive bright indirect sunlight, under partially shaded conditions. If you prefer to keep your air plants indoors place your tillandsias near and East or West facing window or within a meter of an artificial light source is ideal. Avoid placing them close to air conditioner vents and cold winter windows. Avoid dimly lit locations.
In the colder, southern states, the plants will require protection from winter rains and frost.
Tillandsia plants do not absorb water like other plants. They rely on water stored in their leaves. A thorough soaking is required to sufficiently fill the cells of the plant. This can be achieved by misting or dunking the plant. If outdoors, a hose can be used. When dunking a plant, leave submerged in a bowl of water for 10-20 minutes before shaking off excess water. Depending on the position of the plant, a plant in a hot position will require watering every 2-3 days. In a dark, humid environment watering once or twice a week can be adequate.
Tillandsias need to dry out completely between each watering and must never have water sitting at their base as this will cause the plant to rot.
If your Tillandsia is underwatered as the leaves will soften, shrink or appear limp. If your Tillandsia has the right amount of water the leaves will be firm and erect and the leaves connect to the base the plant will be firm and stiff.
If you keep your tillandsias well watered, they can have hotter, more direct sun and longer exposure.
Fertilize your Tillandsia plants once or twice a month with a water-soluble orchid fertiliser, following package instructions for dilution. Use the misting or dunking method. These fertilisers do not contain urea nitrogen, which air plants cannot use. Tip: If your plant is very dry, soak it first, then fertilize it the next day. Red Fox orchids sell Peters Cal Mag Grower which is suitable for air plant fertilisation.
Tillandsias can be attached to objects with the use of plastic-coated wire, tie wire, fishing line, hot melt glues, nails or any non-toxic glues like PVA or Gelgrip. Do not use uncoated copper wire, galvanised products, treated timbers and any glue that has a strong odour when drying as Tillandsias absorb the toxic materials from these products into their cells.
Many species in the Tillandsia family have a change in leaf colour when it comes time to bloom. The leaves will change from green to a reddish or purple hue. When a plant changes leaf colouring prior to blooming, this usually means they are monocarpic. Monocarpic plants will flower one time prior to dying. One plant can easily produce as many as 12 pups or offsets. The pups from the dying plant will continue to grow and can be removed from the mother when they reach a third of her size.
Each living plant is unique and may vary slightly in size, colour or shape depending on the season.
You can buy a Tillandsia 'Stricta'
online via the Red Fox Orchids website and have it shipped to your door. Red Fox Orchids has a variety of easy payment options including Zip, Afterpay and PayPal.