The tillandsia, commonly called air carnation, is an increasingly common plant in both garden and interior decoration. Its success is due both to its exotic appearance, which helps to beautify any space, and to the little care it requires, making it suitable for beginners in gardening and plant care.
Tillandsia is an epiphytic plant, that is, in its natural habitat it grows on tree trunks or on rock walls, in areas with no or very little substrate, so it is also easy to think of orchids, other best known air plants, when talking about them. if you want to learn how to take care of a carnation from the air or one air plantjoin us in this EcologíaVerde article on the tillandsisa care guide.
Air Carnation Location
Air carnations are tropical plants. Bearing this in mind, we know that they will need a brightly lit areaalthough without direct incidence, since in its natural habitat it grows in well-lit areas but in the shade under the cover of other plants or the ground.
Due to their epiphytic nature, these plants barely develop roots, and the few that they produce have the sole function of anchoring the plant to its support: they do not absorb water or nutrients. Thanks to this, it is a plant suitable for both indoors and outdoors, and it is very common hang them from decorative supports with hardly any substrate.
Locate your tillandsia in a well-lit, well-ventilated area, and above all, away from external sources of heat or cold, which could dry it out and deprive it of the moisture it needs. Never expose it to temperatures below 10ºC or above 30ºC.
How to hang tillandsias
As we have said, the air carnation is a plant that does not need soil, so its decorative possibilities are enormous. You can search tillandsia supports made of glass or transparent plastic that allow the entire plant to be seen from any angle.
at the time of knowing how to hang the carnation from the air, keep in mind what was explained in your location needs. Use a support or container that allows the free circulation of air, which is where it takes its nutrients, and hang it where you prefer, protected from direct sunlight but in a bright area. In winter you can place the tillandsia in direct sun, while in summer it will be better near a sunny window but not against the glass.
How to water tillandsias
All epiphytic plants need an abundant degree of environmental humidity, since this is where they collect the water with which they hydrate. To learn how to water an air plant it is not difficult, but you have to keep in mind that it cannot be done like with the usual land plants.
To maintain proper humidity and hydration level in your air carnation, spray water on the plant so that it moistens its leaves. In the hot months you should do it daily, and in especially hot seasons this becomes vital. In fact, if the temperature is very high, you can temporarily submerge the plant in water, for just a few minutes, and then let it dry completely and return it to its location.
It is very important that you do not use tap water to water it, since the additives it contains will not do your plant any good. uses rain water preferably or one of very weak mineralization. If you can’t access any of these, let your tap water sit for 24 hours before using it, so that its added elements settle and don’t end up in your tillandsia.
Fertilizer for tillandsias
Since it does not have terrestrial roots to draw nutrients from the soil, tillandsia needs to be fed with specific fertilizer for aerial plants. It is important not to use any generic fertilizer, which could harm it rather than benefit it.
Dilute the fertilizer in your irrigation water (remember not to use plain water) and apply it by spraying on it, once every 15 days.
How to reproduce tillandsias
If you take proper care of your air carnation and keep it in optimal condition, you will be able to see it bloom. The tillandsia bloom It is spectacular and very beautiful, since it is in violet and fuchsia tones. After this flowering, it is very common for the plant to give rise to suckers, which can be used to reproduce it, since they will grow as identical copies of the mother plant. Keep in mind that the air carnation is a very slow-growing plant, so you will have to be patient with it at this point.
Let the suckers grow together with the mother plant for as long as possible to make sure that, when you decide to separate them, they survive individually without problems because they will have grown enough. Never separate them before the next spring to its appearance, since it is the ideal time to do it. Carefully separate the branches of the sucker from those of the mother plant, trying not to damage either of them, and you will have your new tillandsia ready.
Now that you have learned how to care for tillandsisas, learn more about air plants: types, names and care in this other Ecologíaverde article.
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