Named after Elias Til-Landz (1640-1693) Swedish botanist who was a professor of medicine in Finland. Tillandsia is a member of the Bromeliad family where it grows on tree branches and also used as house-plants. It is the flower spike that presents the spectacle. The voilet-pink blooms emerge in Spring from a flattened spike of overlapping bright pink bracts. The flowers do not last very long but the spike itself is a bright sight for many weeks.
Tillandsias need little water. If the foliage is mist-sprayed regularly, enough water will seep down into the potting mixture.
Give half strength dose of standard liquid fertilizer once a month.
These plants will flower and form offsets in 4 inch pots and do not need to be moved to bigger pots.
Remove offsets from parent plant at any time after their leaves have attained a length of 3 inches. Plant each offset in a 2-3 inch pot containing an equal parts mixture of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and enclose the whole in a plastic bag or propagator. When roots have developed treat as mature specimen. After 6 months from propagation, transfer the plant into a 4 inch pot.
These plants will grow actively throughout the year if the temperature is kept as mentioned above. They do best in bright filtered light.
Do not spray-mist the plant in direct sunlight.
Stand the potted species of Tillandsia on trays of moist pebbles and mist spray them 2-3 times a week in Spring and Summer only.
4 parts peat based potting compost to 1 part chopped sphagnum moss.
Beneficial insects are attracted to your garden by coreopsis, feverfew, and sweet alyssum.