Tillandsia crocata is the most popular scented air plant. It is a short-stemmed, xerophyte epiphytic or saxicolous bromeliad. It has tough, linear, attenuate, involute, stems like, semi-cylindrical, silvery grey-green leaves up to 6 inches long and spreading through a few branched horizontal rhizomes and forms miniature bundled clumps about 4 – 8 inches tall and wide. It produces a fine extended scape that subtends the simple, distichous inflorescence with two to four flowers. The densely lepidote floral bracts are imbricate. The flowers are funnel-shaped, bright canary-yellow or buttercup-yellow, that have three petals with one of the sweetest fragrances in all the bromeliad among gray-scaled flower bracts. It blooms in Spring.
Species: T. crocata
Scientific Name: Tillandsia crocata (E. Morren) Baker
Synonyms: Phytarrhiza crocata E.Morren, Tillandsia mandonii E.Morren ex Mez.
Common Name: Air plant.
How to grow and maintain Tillandsia crocata (Air plant):
It thrives well in bright light, but not direct sunlight. The south, east, or west window is perfect. They can also be grown under fluorescent tubes.
Tillandsia crocata refers to be mounted on a solid substrate that does not retain water. You can glue the plant directly to the surface with a strong adhesive or you can wire the plant to the base. Don’t cover the base of the plant with moss or it may rot. It can be grown on almost any imaginable decorative mount, including shells, rocks, slate, driftwood, etc.
Water two to four times a week with a mister. If your environment is dry, mist daily. Water until leaves are thoroughly wet. The water that runs off should be enough to wet the roots. Do not soak the base of a plant. Use rainwater or filtered tap water for misting your plant. Soft water contains too much salt and some tap water contains chlorine and fluoride that can leave water spots on foliage.
Tillandsia crocata thrives well in average room temperatures 60 degrees Fahrenheit – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 degrees Celsius – 24 degrees Celsius.
Fertilize once every month with a low-copper liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/4 strength.
It can be easily propagated by detaching offsets, or pups, from the base of the mother plant. When the pups are half the size of the mother, they can be divided and mounted on their own. Tillandsia crocata can also be grown from seed, but this is a slow process that might take months. Seeds are germinated on peat moss and need light to germinate.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Sometimes susceptible to aphids & mealybugs.