Tillandsia gardneri (Air plant) is an ornamental, perennial epiphyte bromeliad that forms a small rosette only 5 – 10 inches high and wide, with numerous leaves. The leaves are triangular to filiform acuminate, without distinction between sheath and blade, silvery grey or grey-blue, flexible, lepidote soft, and velvety. Each plant produces four to twelve inflorescences also silvery, suberect to decurved, and slender, each of which bears three to twelve slender, funnel-shaped flowers. The blossoms are rosy-red to pale lavender-pink with three sepals and three petals, with spreading terminal lobes and green-pink floral bracts. It blooms from Late Spring to Late Summer.
Species: T. gardneri
Scientific Name: Tillandsia gardneri Lindley
Synonyms: Anoplophytum rollissonii, Anoplophytum incanum, Tillandsia fluminensis, Tillandsia regnellii, Tillandsia cambuquirensis, Tillandsia venusta.
Common Name: Air plant.
How to grow and care for Tillandsia gardneri (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 gardneri 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 the 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 gardneri 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 gardneri can also be grown from seed, but this is a slow process that might take months. Seeds are germinated on peat moss. Seeds need light to germinate.
Pests and Diseases
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Sometimes susceptible to aphids & mealybugs.