Tillandsia ixioides is an attractive, small, epiphyte air plant that forms rosettes of erect, very stiff, silver leaves growing in a symmetrical rosette. The leaves are densely covered with white scales on two sides that gather water and nutrients for the plants. It produces bright-yellow, three-petaled blossoms that are borne on a spike that terminates an about 3.2 inches long stem emerging from the plant’s center. The fruit capsules filled with seeds tipped with white plumes. When the plant flowers it dies, but before it dies it produces small plantlets, or “pups”, at the base that replace the mother plant.
Species: T. ixioides
Scientific Name: Tillandsia ixioides Grisebach
Synonyms: Anoplophytum luteum, Tillandsia lutea, Tillandsia ixioides var. occidentalis.
Common Name: Air plant.
How to grow and care Tillandsia ixioides (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 ixioides 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 is 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 ixioides 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 ixioides can also be grown from seed, but this is a slow process that might take months.
Pests and Diseases
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Sometimes susceptible to aphids & mealybugs.