Tillandsia meridionalis (Air plant) is a unique, epiphyte bromeliad that forms stemless, silvery, lepidote rosettes. The polystihous leaves are frequently secund, which is spiraled to one side. The leaves are stiff, silvery grey-green, and recurved. The foliage is covered by dense specialized peltate scales, which increase the reflection of solar radiation and permit the absorption of water and nutrients from the atmosphere. The flower stalk is slender and long enough to exsert the simple inflorescence above the leaves. The imbricate, polystichous, and subglabrous floral bracts are bright carmine. Continuously the bracts open out and back while the white corollas emerge. The three petals of the corolla form a small tube with flared tips. It blooms in winter.
Species: T. meridionalis
Scientific Name: Tillandsia meridionalis
Common Name: Air Plant, Recurved-leaved tillandsia.
How to grow and maintain Tillandsia meridionalis (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 meridionalis 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 meridionalis 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 meridionalis 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.