Tillandsia recurvifolia (Air plant) is an attractive, small, stemless, epiphyte bromeliad that forms a rosette of very glaucous and many recurved leaves. The rosettes are often spiraled to one side. The flower stalk is very short leafy terminated by a broad ovate spike or capitulum of flowers laxly imbricated with, brilliantly colored, large broad oblong very acute rose to carmine-red colored scales or floral bracts sometimes with white lepidote tips. The white flowers force back the rose-colored bracts and protrude a very little beyond them. It is great for terrarium plants, house plants, indoor plants, and office plants.
Species: T. recurvifolia
Scientific Name: Tillandsia recurvifolia Hooker
Synonyms: Tillandsia meridionalis Baker, Anoplophytum refulgens E.Morren ex Baker, Tillandsia stricta var. paraguariensis Hassl.
Common Name: Air Plant, Tillandsia.
How to grow and maintain Tillandsia recurvifolia (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 recurvifolia 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 and the roots are wrapped in Sphagnum moss. 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 recurvifolia 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 recurvifolia 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.