Tillandsia tectorum is one of the most beautiful air plants. It is an attractive, epiphytic perennial that grows up to 12 inches tall and 8 inches across, with very slender triangular, filiform-attenuate, white to ash-grey, striate, 8 – 10 inches length, sheaths amplexicaul, triangular-ovate, 1.5 – 3 cm base leaves, covered with fuzzy white hairs. It produces small, tubular purple-violet blossoms rise up out of pinkish-purple bracts in spring and summer. The blossoms are hummingbird pollinated. When a rosette has blossomed, it will die but not before smaller rosettes show up at its base to replace it. Rooftop Tillandsia is perfect for a table or hanging plant.
Species: T. tectorum
Scientific Name: Tillandsia tectorum E. Morren
Synonyms: Tillandsia argentea, Tillandsia rupicola, Tillandsia saxicola, Tillandsia tectorum f. gigantea, Tillandsia tectorum var. globosa, Tillandsia tectorum var. viridula.
Common Name: Rooftop Tillandsia, Rock Airplant, Roof Air Plant, Air Plant.
How to grow and maintain Tillandsia tectorum (Air plant):
It thrives well in full sun to partial sun.
Tillandsia tectorum 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 tectorum 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 tectorum 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.