Tillandsias, or also known as air plants, are drought smart types of plants that are extremely easy to grow and make remarkable houseplants. Not only that, propagating them is quite easy. You just need to know when they are ready to be cultivated and how to properly perform it.
Given the right conditions, you can expect offsets to begin to grow soon after your air plant’s first bloom cycle. It will generally take up to six months for your Tillandsia to produce its very first bloom. However, keep in mind that there are some that may need a longer period to bloom.
After your air plants have blossomed, that’s when the mystery starts to happen. So if you catch sight of at least 1 to 3 tiny nodes at the bottom of your plant, this means the pups have started to arrive! During this time, it’s crucial that you closely look after the mother plant. But don’t forget to always be gentle with the baby plants, as they can be quite delicate at this point while they begin on their life’s journey.
The easiest and quickest way to propagate air plants is to remove offsets, or what we call pups, which usually grow from the base of the mother plant. However, since these pups are very delicate, it’s important to know how and when they can be separated from their mother plant in order to avoid damaging them in the process.
Step 1: Separate the pups from their mother plant once they attained a quarter size or to be specific, a length of 8cm (3 inches).
Step 2: While holding the mother plant, peel back the leaves or cut them off using a sharp knife or quality pair of garden shears. Always make sure to feel the area where the plants connect to locate the offsets before snipping off the leaves.
Step 3: Once you’ve removed the pups, you’re all set to grow them just as you would in a mature one and start your very own air plant garden.
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Since air plants only produce pups after their first bloom, promoting them to flower is a good way to get more air plants. As long as your air plant is healthy, they would eventually produce flowers at the right time. But a properly taken care of air plants blossoms faster than the ones that are not. So what exactly do they need to hasten their blooming process?
1. Make sure that your Air Plants are getting enough sunlight. Place them in a north-facing window or in a spot where they can get partial shade. If you see that this doesn't help, consider transferring your air plant to a brighter spot, as lack of sunlight can hinder blossoming.
2. Water regularly. Using a combined method to give them enough water to grow. Soak them in water at least 20 minutes per week if you live in a more humid zone. If you see that the plant dries out quickly during hot months, you can give them water as often as you like.
Tillandsias are a very fascinating type of plant. They are still beautiful to behold, even when they are not blooming yet. But when they do blossom, they reward us with some adorable pups after! So whether your Tillandsias are in bloom or not, it's worth enjoying every moment.
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