Tillandsia mima var. chilitensis is a hardy but slow growing air plant native to Peru. It has wire-like roots that are heavy, helping it cling to rocks quickly and firmly. Mima Chiletensis produces pups readily both at the base of the plant and on the old inflorescence. This bloom spike is over 3 feet tall and produces dark purple flowers.
Light: Bright indirect sunlight.
Soil: No soil is needed. Sand, sea glass, rocks, pebbles & bark chip can be used instead of soil.
Water: Frequent misting several times a week is necessary. Mima Chiletensis will also benefit from a soaking bath every week. Give it a little shake off afterwards to make sure water doesn't collect in the bottom leaves to prevent rot.
Hardiness: Zone 10 (30F).
When watering, completely drench your Tillandsias as misting alone can be insufficient. They like to be watered 2-3 times per week on average, however in a dry, hot climate they may want to be watered as much as 2 times per day. Conversely, in moist cool environment one watering per week or two will suffice. If your Tillandsias become too dry or desiccated they will benefit from an occasional soaking in a bucket of water overnight (do not do this with Tillandsia xerographica, streptophylla, or magnusiana as we have found it can cause leaf damage). However, for routine watering they should be able to dry out in 4 hours or less to avoid rotting. We prefer to use reverse osmosis water with a dilute solution of fertilizer every time we water.
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Tillandsias grow best in bright indirect or filtered light April through October. Early morning or later evening direct sun is OK in mild environments. They can typically handle more direct sun November through March.
Tillandsias can be kept outdoors year round if protected from frost. Optimum temperature range is between 50 and 90 degrees F.
Tillandsias can survive without fertilizer, though a plant benefiting from a fertilizer regimen will grow, bloom, and produce offsets (pups) more vigorously. A Bromeliad or Tillandsia fertilizer should be used 2 times per month at ¼ strength.
Indoor care is similar to outdoor care. To get enough light, Tillandsias should be within 3 feet of a window. It is often dryer indoors so more water may be required. They should dry out within 4 hours of a watering unless you are rehydrating them with an overnight soaking. It is easiest to water indoor plants by dunking them or run them under the faucet.