Air plants, Tillandsias, live and grow with no soil. Tillys can be displayed in numerous ways, including inside a terrarium, an aerated glass globe, in wood bowls, mounted on the wall or any where that needs a little flare of fun.

Indoor Care for Air Plants in San Francisco:

• Air: Air circulation is important and so is keeping your Tilly in a room that doesn’t get colder than 45 degrees; it will die at those temperatures.

Soak tillys for a couple of hours.

Soaking Tillys

• Water: Mist Tillandsia once a week, making sure the crucial center area does not remain moist for too long. Mist more frequently in dry homes or if the edges of the leaves start to curl up or pinch, especially thinned leaf varieties.
The water you use is important. NEVER USE DISTILLED WATER! Best to use filtered water, tap water that has sat long enough for the chlorine to dissipate, rain water or bottled water.
For dryer homes, soak air plants for two hours, every two weeks. After wetting your plants thoroughly, turn them upside down and gently shake them to remove excess water and display once again. If your Tilly is blooming, avoid soaking the flower.
Note: Tillandsias will not survive in standing water.

• Light: Air plants grow best in light that is bright and filtered. If you choose a very sunny spot indoors they may need daily misting or weekly soaking depending on which method you prefer. Office fluorescent lighting normally provides the proper color range for good plant growth.

• Fertilizer: For improved blooming and reproduction of your Tillys, fertilize twice a month. Simply add a small pinch of Epiphyte’s Delight fertilizer in the soaking water or misting bottle. This water can be reused; be sure to remix the fertilizer evenly throughout the water before reusing.

Tilly with flower bud & pup.

Tilly with flower bud & pup.

• Flowers: Tillandsia bloom once in their life time and flowers can last from several days to many months. Depending on the species, your mother plant will start producing young (pups) before, during or after blooming, most plants will produce between 2 – 8 pups. Remember that each pup is a plant and it will also bloom.

• Pups: You can choose to leave your pups clumped together or separate them from the mother. If you decide to remove the pups, wait until they are at least 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the mother plant, they will be able to survive on their own at this size. Hold both mother and pup at their bases and gently twist in a downward motion, the pups come off easily. Do not discard the mother plant yet, as long as she is still alive she will continue to produce more pups for you. Often taking several years after blooming before she finally dies.

• Reviving a neglected plant: Does your air plant look dead? Don’t throw it away! If there’s any green left anywhere on the plant, then immerse your plant in water up to a maximum of 12 hours and immerse again 2 or 3 days later for 4 hours. Resume a consistent watering cycle and your plant may be revived enough to produce pups for you.

Flipp maintains a small collection of air plants in store that are available for purchase, along with a variety of potted succulents for your home and office.