Tillandsia - a gift from Ecuador
Tillandsia blue (Tillandsia cyanea) - in culture since 1867. The homeland of Ecuador, Peru, grows at an altitude of 850 m above sea level in the forests.
Genus Tillandsia (Tillandsia) belongs to the bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae). There are 400 species in the genus. The genus is named after the Swedish botanist E. Tillands (1640–1693).
This epiphytic plant usually grows on trees, less often on rocks and very rarely on soils. In the flowering state reaches 20-25 cm in height. Its dark green, sometimes with a reddish-brown tint, narrow, slightly curved leathery leaves grow to a length of 30-35 cm. They are collected in a rosette, in the center of which a dense spike-shaped elliptical inflorescence with bright saturated pink bracts that are arranged in two rows and lean heavily on each other. Small, 2-2.5 cm, blue-violet flowers with bent, pointed petals bloom unexpectedly and bloom for only one day. Usually in an inflorescence one, very rarely two flowers simultaneously opens. During the flowering period, up to 20 flowers bloom in tillandsia.
Leading an epiphytic lifestyle, tillandsia grows best on the so-called "epiphytic trunks" or snags with the remnants of the bark. Tillandsia blue grows well in a pot on a windowsill. Keep it in a bright, but shaded from direct sunlight. With a lack of lighting, the leaves of tillandsia lose their decorative effect, inflorescences are painted in pale colors, plants grow poorly and bloom weakly with faded flowers. They need to be watered lightly: only occasionally moisturizing. With insufficient watering or low humidity, the tips of the leaves of Tillandsia dry and bend towards the outlet (stretch to moisture). With severe overdrying, the leaves are discarded. Plants should be sprayed regularly. And once a month - spray with water with a weakly concentrated solution of liquid fertilizer. The optimum temperature for maintenance in winter is from + 18 ° C to +20aboutFROM.
Humidity should be at least 60%. Tillandsia should be sprayed with soft warm water at least 1 time a day in dry weather in late spring and summer, the rest of the year in warm sunny weather - from 1 time per week to 1 time per month depending on the humidity in the room. Plants that are about to bloom or are already in bloom must be sprayed very carefully - so that water does not get on the peduncle.
Remember! Tillandsia does not tolerate water containing lime. If the water is hard, lime deposits accumulate on the underside of the sheet, at its base.
Tillandsia blue propagates mainly by offspring, seeds very rarely. Branch offspring produced in the spring and summer. Young plants bloom in 1.5-2 years. The substrate for planting offspring and for adult plants should be loose and breathable. They grow well in a substrate consisting of: crushed bark (pine, spruce or fir), leaf soil, humus, peat, sand or perlite, with the addition of sphagnum moss, fern roots and pieces of charcoal. The roots of tillandsia are poorly developed, therefore, it is necessary to tightly fix the plants in the substrate.
An adult plant purchased in a store already with a peduncle does not need a transplant, because after flowering, the mother plant gives offspring and dies. It is desirable to put such a plant immediately on a permanent place and not change its location until the end of flowering relative to natural light.
Pests and diseases
It is believed that tillandsia, like all bromeliads, is slightly affected by pests and diseases. However, their stability is not absolute and not the same in different species.
Most often, plants suffer from bromeliads. At the same time, black spots appear on the underside of the leaves - insect shields, clearly visible to the naked eye. The fight against scabies comes down to the mechanical removal of insects, which are carefully removed with wooden or plastic sticks, trying not to damage the surface of the leaves. Then the leaves are thoroughly washed with soapy water.
Tillandsia, like all bromeliads, is also susceptible to fungal and viral diseases. This increases the transparency of the leaf blades, and dark spots appear on them. In such cases, the ventilation of the room and the removal of diseased leaves are effective. The most susceptible to various diseases of plants in thickened plantings, in which they suffer from a lack of air and light.
- Birch. N. Tillandsia is a little fairy // In the World of Plants No. 6, 2009. - p. 22-23.