Article taken from Air Plant Book written by Zenaida Sengo
Fuzzy, wiry, spiky and fluffy tillandsias are some of the oddest members of the plant kingdom. I’m completely beguiled by their intriguing forms. Tillandsias, more widely knows as air plants, make up the largest genus in the bromeliad family, encompassing more than 600 species. White the pineapple is the only well knows edible bromeliad, it is a diverse of family of plants with a vast array of colors and patterns in its foliage and a strong tropical appearance. Their primary distinguishing features are their limited root function. Their roots are sued strictly to attach themselves to a host, such as a tree to gain optimal light exposure.
It is a common misconception that air plants don’t need water or light like other plants. They do indeed need water and light, then simply have a less traditional means of obtaining these elements. Though it may seem more formal to use tillandsias as the common name for this plant, the name air plant is a bit of a misnomer. Air plant can refer to any plant that grows epiphytically, meaning without any soil or substrate, typically upon other plants or surfaces and deriving its moisture and nutrients from the air.
Question asked do they bloom? All tillandsias bloom, though some produce flowers that are more striking than others. The duration of the blooms varies among plants and even between the bract and flower, with the bract lingering for much longer than the petals and stamens that emerge from it. Once the inflorescence fades, it’s entirely up to you whether to snip it off, If you’d like to remove it, it’s best done when the entire stalk, flower bract, and petals no longer appeal to you. You can remove it with a clean set of shears by cutting it off as close to the base of the plant as possible.
I will stop here. I will put more into this site later this week. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa