Tillandsia is one large plant genus comprising more than 650 different species of plants called air plants. The term air plant comes from the fact that these plants get their water and nutrition from the air and not the soil.
Air Plants are unconventional because they use their roots for support and anchorage. For their water and food needs, they use hair-like structures called the trichomes. Trichomes cover their leaves to absorb moisture from the air.
Tillandsia Aeranthos is one of the species in the Tillandsia genus featuring a striking set of leaves that grow upward into a cone. The sharp and stiff leaves are in a very healthy, clean green color. The plant also blooms growing out wonderful flowers that are both purple and pink.
In this guide, you will find out all that you need to know about this spectacular air plant.
What is Tillandsia Aeranthos?
Tillandsia aeranthos is an epiphyte that tends to grow alone or in small clusters. The clusters can consist of two to up to a dozen plants. They look like Tillandsia Bergeri, but you can tell them apart by their flowers and offsets.
You can find them from sea level to hundreds meters in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil.
The scientific name of the plant is Tillandsia Aeranthos. It also goes by the names, Pourretia Aeranthos, Tillandsia Dianthoidea, Anoplophytum Aeranthose, Tillandsia bicolor, Anoplophytum Roseum, Anoplophytum Dianthoideum, Tillandsia Microxiphion, and Tillandsia unca.
Tillandsia Aeranthos belongs to the family Bromeliaceae and order Poales.
Tillandsia Aeranthos flowers like clockwork every spring by producing a colorful inflorescence. It extends above the leaves and has rosy-purple floral bracts that are about 2.3-2.7 centimeters long from which about 5-20 small blue-violet flowers emerge with 3 petals that have edged tips.
The ovary is tricarpellate, trilocular and superior. The pistil are white and slightly visible.
The plant also produces an elongated seed pod which gets ripe after nearly 4 months. The hard cases split open to release an aerial seed that is wind-dispersed.
Tillandsia Aeranthos falls under USDA hardiness zones 9 and 11. This means it can survive in temperatures as low as 20 °F to 50 °F (or -6.7 °C to +10 °C).
Tillandsia Aeranthos Care
The Tillandsia Aeranthos plant is a slow-growing variety of air plant. It requires minimal care and maintenance. It only needs bright filtered light and controlled watering to prevent constant wetness.
It is a popular and easy to grow species that can tolerate temperatures below freezing. Here are some of its specific requirements.
This air plant requires only light watering. That means you just have to water it twice a week during summer and once every day in winter. Use a spray bottle to lightly mist the plants.
You can also give your plants a nice weekly soak during summers by submerging them in a bowl of water. Be sure to gently shake the plants after watering them and allow them to dry so that no water pools up between the leaves.
Tillandsia Aeranthos grows best in full to partial sun. During very hot weather, you should give it some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from getting fried. Placing it in front of a north or south-facing window, covered with a sheer curtain, works well too.
In winter, place it even closer to the windows so that the greatest amount of light can reach the plant. Putting the plant in a dark location will weaken it and cause it to wither.
The ideal temperature range for Tillandsia Aeranthos plant is 50-90 °F (10-32.2 °C).
Fertilizing isn’t necessary for Aeranthos plants. If your plant is struggling or you want it to grow faster, you should try a liquid fertilizer. If you want better flowering and more pups, you can use a general-purpose fertilizer.
Dilute it to one quarter its strength once or twice a month in summers.
In winter, you can fertilize them once a month or less.
How to Identify Tillandsia Aeranthos?
Tillandsia Aeranthos grows on trees and rocks from sea level to up to 300 meters. It is a small plant from 15-20 centimeters in height, epiphytic and with a strong rhizome and roots.
The plant is slightly recurved and densely covered with adpressed scales. The silver-green to lime green leaves are narrow and protruding forming a rosette. The flowers emerge from purplish-pink bracts and are violet to blue in color with elliptic petals.
How to Display Tillandsia Aeranthos?
There are so many different ways you can display the beautiful Tillandsia Aeranthos. It has stunning aesthetics and flexibility.
Tillandsia Aeranthos can make for a wonderful addition to your indoor or outdoor gardens. Like with other air plants, you can be as creative as you want when it comes to displaying them.
Tillandsia Aeranthos look wonderful in both open and sealed glass terrariums. Take pebbles, tiny rocks, or seashells and put them inside the container to further enhance the beauty of the piece.
They also pair with an aerium which is another type of glass container that can be used for air plant display. It is very similar to a terrarium but allows air to pass through the container. These can be suspended in the air using decorative strings.
Tillandsia Aeranthos can also mount to different objects like rocks, driftwood, and seashells. The only thing you need to be careful about is that the material should not be water retentive. Use a strong adhesive to stick the air plant to the base of the mounting object.
Ensure that the mounting object is not prone to fungal growth because that will damage your plant.
Tillandsia aeranthos is an absolute delight to look at especially when it’s blooming. The best part is that it blooms every year flaunting its artsy pink and blue flowers. So, add this amazing and easy-care air plant species to your collection and lift up your indoor spaces.