As there are over 650 species of Tillandsia air plants, you have a vast variety to choose from for your home decor. Air plants are easy to care for and do not root to the soil for moisture and nutrients.
People are often unable to tell the difference between different varieties of air plant. Many assume that all air plants need the same care. Even in the stores, you find little help with your unique species of air plant.
This article will teach you everything about one of the most interesting species; Tillandsia Streptophylla.
Tillandsia Streptophylla is the Queen of air plants. It is a xeric tillandsia, which means it grows in drier conditions. This species is native to Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico and thrives in warm regions.
When Streptophylla needs water, the leaves curl back to form tight ringlets.
What is a Tillandsia Streptophylla?
Tillandsia Streptophylla is also known as Shirley Temple because of its curly ringlet leaves. It grows in warmer regions, usually at elevation.
The leaves of the plant are pastel green in color. Instead of the edges of the leaves curling closer to each other, the leaves curl back into tighter ringlets when they need water.
They grow 6-8 inches tall and grow a beautiful pink florescence covered with trichomes. The size of the florescence ranges from 4 to 12 inches when it has completely opened up.
Since it grows in warm and dry regions, it requires low to moderate watering and little maintenance.
The scientific name of this species of air plant is Tillandsia Streptophylla Scheidweiler ex E. Morren. As mentioned above, its commonly known as Shirley Temple.
It is a species of the genus Tillandsia and belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae.
During the blooming period, the plant’s center turns a beautiful pink color. Because of this, it is also called the blushing plant.
It has pink inflorescence with purple tube flowers. The flowering bracts grow straight up from the center of the plant and can attract hummingbirds.
The trichrome covered florescence grows from 4 to 12 inches. The large inflorescence has many bracts and its flowers. Since it requires little care or maintenance, it can bloom indoors as well with appropriate exposure to light.
Tillandsia Streptophylla Care
Plant care is one of the most important responsibilities of a plant parent. Tillandsia Streptophylla tends to ease many aspects of plant care and maintenance. It is an easy air plant and even beginners can find it very easy to care for Tillandsia Streptophylla.
It needs infrequent watering since it grows at elevation. It can tolerate being outside in mild temperatures. It can also do with direct sunlight for a couple of hours every day.
Following are some of the important aspects of Tillandsia Streptophylla care:
The watering needs of air plants vary with their natural surroundings and habitat. If you keep them in an area with high moisture in the air, you only need to mist the plants. If the area is especially dry, you will have to soak or dunk the plant in water for a few hours twice or three times a week.
You will find varying instructions about watering Tillandsia Streptophylla. The basic instructions about watering range from misting to dunking.
These air plants are bulbous air plants, which means they are hollow at the fat bulbous bottom. Excess water sometimes collects in this base, which causes the air plant to rot. We recommend not soaking the plant.
However, if you live in a very dry and humid area, you can soak it for 10 minutes once a week. Make sure to dry it and drain the excess water trapped between the leaves.
You can use the misting method for the plant 2-3 times a week. It absorbs water through the trichomes on the leaves. Mist each of the leaves with water.
The condition of the plant will also guide you with its watering needs. When the leaves are straight, the plant is hydrated. When the leaves curl back into ringlets, it is a sign that the plant is dehydrated and needs watering.
The last important tip about watering Tillandsia Streptophylla is to dry the plant. It must be completely dried after watering, or the trapped water causes fungus growth and plant rot.
Put the plant in indirect sunlight and a well-ventilated place so that it dries. Also, hold the plant upside down and shake it a bit so that the trapped water runs out from between the leaves.
Although Tillandsia Streptophylla can bask in direct sunlight for a few hours, it’s best to give the plant indirect sunlight. Excess amount of direct sunlight can develop burn marks on the plant. It thrives well indoors and will also bloom indoors.
The appropriate range of temperature for Tillandsia Streptophylla is 50-95 degrees Fahrenheit. A warm environment is most appropriate for this species. It also needs good air circulation and some humidity as well.
You can fertilize Tillandsia Streptophylla about once a month. Feed your plant with fertilizer by mixing it with water to help the plant absorb the nutrients.
How to Identify Tillandsia Branchycaulos
Tillandsia Streptophylla is a type of air plants that can be identified by its curly, irregular shape. It has thick pastel green-colored leaves. The edges of the leaves curl out towards the base and form ringlets when dehydrated.
The plants look a lot like little Tillandsia Xerographica. When blooming, the leaves at the center start blushing.
The plant grows a pink fluorescence with many bracts. It grows many flowers that are mauve in color.
Display of Tillandsia Streptophylla
There are many ways to display Tillandsia Streptophylla.
- Mount them in a seashell
- Attach them to driftwood
- Paint a rock and make an air plant stand with wire
They can be displayed in a glass container as well. There are many creative ways to display your Tillandsia Streptophylla that show off your green thumb.
Here are some more of the ways to display Tillandsia Streptophylla:
A sealed or an open glass container, like a terrarium, is a very creative way to display air plants. You can add pebbles, seashells and moss to the container to give it a more natural touch.
Terrariums can also be displayed in many ways to enhance your living space. Terrariums with Tillandsia Streptophylla can be placed on tabletops, shelves or other furniture. They can also be suspended in the air.
Aeriums can be another creative way to display your queen of air plants. Aeriums, like terrariums, are glass containers for décor, but like the name suggests, they encourage more air circulation. You can display your Tillandsia Streptophylla species in an aerium with a bed of sand, pebbles or moss.
You can find many creative ways to display these aeriums anywhere in the room.
It is very simple and creative to mount Tillandsia Streptophylla on different mounting objects. Air plants are especially known for their ability to attach to most surfaces they are mounted on.
You can use different mounting objects like rocks, seashells, driftwood or any other display object.
ou can use a strong adhesive or a wire to mount the plant on a mounting object. However, you must be mindful of the mounting material you are going to use for your
Tillandsia species because different types of materials tend to rot or are prone to fungus, which can harm the plant. You can display your air plant with the display object on a tabletop or anywhere in the room.
Tillandsia Streptophylla is a very interesting species and can be a treasure for those who love having a collection of air plants. The leaves of this air plant dramatically curl into ringlets, indicating that it needs water. With appropriate watering, the leaves stretch out and remain straight.
Although Tillandsia Streptophylla is well known for its low maintenance, this species runs a high risk of rotting. Therefore, it is important that this plant is completely dried within 4 hours of watering. Ensure there is no trapped water between the leaves for a happy and healthy air plant.