Tillandsia Tectorum is one of the most popular air plants. The plant is covered with a fuzzy coat of trichomes, which help the plant absorb water. This plant is a good choice if you’re looking to decorate your work desk or even your garden. Tillandsia Tectorum does not need constant attention or care, so it is a very low maintenance plant.
The leaves of Tillandsia Tectorum are of light green color and can grow up to 3,000 meters. The leaves of this plant do not face upward – instead, they sprout everywhere and have a very thick coat. To learn more about Tillandsia Tectorum, read our extensive gardening guide.
What is Tillandsia Tectorum?
Tillandsia Tectorum is a very common air plant that is found in Peru and Ecuador, where it grows on cliffs and mountains. The best thing about Tillandsia Tectorum is that it is easy to care for, so it is perfect to keep in your home. Tillandsia Tectorum has a dense coat on top because it is grown in arid regions, which are famous for cacti that need a lot of sun.
Tillandsia Tectorum has adapted to strong ultraviolet light and solar radiation by growing big trichomes. The trichomes help the plant survive by catching nutrients that are blowing in the wind. Since these plants are covered with a thick coat, they can dry up. This is where their open form helps them through transpiration, which keeps them hydrated at all times.
Tillandsia Tectorum plants can vary in size. Some plants may only grow up to 3 to 4 inches in height, whereas some may even grow up to 12 inches.
These plants are usually called roof air plant or rock air plant. Their scientific name is Tillandsia Tectorum. It is derived from the Latin word ‘tectorum,’ which translates to ‘roofing’.
Tillandsia Tectorum is a species of the genus Tillandsia. It’s part of the Bromeliaceae family.
The flowers of Tillandsia Tectorum can grow up to 39 inches high. These flowers have many large silver hairy scales on top. The flowers on this plant are pink in color and have small violet bracts.
Tillandsia Tectorum is very adaptable. However, air plants are tropical, they might not be able to survive outside in cold temperatures. It is best to bring your Tillandsia Tectorum plants inside when winter starts approaching.
Tillandsia Tectorum Care
Even though Tillandsia Tectorum is not a high maintenance plant, you need to keep a few things in mind to make sure this plant lives a long, healthy life.
This plant does not need too much water to survive. It is best to spray the plant 3 to 4 times a week in the summer season. However, make sure the leaves are not too wet. If you soak the leaves with water, the dense coat of trichomes will start sticking to the leaves of the Tillandsia Tectorum plant. This will deform the leaf and cause plant decay.
If you’ve soaked the leaves, always try to shake off any remaining water before it gets too late. In the winters, it is best to spray the roof air plant with water 2 to 3 times a week.
If you prefer soaking the plant instead of spraying it, it is best to do it once a week. After you’re done, make sure to keep the plant somewhere with good air circulation so it can dry out. Since it takes a while for the Tectorum to dry out, it is best to spray this plant rather than soak it.
Always let the plant dry out before spraying or watering it again. Never leave this plant under the AC or a heater since cold temperatures or high heat can damage the coating on top of the plant.
Tillandsia Tectorum needs a lot of light to survive since the trichomes on top of the leaves reflect most of it. During summers, make sure to keep it under bright, indirect light as direct sunlight can damage the leaves.
During the winter, this plant can be exposed to direct sunlight without any consequences. If your roof air plant is not given enough sunlight, the plant will start deteriorating and the leaves will stop growing.
The ideal temperature for this plant is 20 to 32 degrees, but it can also thrive in temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees. The plant prefers good air circulation and humid air so that it doesn’t dry out. You can keep these plants outside during winters but always bring it inside during rain since overwatering can damage them.
Unlike other Tillandsia plants, Tectorum plants do not need a lot of nutrients from you. They can absorb nutrients from their environment. Just make sure to fertilize your plants every 2 weeks, which is enough for them to stay healthy. Overfertilization can cause a foliar burn, which can lead to plant decay.
How to Store Tillandsia Tectorum
Tillandsia Tectorum can survive in terrariums since they can survive in closed spaces. As long as your Tectorum plant is getting sunlight and water, they are going to be fine. It is best to keep the terrarium cool at all times since these plants will rot if it gets too hot.
Large air plants can are great on window sills and tabletops but they can thrive in aeriums. Aeriums are glass containers that hold your Tectorum plant and do not need much care.
When watering your plant, don’t forget to remove it from the aerium and then keep it back only when it has completely dried. Make sure to keep your aerium in a neutral temperature at all times since your glass aerium can get hot.
During the summer, never keep your aerium near the window since glass can intensify the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun and result in plant rot.
The Tillandsia Tectorum plant should be mounted on a solid substrate that does not have any water. You can even glue this plant to the substrate or you can try wiring the plant to the bottom of the substrate.