AIR PLANTS - LIFE CYCLE

Air Plant in Bloom


Another Air Plant in Bloom (notice the reddish blush of the leaves around the bloom)


Air Plant in Bloom


After Bloom: Parent Plant Surrounded by Offspring


It’s common for air plants (tillandsia) to take on a different leaf color (usually a reddish blush near the center of the plant) before flowering. Depending on the species, you can expect a flower between mid winter and mid summer.  Tillandsia only bloom once in their lives but, the bloom will last from several weeks to several months.


Tillandsia reproduce by sending out new plants from the base of the parent (some varieties produce as many 60 plants or “pups”).  The new plants form around the base of the parent plant approximately one to two months after the parent plant has finished blooming.


The new pups grow around the parent plant as it slowly dies off. When the mother has died, the pups can be gently pried apart and will survive individually to grow and bloom.  These new plants will reach maturity and complete their bloom cycle in one to several years (depending on the species).


Contrary to everything stated above, many of my plants have continued to live after blooming; some have not produced pups; and one is getting ready to send up another bloom… Hmm?

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All images and content copyright Jeffrey Schneider of JAMES Modern Terrariums 2009.