Related to the pineapple family, Tillandsias, commonly called air plants, use their wire-like roots for anchoring only and have no need for soil. All Tillandsias bloom and produce off-shoots from the base that can be divided or left to form a clump.
Despite being called air plants, Tillandsias need water; though they can survive for long periods of drought, they will not grow or thrive without water – they just go dormant to survive. Tillandsias require as much bright light as possible without causing burning and enough air circulation to dry out in no longer than 4 hours after watering. Water in the morning to ensure they dry by nightfall. Plants will rot and die if left wet for too long.
Adequate light is the second most important factor in growing a strong, healthy plant – after water. Give plant as bright a light as you can without causing burning. Indoors no further than 10’ from a bright window or skylight, but no direct sun. Outdoors in shade with partial sun for an hour or so in morning or evening; never direct sun
Thoroughly wet your Tillandsia 2-3 times/week making sure the entire plant gets wet to the point of runoff. An ideal method is to immerse the whole plant in a bucket or sink full of water; shake out any excess water from the plant & container. If it dries in less than 4 hours, you’re doing it right. Do not use softened or distilled water. Plants need to dry out completely before being watered again.
Well-watered leaves will feel stiff and full of water; dry leaves will be softer to the touch and the plant will be lighter in color. Dehydration can be detected when leaves become flaccid, wrinkled or rolled.
While fertilizer is not necessary, it will result in faster growth, better flowers and more pups. Over fertilizing or using the wrong kind of fertilizer can kill your plant. Use a good water-soluble fertilizer like Grow More Bromeliad Tillandsia at 1/4 strength recommended on the label only once a month.