The inflorescences in air plants produce beautiful flowers of different colors.
Still waiting patiently for your Tillandsia to flower and wondering how you can help encourage the process. In an air plant’s life cycle, the bloom phase is the first stage. It marks the beginning of the reproductive process in the air plant in which it produces an inflorescence. Tillandsia produces different types of blooms in over 600 species.
Air plants only bloom once in their lifetime as for the Tillandsia it produces different blooms, many of them producing beautifully colored blossoms that come in a countless of colors ranging from delicate pinks and fiery reds, to bright purples and yellows. As the bloom cycle has completed you may notice some new growth off the side of your air plant. These are baby air plants, commonly called offsets or “pups.” These little babies will eventually mature into their own “adult” air plant.After the pups grow to about 1/3 of the size of the mother plant, you can remove them and this will jump start the pup stage! On average, 1 to 3 pups will be created by the air plant after blooming, depending on the air plant species.
How long does it take for an air plant to bloom? Some plants take longer than others, and can grow for months or even years before they bloom. These larger, slower growing varieties include the xerographica, harrisii, fasciculata, etc. All of these plants will emit a bloom spike that can last months! Some plants such as the stricta, aeranthos, houston, etc. bloom quicker than others and all have stunning blooms.
What special care can you do for a Tillandsia in bloom? First, keep watering and feeding your plant! Nevertheless, you’ll want to take special care when watering blooming air plants not to get the flower wet, so instead of dunking or soaking the whole plant, you can mist the plant. Because if the bloom is submerged in water for too long, it could rot or wilt. A blooming plant may need a little more water than usual since all of its energy is going into the bloom and eventually the pups. Make sure to keep an eye on your plant so that it stays happy and healthy!
Will the mother plant die? Eventually, yes. With proper care, they can last for a long time though but this is perfectly normal. Over time the new offset will take over, and the mother plant will slowly die off as it gives its energy to the pups.
That being said, with proper care, plants will bloom when they are ready, no need to rush it. You can fertilize to promote blooming, but the wait is part of the fun of collecting air plants!
Have you had any of your air plants bloom?