Thomas J. Story
Tillandsias are native to tropical parts of the Americas, where they live without soil on trees and rocks.
Display: Highlight their sculptural shapes and subtle colors by propping them in tiny pots or by mounting them with wire onto hanging wooden plaques.
Water: Tillandsias need regular moisture, so dunk them in water two or three times a week and shake them off well; don’t let standing water remain in contact with the plant. If misting is your only option, be sure to thoroughly wet them several times a week.
Light: Give them bright indirect light, ideally placing them within 6 feet of a well-lit window. As a general rule, darkergreen smooth types like T. bulbosa can handle a bit less light than graygreen fuzzy ones such as T. leonamiana (left).
Fertilizer: Feed tillandsias monthly from March through October with an orchid fertilizer diluted to quarter strength (dunk plants in the dilution or wet leaves thoroughly).