Tillandsia Fuchsii (full name Tillandsia Fuchsii Var Gracilis) is a small air plant that is well known for its distinct appearance. It has interesting foliage and is very often mixed up with Tillandsia Filifolia and Tillandsia Andreana because of the similarities between the species. However, they can be differentiated based on their structure since a Fuchsii air plant is more delicate and silver-looking as compared to the other two. These plants are referred to as Air plants because of their ability to get their growth nutrients directly from the air and without any soil.
- Family: Bromeliaceae
- Subfamily: Tillandsioideae
- Genus: Tillandsia
- Specie: Fuchsii
About the Genus Tillandsia
This genus of Air plants can grow wherever conditions seem favorable to them. This could be trees, barks, rocks, and even your water pipes. They have leaves that are full of “trichomes” (cells that enable the plant to absorb moisture around them and on their surface).
They spread around easily thanks to their surprisingly light seeds and their silky, parachute-like structure. Their red, yellow, or purple flowers help them with pollination as they attract moths, hummingbirds, and sometimes even bats.
This genus has over 700 known species such as Tillandsia Magnusiana and Tillandsia Juncea. All of them have diverse characteristics because they are adapted to living in different environments. Most of these live in tropical areas, while some are found thriving in the mountains. Some of these species are even found growing in swaps and even on rocks. To categorize these plants easily, remember that the greener species are more likely to live in forests and shady environments, while the grayer plants are more commonly found in the high humidity areas that are more exposed to direct sunlight.
Common Names and Synonyms
- Air plants
Origin and Distribution
Tillandsia plants are native to forests and mountains, sometimes even deserts, of northern Mexico and the southeast United States. Apart from these places, they can also be found in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.
The Tillandsia Fuchsii species, in particular, is native to Mexico and the dry areas of Guatemala. It was so named in 1990 by Walter Till.
Tillandsia Fuchsii Features
Foliage and Stem
Interestingly, these plants are stem-less. They only have a unique set of leaves that are soft to touch and silver in color. The leaves are more like spikes and blades that grow from a rounded base. These leaves are symmetrical and grow in a clump, making the plant look like a sphere as it grows. As all air plants, these also have trichomes on their surface to help them absorb moisture, as mentioned before.
These little plants are evergreen and can look healthy and spikey all through their life, every month of the year.
Generally, these are small plants that grow as tall as 3 to 5 inches in total.
Considering that the minimum growing temperature for them is 1 degree Celsius, they are not that stressful when it comes to temperatures. However, if you live in an area with harsh winters, you might want to rethink growing this plant outdoors. They have thin leaves and are very sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Even though Tillandsia Fuchsii v Gracilis is a fairly humidity-tolerant plant, make sure the foliage does not stay moist or wet for too long as that could cause infections and diseases. Although misting it is generally not harmful, you do not want to overdo it. Spraying distilled water 3or 4 times a week is enough but make sure this water dries up in a couple of hours.
These plants bloom from June to August. They grow long spikes that are green but change into red. It grows flowers either red or purple.
Considering they do not need water from the soil, they can be pretty resistant to drought situations. They have been adapted to living in dry, desert conditions and don’t die as soon as there is a little lack of water.
These delicate creatures are not pressure tolerant. They have spikes but are very soft and fragile and will die easily if pressed or walked on.
Disease and Pest Resistance
If you see honeydew or distorted leaves of a safely-put plant, take this as a sign of an underlying disease, most probably an infection by aphids. You can spray some insecticide on the plant to get rid of these pests. Just make sure you don’t overdo it since that poisonous chemical can kill the plant as well. Also make sure you are wearing protective garments over your hands, nose, and mouth while you use them.
Tillandsia Fuschii can be both fast or slow-growing plants, depending on their genetic makeup and the environment they are living in. Generally, they grow very slowly and tend to take their time. A seed will grow into a fully mature Fuchsii in about 2- 4 years.
Luckily, these plants are not toxic and are safe to be kept around your pets and children as long as they are clean and free of any dust, dirt, or poisonous chemicals.
These air plants have a perennial life cycle which means that they can live for as long as years but only if taken care of properly and kept safe.
Considering that they do not need your constant attention, Tillandsia Fuchsii v Gracilis can be pretty easy to maintain once they are kept in their preferred environment.
These plants do not go into a phase of dormancy and grow throughout the year.
Tillandsia Fuchsia Care
Tillandsia Fuchsia care requires warm temperatures and well-lit rooms. Bright but filtered lights are particularly favorable for them and they require moderate water and humidity to survive. However, they need to stay dry to stay healthy and free of any pests and infections.
A Tillandsia Fuchsii does not have very difficult watering needs, but they have thin leaves so they need an adequate amount of water to make sure they grow healthy. There are three ways of watering your Fuchsii air plant.
- You can soak them for a couple of hours once every week.
- You can mist them thoroughly 3 to 7 times weekly.
- They can be completely submerged in water 2 to 4 times a week.
These plants absorb water through their leaves, as discussed before, so it is better if you turn the plant upside down when you do this. Just make sure you shake the excess water off the plant and dry it completely in less than 4 hours to prevent any rotting. Water tends to sit in the crevices so pay close attention to those areas as well to make sure there is no chance of inviting any unwanted microbial growth.
As air plants, these plants do not require soil. However, you can plant them against sand, rocks, or shells in a container. Just avoid any substances that can absorb water.
Indirect, filtered sunlight works best for these plants. Keep them in a well-lit, bright room and they will thrive perfectly. If you lack natural sunlight in your place, you can always use artificial growing lights to make up for it. Just make sure the plant is not kept under direct sunlight since its thin, delicate leaves can burn easily. If you must, bring them out in the sun during the early morning or late afternoons. This can even make your plant look greener and healthier.
Tillandsia Fuchsii loves warmer temperatures and grows best in the temperature range of 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not do well under extreme conditions so make sure it is not directly exposed to fans, air conditioners, or heaters.
As discussed earlier, these plants don’t mind the humidity on their leaves and appreciate misting their leaves. But too much moisture on their leaves for too long can make them unwell. So, make sure you keep the plants nice and dry to avoid that.
Feeding your plant a liquid fertilizer that has a low nitrogen component once a month can be a good idea, especially during the growing phase of the baby Fuchsii.
You can maintain these plants by picking and removing the dead or dropped leaves from around it and making sure it is clean and dry.
Tillandsia Fuchsii Propagation
These plants multiply and reproduce via pollination. However, you can propagate the Tillandsia plants in spring by either layering or sowing methods.
- Start by removing the plant from its current container and place it in water for a couple of hours until it is completely hydrated.
- Now, remove the plant from water, shake the excess water off and place it on a flat surface. Spread its leaves and you will see small pups lying at the base.
- Gently pull the base apart and separate these pups from the plant. You can now place the parent plant back into its container.
- Place the pup in a separate container and set it in a spot with the warm temperature and indirect light.
- Mist it regularly (preferably twice every day) but make sure they are dry during the night because that is when they respire and water covering the leaves makes it hard for them to take in air.
- Remember that these plants are sometimes very slow growing so you need to be very patient and consistent.
Week 1: Place your pup in its suitable container and water it frequently.
Months 12-20: The seed can grow up to 1 inch during the first two years of cultivation.
Years 2-4: After the first couple of years, it shows a relatively faster growth and fully develops in 4 years to a size that can be enjoyed.
Some Common FAQs
Why Does My Fuchsii Plant Look Dry and Unwell?
If this is so, the most probable cause is lack of moisture. Under-watering the plant can cause overall dryness and even drooping of the leaves, disturbing its upright, spherical structure. Try watering it more often and misting the leaves in between.
Why is My Fuchsii Plant Turning Brown?
Air plants that turn brown are another sign of them being under-watered. Touch and feel its leaves. If the plant feels dry, it most probably is. To solve this, soak the plant in water (preferably upside down) and mist it between watering sessions.
Why Does My Fuchsii Plant Keep Dying?
There are several reasons why this could be happening, the number one reason being an under-watered or over-watered plant. Monitor your watering sessions and make sure you are giving it an adequate amount of water and letting it dry it afterward.
The second most probable reason for this is extreme temperatures or lights. Make sure your plant is not sitting in front of direct scorching sunlight, or an open window. Keep it away from direct exposure to air conditioners, ventilators, fans, and heaters.
Another common reason for a dying Air plant is too much fertilizer. Excessive fertilizing can burn your plant’s roots and stunt its growth. Only give it a suitable amount as mentioned on the package and do not overdo it.
Also, sometimes, these plants naturally start to die when their natural life cycle ends. If everything else is under control, and your plant is pretty old, then this may be why it keeps dying on you.
How Do I Revive My Tillandsia Fuchsii Plant?
The easiest way to revive a wilting Fuchsii plant is to soak it. Turn it upside down and leave it in a jar or bowl of water. Remove the plant after a couple of hours and shake off any excess water from its surface. Make sure to dry it for 3 to 4 hours. Then, repeat this process at least 2 to 3 times.
Displaying Tillandsia Fuchsii Plant
Because of their small size and unique structure, Tillandsia Fuchsii v Gracilis look great displayed in glass bowls and jars alongside rocks, sand, and crystals. Just make sure you don’t put them in absorbent substances like moss or soil. You can hang these containers or put them on shelves. Your kitchen and bathroom should be ideal spots for it in the house. However, you can put it anywhere with bright lights, moderate temperatures, and good humidity.
Tillandsia Fuchsii Var Gracilis is a rare and unique plant that has delicate, spikey foliage with a compact, round base, and no stem. They can be kept in warm, humid environments under bright, indirect lights. As they grow older, they even flower and grow purple flowers on a red spike. You can decorate them in glass containers like bowls and jars along with sand, rocks, and crystals and put them on your shelves or hang them in the house.