Home Plants Tillandsia Neglecta – An Epiphytic Plant

Tillandsia Neglecta – An Epiphytic Plant

by gardeningit
Tillandsia Neglecta

Air plants adorn a room in their unique way. You can place these epiphytic plants nearly everywhere: you can mount them on a vertical board, you can put them in small cases, or you can grow them in a collection with other small-sized plants. You cannot think of a single place where these no-soil plants cannot be grown. Tillandsia Neglecta is one such great air plant that you can grow in your home to stay connected with nature.

This compact plant has dark-green leaves and bears purple flowers. Even a person with a black thumb can grow this easy maintenance plant indoors without a problem. If you are interested, let’s learn some more exciting details about this plant.

Classification and Origin

  • Family: Bromeliaceae
  • Subfamily: Tillandsioideae
  • Genus: Tillandsia

Tillandsia Neglecta is a perennial, herbaceous and epiphytic air plant native to the forests of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This plant grows on rocks and cliffs and gets nutrients from the organic substances falling from the trees.



This plant has small, dark-green leaves that are thick and denser than other Tillandsia species.


Purple-colored flowers bloom on the rosy-colored inflorescence of this plant from March to September.


This small, adorable Tillandsia species grow as tall as 3 inches in size.

Tillandsia Neglecta Varieties

One of the most common varieties of this plant is Tillandsia Neglecta Red Giant. It is also called Tillandsia Neglecta Rubra.

Tillandsia Neglecta Giant is taller than its parent plant and has red-green, tapered leaves instead of glossy green ones. This Tillandsia variety grows about 6 inches tall.

Tillandsia Neglecta Care

Quick Guide 

  • Watering: 2-3 times a week.
  • Soil type and pH: No soil required.
  • Sunlight: Bright indirect sunlight.
  • Temperature: 10-27°C.
  • Humidity: 65%
  • Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizer every two weeks.

Let’s get into the details.

Watering Requirements

As Tillandsia Neglecta is an air plant, you cannot water it through its roots; it does not have adequately developed roots. This plant absorbs water, moisture, and nutrients through its leaves. This is why the best way to water this pretty species is to submerge it in a bowl of water for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times every week. In summers, it needs more watering than average due to the higher external temperature.

You can also switch to misting instead of watering the plant through a bowl. If you mist the plant 3-7 times a week, it would be enough.

Soil Requirements

In its natural habitat, Neglecta Air Plant grows on rocks and other plants. It is an epiphyte that does not rely on its growing medium to provide it with life essentials. This is why, when this plant is grown indoors, there is no need to grow it in soil or a potting mix. You can either place it in a small bowl or mount it on a wooden box to grow equally healthy.


The dark-green foliage of Tillandsia Neglecta needs bright sunlight to grow at a standard rate. However, the sunlight must be indirect. Bright sun can scorch its leaves and burn the tips, so you must avoid it. You should place this plant in a spot where indirect sunlight reaches its foliage.

Let us tell you the best spots where you can place your lovely Tillandsia Neglecta. An east-facing or north-facing windowsill, 6 feet away from a south-facing window, directly under fluorescent lights.


It is a warmth-loving plant. It can be grown indoors as it grows appropriately in the average room temperature range. If you maintain the temperature between 10°C and 27°C, it would be well and good. It is the ideal temperature range for this plant. Note that this plant cannot tolerate temperature extremes; it is not winter-hardy nor tolerant of intense heat.


If you want to retain the fresh colors of your plant, you should regulate the humidity levels around it. This Tillandsia plant needs moderate humidity for its lush growth; the humidity must be around 65%. As this plant grows in the tropical rainforests in nature, they live in highly humid places. If you want to see your plant thrive and flourish, you should mimic its natural habitat in your home. You should mist the plant regularly to increase the amount of moisture around it.


You must fertilize this plant twice a month in the growing season. Feeding or fertilization is essential for the healthy growth of the plant; fertilizer provides the plant with all the essential nutrients and micronutrients. You can use a liquid fertilizer diluted to half its strength to feed the plant. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season. Slow-release fertilizer is available to the plant for an extended period, so you do not have to add it to the soil every two weeks.

Grooming and Pruning

It would be best if you trim the leaves that have turned brown or are old enough. These old leaves are just a burden on the plant, and they are doing no good thus need to be removed. You should disinfect your scissors before using them on this plant. This practice rules out the possibility of any infectious disease.

How to Propagate Tillandsia Neglecta?

Tillandsia Neglecta is a beautiful species that makes a great plant collection. Why buy many Neglecta plants to grow your plant collection when you can simply propagate the mother plant? This small, adorable air plant species is easy to propagate as it produces offsets or pups. You can also leave the plant be and let it grow, as it looks great with all the clumps around.

If you know the basic steps to propagate the gorgeous Tillandsia Capitata or the classy Tillandsia Xerographica, you already know how to propagate this one. Here is how you do it:

  1. Submerge the healthy plant in a bowl of water for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Then remove the excess water by shaking it.
  3. Place the plant on a hard surface.
  4. Spread the leaves from the base to reveal the clumps.
  5. Using a sharp, disinfected knife, cut the clumps.
  6. Place the clumps in a bowl of water for a while.
  7. Mount these clumps along with the mother plant on a mounting board.
  8. Mist these baby Tillandsia regularly in the morning and the afternoon.

These will grow in mature plants in a month or two.

Tillandsia Neglecta Basic Features

Growth rate

It is a small, slow-growing plant. Its growth rate is affected by its external environment. The more ideal its surroundings are, the faster it grows. Its USDA growth zones are 9 to 11.


A completely non-toxic, non-poisonous, pet-friendly plant! This Tillandsia plant does not trigger any harmful reactions if its parts are ingested by mistake.

Drought Tolerance

Yes, this plant can tolerate droughts and harsh conditions. It is a hardy species with a remarkable ability to store water in its foliage. If it is not watered for an extended period, it goes into dormancy to save itself from dying.


Tillandsia plants are one of the most popular houseplants because they are easy to grow. Tillandsia Neglecta is also a low-maintenance plant that can be grown indoors without much hassle.


This plant has stunted growth in winters because it is in its dormancy stage. No new blooms or buds are produced during these days. Because of reason, you should never fertilize this plant in winters.

Common Problems and Their Solutions


Fungus and rot are two common diseases of this Tillandsia plant. If the plant is kept in high humidity, watered more than necessary, or is placed in a spot with poor ventilation, it can get either of these two diseases. You should avoid overwatering and always dry your plant after watering it to prevent these diseases.


If you underwater your plant or place it under direct sun, its leaves will start to burn and turn brown. These crisp leaves will attract mealybugs and scales. You should remove these pests as soon as possible by using rubbing alcohol. The long-term solution is to regulate the watering and moving the plant to a better spot.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tillandsia Neglecta

Can My Plant Survive in Artificial Light?

Yes, this plant can grow equally well under artificial lights. If you do not have a well-lit spot with good sunlight exposure in your home, you can place your plant under fluorescent lights for 4-6 hours a day.

Why Are the Leaves of My Plant Turning Black?

Black leaves indicate excessive dampness and rot. You should leave the plant to dry for a while and remove the damaged leaves.

Why Do My Leaves Have Tiny Bumps on Their Undersides?

The tiny bumps that you notice on the undersides of the leaves are scales that are clinging to the foliage. You should remove them immediately to avoid any damage to the plant.

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