Tillandsia xerographica, also known as the King of the air plants, is a striking epiphytic plant that is famous for its astounding beauty and long, silverish leaves. It is grown as a mounted plant indoors. It beautifully adorns every corner and every wall. Tillandsia Xerographica can also be grown as a tabletop; it adds a classy statement wherever it goes. It is a low-maintenance, robust plant that is so easy to take care of. Here is an easy guide for Tillandsia xerographica care.
Tillandsia Xerographica Care
Tillandsia xerographica care involves monthly watering and frequent misting. It grows without soil, mounted on some adhesive surface. Its ideal temperature range is 16-18°C. About 60% humidity is required for its lush growth. It requires a minimum of 6 hours of bright, indirect light.
This distinctively aesthetic air plant is native to dry climates. It can happily live in conditions of low water availability. This plant does not require occasional watering. Tillandsia xerographica care involves monthly waterings. That’s right, just once a month! This silver beauty can easily live off of just misting. You should mist its leaves regularly. The watering rule is to put the plant upside down in a bowl of water. Then, pick up the plant after 2 minutes and shake it to remove any excess water. Standing water leads to root rot. Make sure to use lukewarm water; it will help the plant grow faster. Its watering needs to cut down even more in winters. The right way to water your xerographica plant is to notice its leaves and get the cues. If its leaves are curling and wrinkling, your plant is thirsty, and it needs to be watered. If its leaves are abnormally straight, you might be watering it more often. Straight leaves are a sign to stop watering the plant for a while.
Just like other air plants, Tillandsia xerographica does not require nutrients or moisture from the soil. This plant is an epiphytic one, so it obtains all of these essential kinds of stuff directly from the air. You do not have to put it in a separate pot; it will be of no use. The right way to grow a xerographica is to mount it on some surface. Make sure that the particular surface does not retain water; it will increase the risk of root rot. You can attach it to some rocks, shells, driftwood, or slate. You can also wire it to some surface or place it in a bowl. The no-repotting thing makes xerographic air plant care so easy.
Tillandsia xerographica loves bright rooms. This plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. You can grow it indoors as well as outdoors, as long as it is safe from the direct hot afternoon sun. If you want to grow it outdoor, you can protect its comely foliage from direct light exposure by placing a shade cloth over it.
A room having a lot of windows suits best for the placement of this dry beauty. You can place it in an east or north-facing window that receives some morning sun. In these two places, the plant will also be protected from the afternoon sun. Fluorescent or artificial light will also do fine, but your plant will not look as fresh.
Deserts and dry climates are the natural habitats of this plant. So it is quite tolerant of high temperatures. The ideal temperature range for its proper growth is 16-18°C. This temperature range also fluctuates at night. At night, it can tolerate a temperature 10°C cooler than a day. This stunning air plant is also frost-hardy. This means it also tolerates lower temperatures so easily.
In its natural habitat, it lives in a humid environment, where the humidity is always above 75% due to the surrounding trees. On the other hand, in tropical and subtropical households, the humidity level is much lesser. Tillandsia xerographica is an adaptive plant, but that does not mean that you deprive it completely of moisture and humidity. Tillandsia xerographica plant care also involves regulating the moisture level around it. The ideal humidity for the lush growth of its foliage is 60%. Misting and spritzing the plant proved effective for increasing humidity. You can also place this plant in a group with your other plant collection to compensate for its humidity requirements.
You do not have to fertilize the plant normally. It pretty much grows on its own. But you can feed your struggling plant to boost its health and growth. A general-purpose or a liquid fertilizer will do fine for this lovely air plant. If you are pouring a liquid fertilizer, you should use only 1/4th of the mentioned quantity of fertilizer. Avoid over-feeding; it will burn its air roots.
Grooming and Pruning
You do not over-prune your air plants. These plants use their leaves to get their essentials from the air, so over-pruning will decrease the surface area for absorption. However, you can cut the yellowed leaves or brown tips to promote healthy growth.
Pests and Diseases
This plant attracts mealybugs and scale insects. These two pests damage the plant by sucking its sap from the stem. These eventually weaken the plant and risk it to death. Getting rid of them is important for Tillandsia Xerographica care. All you have to do is spray a liquid insecticide on the leaves. For mealybugs, you can also use neem-oil-dipped cotton balls to rub the foliage.
This aesthetically pleasing plant looks good in every corner of a home. So why don’t you increase your collection of this king of air plants and have modern-décor your home? Propagation of Tillandsia Xerographica plant can be done by its seeds and pups.
Propagation Through Seeds
The true seeds of this plant can be obtained from its flowers once they die and start to dry out. Propagating this plant by its seeds requires a lot of patience as a little seed takes eight complete years to turn into a fully grown plant.
Propagation Through Pups
You can also propagate it through its pups. It is an easier and quicker way. Each plant produces pups six months or two years after blooming. These pups appear at the base of this plant. Remove the pup by using a sharp knife. Make sure to cut the pup at the adjoining point of the stem and the pup. You can grow a new Tillandsia xerographica from a little pup in a way similar to growing the mother plant.