It is important to maintain Tillandsias properly--the key factors are Light, Water, and Air Circulation.
Lighting for Tillandsias should be bright but filtered (April - October). They should not be left in the direct sun in the summer months (this will cause the plant to become sunburned). Tillandsias love direct sun (November - March). Tillandsias may be grown in the house directly in front of a window. Fresh moving air is advisable, but remember, the most important care need is bright filtered light.
BEWARE: Trees, overhangs and window tinting can rob your plants of needed light. Place plants no further away than 4 feet from a bright window.
Full spectrum artificial light (fluorescent) is best. Plant should be no further than 36" from the fluorescent tubes and can be as close as 6". A four-tube 48" fixture works well. Bulbs can be any full spectrum type Gro-Lux, Repta-Sun, Vita-Lite, etc. Light should be set with a timer, 12 hours per day.
Thoroughly wet your Tillandsia 2-3 times per week; more often in a hot, dry environment; less often in a cool, humid one. Plants should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in no longer than 4 hours after watering. Spray misting is insufficient as the sole means of watering but may be beneficial between regular waterings in dry climates to increase the humidity.
If the plant is in a shell, be sure to empty the water out. Tillandsias will not survive in standing water.
Under-watering is evidenced by an exaggerating of the natural concave curve of each leaf.
Following each watering, Tillandsias should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in 4 hours or less. Do not keep plants constantly wet or moist.
Optimum temperature range for tillandsias is 50 - 90 degrees F.
Use Bromeliad fertilizer (17-8-22) twice a month. It is GREAT for blooming and reproduction! Other water-soluble fertilizers can be used at 1/4 strength (Rapid Grow, Miracle-Grow, etc.) if Bromeliad fertilizer is not available.
A Tillandsia is a Bromeliad...but not all Bromeliads are Tillandsias. Bromeliad is the Family name. Tillandsia is the genus.Airplants are the common name for Tillandsias. Not all Bromeliads are Airplants. Airplants grow without soil while most types of Bromeliads do best in soil.