Air Plant Brachycaulos Large

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The name ‘air plants’ is the common name for bromeliads of the Tillandsia genus. From the central USA to Central America and throughout South America, over 500 species of Tillandsia grow in a wide range of habitats. The majority of Tillandsia species are epiphytes. Epiphytes absorb moisture and nutrients from their fuzzy foliage and the roots are used primarily to provide support for the plant. Epiphytes are not parasites, as host plants and trees merely provide support, not sustenance.



  • LIGHT:  Bright diffused sunlight for a majority of the day (over six hours). Filtered sunlight through a south or east facing window is ideal. Even in northern regions, tillandsias can scorch if the plants are exposed to direct mid-day sunlight, particularly during the summer months. Tillandsias grown in glass terrariums are especially susceptible to sun damage, as curved glass can concentrate the sunrays and burn the plants. Tillandsias can also be cultivated under bright artificial lights, such as LED or florescent lighting.


  • WATER: The watering schedule for tillandsias may vary throughout the year. Air plants appreciate misting up to three times a week.  Certain varieties (usually the green, broader leaves) can be submerged in water for 15 minute every seven to ten days.  In Edmonton our winters can be quite dry and submersion should be done as well as misting. Filtered water, or reverse osmosis water are also preferred water sources. During and after watering, remove any trapped water inside the base of the plant, as to prevent crown rot.


  • TEMPERATURE: Tillandsias should be not exposed to temperatures below freezing or above 35°C.

Brachycaulos is a well known air plant for its deep green coloration and interesting growing patterns. This is a plant that prefers bright, indirect light and frequent waterings. You will notice that when your Brachycaulos comes into bloom, it will turn a shade of red (pictured) then return to green after its blooming cycle. Brachycaulos can be found naturally in various parts of central America at elevations of 600 - 1,200 meters.  Brachycaulos can handle both high and low light levels, but will grow faster and have a deeper red bloom when given higher amounts of bright, filtered light.

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