One of the most spectacular parts of owning an Air Plant is seeing it bloom.
From blooms to pups.
A bloom, or flowering air plant, will only happen once in the life of each Tilly. But the beauty is well worth the wait. If you’re wondering when your Air Plant will bloom, there is really no way of knowing. Though, we find that somewhere between winter and spring tends to be a popular time.
Once your Tilly has bloomed, it will start to focus much of its nutrients and energy on producing pups, or offspring. At first, these little guys will look like new leaves at the base of the plant. It will soon become clear that they are entirely new plants. Once they grow to 1/3 the size of their “mother,” they can be plucked off and will survive on their own. Amazingly, each Air Fern can produce up to 12 pups.
This Scaposa Air Plant has brand new pups growing at its base.
Fertilizing helps to bloom.
One easy way to encourage blooming is to use spray fertilizer on your Air Fern. This is especfially important if you aren’t using water that already has biological particles in it, such as rain or lake water. Using a bromeliad specific mixture once a month just after your Tilly has been soaked will help them thrive and bloom.
If you’re anxious to see a bloom, some people use a process like the one described to “force” their plant to bloom. But, you should note that Tillandsia are soil-free plants and if potted will die. You should also be aware that different types of Tillandias may not respond well to this approach. We’d suggest that you plan to provide routine light, air, and water and let the air plant bloom when it’s ready. Your patience will pay off, and you will keep healthy plants for a longer period of time.