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Tillandsia tricolor
Photo by Tom Stuart

Most Tillandsia are epiphytic by nature and feed through their slender silvery leaves. They were named air plants because they seeming live off of the air but they need regular watering or misting.

The small Tillandsia ionantha can be planted or glued to driftwood or planted in ceramic gardens. They are sun loving but like a regular misting and good air circulation. The light requirement of Tillandsia can usually be deduced from the foliage. The harder or thicker the leaves and the more gray their color the more light they need. Fertilizing will give more vigorous growth however sosme growers like more compact grey plants. They like misting, drenching or dunking but give them plenty of air circulation so they can dry out between waterings.

Tillandsia tricolor is named for the red-green-blue of the inflorescence. It has a tiny yellow flower at the very tip of the stalk.

Tillandsia usneoides is the common Spanish moss found across the southern United States. In Hawaii is is also called hinahina, Pele's hair, and Old Man Dole's beard.

Tillandsia cyanea is also known as Pink Quill and Kamehameha's paddle. Although it is sold potted it can be grown mounted on a tree or a piece of driftwood.

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