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Air Plant Tillandsia xerographica

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Air Plant:

Phonetic Spelling
til-LAND-see-uh
Description

Xerographic Air Plant is a beautiful epiphytic in the bromeliad family with stunning mossy green flocked leaves that curl at the tips. The rosette of leaves can reach up to 3 feet across and it is one of the larger air plants. It is native to dry tropical areas of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras and grows in the upper branches of tall trees.

This plant can be grown indoors or outside in mild climates. Soak the plant in water for 15 minutes every 2 weeks and mist weekly. In the winter it can be soaked monthly.  If growing as a houseplant, heating and air conditioning can affect humidity and the plant might need more frequent misting and soaking.  Just be sure to shake out the plant and let it dry upside down after misting or soaking to prevent crown rot. You can also put some diluted liquid fertilizer in the water or use one made for bromeliads 1-2 times a month to encourage growth, pup formation and flowering.

The flower and stem can be 1-3 feet tall with a showy spike of purple to red inflorescences that that last for a long time. The plants bloom once in their lifetime and only when conditions are right.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Container Garden with Epiphytes
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#silver leaves#slow growing#epiphytic#interesting leaves#air plants#partial shade tolerant#container plant#easy to grow houseplant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#silver leaves#slow growing#epiphytic#interesting leaves#air plants#partial shade tolerant#container plant#easy to grow houseplant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tillandsia
    Species:
    xerographica
    Family:
    Bromeliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Houseplant
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The spikey inflorescence is about 6 to 15 inches in height and heavily branched. The leafy bracts are rosy red and covered by scales. The floral bracts are chartreuse and 1-2 inches long. The petals of the tubular flowers are red to purple and last for months.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Mossy green flocked leaves are wider at the base and narrow at the tips and spiral around the plant in a rosette.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Thick gray-green branched stem 6-15 inches tall.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought