Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today's Special Tilly: Tillandsia filifolia

T. filifolia
The lovely, delicately glowing Tillandsia in the center of the bowl, next to the T. caput medusae, is a Tillandsia filifolia.  Filiform, or threadlike, leaves grow from a spherical base. It's a very small Tilly, only about 15-20cm diameter on average.

Filifolias come from higher elevations in Central Mexico and Costa Rica.

Wikimedia Commons

They like medium to low filtered light, and a lot of humidity. Their flowers are a lovely lavender. They live in zones 10 and 11, or indoors. The key to happy filifolias is a lot of humidity and air movement, though some people grow them successfully in glass orbs. The tips of their leaves turn brown and shrivel if they are not getting enough watering or humidity.

I try to keep my filiform Tillies in the center of the group, where the humidity is highest, and I mist them whenever I think about it, which is fairly often.  They get a good soaking in a bucket two or three times a week. They are a lot of fun to hold in the palm of your hand, and always get compliments from guests.