Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tilly of the Month: Tillandsia juncea

Tillandsia juncea is a vital part of any air plant collection. Tall and graceful, it resembles pampas grass. T. juncea grows to nearly a half-meter in height. It flowers and pups rather spectacularly.  Here is the main pup from one of mine (you can see "The Spirit of the Lithops" peeking through the leaves):
Tillandsia juncea, MR 2013
T. juncea grows in many countries- Bolivia, Brazil, and Venezuela in South America, and Costa Rica and Mexico in Central America. It's a very tough Tillie, but needs excellent air circulation. If it is kept damp without a good breeze, it will quickly rot at the base. It should never be "pseudo-planted" in moss or dirt. Give this Tillie its space and fresh air, and it will really take off. Medium-bright light is best.
As you can see here, after blooming its one and only time, T. juncea pups at the base. Several pups will grow, but only one will be dominant, in this case, the one on the far left. You can just leave them to grow in clumps, or separate the pup with it's about the size of the large one above. I do not know if, when you separate the dominant pup from the mother plant, other pups will begin to grow more vigorously. I'll let you know what happens if I decide to experiment.

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