Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Shirley Temple Plant: Tillandsia streptophylla

'Tis true, I have never seen such a curly plant in my life! What do you think??
Tillandsia streptophylla, MRobb, 2016
Tillandsia streptophylla, aka, the Shirley Temple Plant, hails from Central America. It grows mostly at sea level to about 800m and the name means, guess, "twisted leaf". Well, that's easy to remember! The plant curls more tightly the drier the weather, then straightens out somewhat after heavy watering or a good soak.
T. streptophylla, soaking. The leaves straighten a bit.
It's a very easy care Tillie; the only thing to watch out for is rot. After a soak, it should dry upside down so the leaves can drain. I water mine once a week and give it moderate light. When it begins to bloom, it will turn bright pink! I add bromeliad fertilizer to its soak once a month to keep it green and growing. That's about it. What a beauty.


  1. Beautiful plant! I just lost one of my xeros to rot even though I always dry them upside down. Sometimes, I doubt my plant parenting skills... :(

  2. Don't doubt your skills! Xeros are one of the trickiest Tillies around. Mine is doing fine, yet no pups years after bloom, not even one. No idea why. They are super finicky. That's why nurseries charge so much for them- they lose a lot of them, too!

  3. Really cool. What is its benefit in being curly? Does it prevent water loss from the surface better?

  4. Hi, Neyonta! Yes, I think you've got it- the curling of the leaves keeps the environment for the plant more humid and prevents water on the leaf from evaporating too quickly. Thanks for a great observation!

    1. Welcome. Such an an exciting looking plant!