Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tillie of the Month: Tillandsia araujei

Tillie of the Month is back! Today's Tillie of the Future is T. araujei, a hard-to-spell and harder-to-pronounce (ahr-OO-zhay-ee), thin and spiky creature.
Tillandsia araujei, a tough, tall Tillie. (MRobb)
T. araujei grows south of the Rio de J area, on the coast, in Brazil. The leaves are thick and waxy and it reminds me a lot of rosemary, which is also a tough coastal plant. They are supposed to eventually grow into clumps, but I've had mine for several years and it just keeps getting longer. It's about doubled its length from the photo above. It's now about 30cm and shows no sign of either blooming or clumping.

Araujei is one of the toughest Tillies you can grow, and doesn't need as much tender care as some, such as T. argentea fineleaf or magnusiana, which are beautiful but high-maintenance creatures.

Tillandsia magnusiana, a showy diva Tillie. (MRobb)
 In its native environment, araujei grows sideways or upside-down. Maybe if I hang mine upside-down, it will start to bloom and clump? But I am lazy, and I like it just as it is.


  1. Maybe you're onto something there! My Tillandsia bergeri, which Rainforest Flora has called the "Mad Puuper", and my Tillandsia stricta, have never shown any inclination to bloom or pup. I, too, have them growing upright (except for a few hours after their weekly soaking).

  2. The Map Pupper, eh? That's great! I need to do a tally of my collection to record how many have pupped, how many have bloomed, and how many have done neither. That would be interesting! And for those that have done neither, would an upside-down orientation change things? I've been suspecting that some Tillies need ants as symbionts to complete their life cycle. I'll be doing some research.... Thanks for chiming in and happy gardening!