Tillandsia ionantha or Sky Plant is native from Mexico to Nicaragua where they grow on deciduous trees and rocks from 600 to 1650 meters. They have miniature rosettes of grayish green leaves reaching about 2 inches (5-10 cm) in height. It is an attractive plant that is great for growing on bark slabs.
Blooming Time: In late fall-winter, the plants bloom with a striking purple flowers.
Culture: Tillandsia ionantha need full sun to bright indirect light and intermediate to warm temperatures. In the greenhouse, we attach the plants to slabs of cork bark to display them. We use large paper clips to hold them to the bark until they have rooted into the bark, then the paper clips are removed. The plants are misted on a daily basis and fertilized every other week with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, the temperature should be dropped to 50° F (10° C) to initiate flower formation.
Propagation: Tillandsia ionantha are easily propagated by removal of offshoots,
Tillandsia ionantha was featured as Plant of the Week December 27, 2002- January 9, 2003.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.