The Beauty of BloomsAuthor's Note: Are you patiently waiting for your air plant to bloom? Head over to our blog article here for tips on how to encourage your air plant to bloom.
So your air plant is preparing to bloom! This is a very exciting and much anticipated time in the life of a tillandsia lover. There's lots to learn about what happens during and after your air plant blooms, and how to care for your air plant without harming your flowers.
Part of the fun of air plant blooming is seeing how the blooms actually look, after so much time wondering and anticipating. Depending on your Tillandsia type, you may see a bloom spike, also known as an inflorescence, that can last quite some time, some as long as a few months. Other air plants have more short lived blooms, lasting just a few days. Along the same lines, different air plant species produce different quantities of blooms when they are ready - from a single delicate bloom to multiple flowers.
During the blooming period, the mother plant is working very hard. It may seem as if all of the air plant's energy is going into the beautiful blooms - but there's more happening during this time. The formation of new baby plants, called pups, are beginning, and the mother is diverting lots of her energy into growing those new plant babies too.
It's crucial to pamper your air plant a little bit extra during the blooming period. Because of all the hard work going on, your air plant needs more frequent watering. It's best to avoid getting the actual flower bloom wet (to avoid wilting or rotting), so take extra care when misting or dunking to avoid the bloom area. Bloom time is a great time for extra fertilizer too. Your air plant will appreciate the extra energy and reward you with faster growing, strong pups as a result.
Air plants bloom only once in their life cycle, so it's up to you what you'd like to do with the flowers. You can choose to leave the dried flowers just as they are, intact on the air plant. Using scissors to cut the bloom off of the air plant is ok to do too, and doing so will result in more energy going toward the growth of the new pups.
Many people are surprised to hear that their air plant begins to die after their spectacular bloom. This doesn't happen right away though, and the cycle of growing and blooming will continue with the pups as they grow. With proper care, your pups will one day be big and strong enough to bloom themselves, and the cycle will begin again.
Enjoying the beauty of your air plants at all stages is part of the fun of collecting and caring for Tillandsia. Let nature take its course, and you will reap the rewards of strong healthy air plants with beautiful floral blooms.