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All air plants fanatics look forward to the flowering season. It is always an excellent time to experience air plants in all their glory. Ideally, air plants look beautiful in all seasons of their lifetime. With their silvery or green leaves growing in a stunning pattern, they are already a beautiful sight to look at.
Things get even prettier and better during the blooming season. Depending on the air plant variety, they may have red, purple, or pink flowers.
Air plants flower only once in their lifetime, producing one or more flowers. It takes a plant between one and two years to flower, and the bloom can last for a few weeks to a month. Once they dry up, the plant begins to produce new pups.
Besides beautifying air plants more, the flowering season also means time for the all-important reproductive process. In this post, you will learn how many times air plants flower, and I will also tell you more about the air plants blooming process across different varieties. Armed with this information, you will know what to expect from your beloved air plants.
After the blooming season, air plants begin forming pups or offsets. These pups are an essential element in ensuring new air plants are born.
The Number of Times Air Plants Flower
Unlike other plants like perennials, which bloom several times during their lifetime, air plants naturally do so just one single time. It is worth mentioning that air plants usually are very slow-growing plants. For instance, when you start growing an air plant from seeds, it will take around two to five years to grow to maturity.
The flowering season will often start when the air plant is mature and ready for propagation. Like most plants, the flowering season in air plants can start in spring or summer. During these seasons, daytimes are often longer, and therefore the plant gets exposed to light for a more extended period.
The flowering cycle requires a lot of energy to be successful. Adequate light helps the air plant produce the energy needed through photosynthesis. During the blooming season, air plants invest a lot of energy.
The flowering begins with the plant producing an inflorescence. Afterward, a flower appears from this inflorescence before the plant goes into a beautiful full bloom.
How long the bloom lasts is often dependent on the air plant species.
The flowering season is a natural way for air plants to attract insects and birds for pollination. It is always so colorful and sometimes filled with good fragrance is so appealing not just to people but also to pollinators like insects drawn to the plant.
When they come to it, they help accomplish the purpose of the bloom: reproduction. The air plants will then produce pups for the first time in their lives after this past flowering season.
Also, read this informative post on Fertilizing air plants for maximum growth.
The Different Flowering Styles Across Different Air Plants Varieties
There are various styles of blooms within the world of air plants. Different air plants will show differences in their bloom styles in terms of aspects like:
- The color of the flowers.
- The number of flowers produced.
- And how long the bloom lasts.
There are more than 600 species of air plants, and variations exist in how each of these species produces flowers. For instance, you will find a particular type of air plant with a longer bloom cycle than the other is commonly the situation in larger air plant varieties like xerographica.
While some blooms last from a few days to weeks, others extend to even a yearlong! A variety like caput-medusae can have a bloom that lasts for up to a year. Impressive, right?
Additionally, the blossoms come in a wide array of colors depending on the air plant variety you own. One air plant may be purple, another red, pink, or yellow. And within these specific colors, there are also differences in the wage of color means you may find one variety having a pale pink color and another one having a vibrant pink color.
However, regardless of the color, we are sure that the flowers will always be beautiful. While one air plant variety may have a single flower during its blooming season, you will find others with multiple flowers coming from one bloom. The main styles of air plant blooms include:
- An inflorescence: Air plant varieties that exhibit this style of blooming will produce a stiff stem and a cluster of flowers will bloom from this main stem. This will create a very stunning bloom. Cases of an inflorescence can be witnessed in varieties such as, Tillandsia fasciculata tropiflora, xerographica and Tillandsia concolor.
- Single stem blooms: Other air plant varieties will have a single flower coming up from the center of the plant on a short stem. Examples of air plants that showcase this bloom style are the houston, aeranthos, capitata and harissii.
- Multiple blooms: This is yet another impressive category of blooms. In this style, your air plant will have multiple blooms that appear from the center and bloom all at once. Multiple blooms can be experienced in varieties such as Tillandsia ionantha, neglecta and brachycaulos.
There is so much to be fascinated about regarding the different ways air plants bloom. They have a traditional way of surprising us with unique blooms when it happens.
Moreover, this only happens once in their lifetime, making the blooming season even more special and worth the wait. Every variety will surprise you with a colorful bloom that sometimes comes with a good scent.
Examples of Blooms in Different Types of Air Plants
As previously mentioned, the once-in-a-lifetime flowering season happens differently for every air plant variety. We want to delve deeper and list down some common beautiful and colorful air plant varieties available out there. This information will be helpful for you in identifying the air plant variety you already have at home.
It can also help you make an informed decision the next time you purchase an air plant because you will know what to expect when it’s flowering time.
Our list consists of a few of the best air plant varieties that include:
- Tillandsia ionantha: This popular variety is commonly known as the sky plant. It has shiny silver- greenish leaves that make it very beautiful. During the one-time flowering season that happens almost at the end of its life cycle, sky plants produce brightly colored (purple, red or pink) flowers that take their beauty a notch higher.
- Tillandsia caput medusae: This type of air plant has snake-like leaves that spread out horizontally in a manner resembling hair strands. Once mature, it produces red or blue flowers during the summer season. It blooms are known to last for up to a year meaning you will get to enjoy them for a longer period of time.
- Tillandsia xerographica: This is an air plant of choice for everyone who loves large plants that are easy to care for. It thrives on less water as compared to all the other varieties. When it’s time for flowering, tillandsia xerographica will produce a bloom spike that will turn into red or yellow flowers.
- Tillandsia maxima: This variety is known for its ability to withstand more sunlight than other varieties. It owes this attribute to its place of origin in Oaxaca, Mexico. It has moss green leaves and produces a brilliant purple flower when it’s time for the one-time blooming.
- Tillandsia cyanea: This variety is also known as the pink quill plant. What’s unique about it is that it’s not strictly an epiphyte. If you wish to, you can also grow it in soil. In its one-time flowering season, tillandsia cyanea produces purple-blue flowers that have so much vibrance.
- Tillandsia capitata: This is yet another fantastic type of air plant that can withstand full sun and loves humid surroundings. Before it blooming season, its leaves turn to a peach color and a purple flower blooms.
- Tillandsia houston: This variety is also known as tillandsia cotton candy. It’s actually a hybrid air plant derived from mixing tillandsia stricta and tillandsia recurvifolia. And as the name suggests, this variety produces pink cotton candy blooms.
- Tillandsia stricta: This is an amazing air plant that is able to thrive in different environments. It has numerous sub-varieties that produce different kinds of flowers. For instance, you will find a stricta pink bronze that has pink flowers or a stricta midnight that has dark colored flowers.
- Tillandsia funckiana: This outstanding air plant variety naturally has leaves that grow like quills, spiking in one direction and curled forming a unique shape that changes based on the environment. When its once in a lifetime blooming season arrives, its leaves will turn yellow and neon orange flowers will be produced.
- Tillandsia gardneri: This type of air plant loves warm, humid environments but cannot withstand direct sunlight. Its blooming cycle comes with pink flowers that last for months. They can go on from late spring to late summer.
- Tillandsia usneoides: This variety stands out as the most unique one because of how its leaves cascade downwards instead of growing upwards as others normally do. It is commonly called the Spanish moss. During its one-time blooming season, it emits a mild fragrance into the surroundings and produces green flowers.
- Tillandsia aeranthos: This is a popular home or office plant that loves bright-indirect light. It has long spiky leaves and produces beautiful flowers colored in pink and blue.
Read more on What to do after tillandsia flower
FAQ’s about Tillandsias
The beautiful flowering season in air plants will interestingly only happen once in their lifetime, and it is undoubtedly a particular time to look forward to. Because no one wants to miss out on this beautiful time, it is essential to give your plant the best care as it matures so it can reward you with the blooms.
If you are keen on having air plant blooms more times than once, you can collect more than one air plant variety at different intervals and add them to your collection.
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