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Description: Tillandsia balbisiana is native to Central America, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Florida and the West Indies. In nature the plant is actually myrmecophytic, which means it grows in a symbiotic relationships with a colony of ants. This plant is another of the pseudo-bulbous Tillandsia varieties although the base is less densely packed when compared to T. bulbosa or T. pseudobailei. It's foliage is bright green, long, flat and thin. The plant grows quite tall, and the leaves will eventually curl and hang downward. This plant produces a tall inflorescence spike which is different shades of red / orange. The flowers are tubular and purple in colour.
Position: Growing this species indoors is possible. However you will need to make sure it is next to a window with bright light, and good air flow. This species will thrive outside under bright, but indirect sunlight. Under a tree, verandah or deck, or in a shadehouse are all great locations for this plant. Ensure the location you choose has good air flow to help the plant dry out between watering. This species can withstand low temperatures, however it must be protected from frost. This species can be grown suspended or mounted on a solid substrate that does not retain water (timber, cork bark, etc). You can attach this plant to the surface using coated wire, fishing line, or an adhesive such as silicone, hot glue, or no-more nails. Do not cover the base of the plant with moss or any other substrate as it may rot.
Watering: As a general rule, a plant in a hot position will require watering every 2-3 days. In a dark, humid environment watering once per week can often be adequate. This can be achieved by misting or dunking the plant. If outdoors, a hose can be used. When dunking a plant, leave submerged in a bowl of water for 10-20 minutes before shaking off excess water. Air plants love to dry out completely between each watering and must never have water sitting at their base as this will cause the plant to rot.
Fertilisation: We recommend fertilising your Air Plants once a fortnight in the warmer months and once a month through winter. We sell Air Plant Fertiliser in our "Accessories" section. Simply give the plant one or two sprays after watering.
Each living plant is unique and may vary slightly in size, colour or shape depending on the season. Flowering plants are sent when available.