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Description: As the name suggests, this is a large form of Tillandsia Paleacea. We sourced this cultivar from Peter Tristram, but it originates from Karl Knize of Lima, Peru.
Tillandsia Paleacea is native to Columbia, Chile, Bolivia and Peru where it grows on desert sands at altitudes of sea level up to 3,000m. This is a caulescent (stem growing) plant which produces succulent, velvety, silver foliage. Because of this, the plant is about as close as it gets to a "don't water me" species, and will often rot if the conditions do not let it dry out quickly after watering. The plant develops a long inflorescence spike which produces fragrant, Astor-violet flowers. T. Paleacea will produces many offsets from the back growth of it's stem, quickly forming a large clump. It is suggested that the species is cold hardy, surviving temperatures down to -3 degrees Celsius.
Position: We do not recommend keeping this plant indoors. It requires bright light, good airflow, and infrequent waterings. 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.