Can you propagate air plants, is a question of interest that you can have to see more of these little plants popping up. The matter is possible if one is very detailed about the instruction and the way to do it with precision.
While propagating is a simple procedure, you must do it correctly and care for this Bromeliaceae family plant afterward. Read on to know how to propagate your air plant like a pro.
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- Can You Propagate Air Plants?
- How To Propagate Air Plant Through the Pup?
- How To Propagate From Seed The Air Plants?
Can You Propagate Air Plants?
They have flowers that are pollinated to produce seeds, which you should collect in order to grow them well. The plants also grow offsets at the bottom of the parent plant, you can pluck these pups and grow them in a different area.
How To Propagate Air Plant Through the Pup?
To propagate the air plant through the pup, you should first identify the offset from the plant, choose the right time, and then try to separate the pups. After which you must also grow the new plant and don’t forget to give it the proper care.
If you are worried about the number of pups that they will produce, note that the matter would depend on the plant type you have. Some air plants have one to three pups, while others produce more. You can fasten the production of pups by fertilizing the plant and exposing it to indirect sunlight.
– Identify The Offsets from The Plant
If your plant is over six months to one-year-old, it should have some small pups at the mother plant’s base, and you will see them very clearly as they mature; nevertheless, don’t be discouraged since other varieties might take longer to produce the offsets, so you must be patient. If the plant has many offsets, remove the bigger ones, and also, tiny offsets are delicate and have higher chances of failing to grow.
If you spot beautiful air plants growing on a tree, you can harvest and grow them indoors. However, you must be careful when plucking the plant not to cause big wounds on it. Start by wearing protective gloves not to get stung by insects and pierced by thorns.
Cut the deep roots and carefully get the air plant out of the branch, but now, you should take extra care of the foliage and the bottom part. Preserve it in a zip lock bag and grow it once you get home, and you can then propagate it successfully.
– Choose the Right Time
The best time for this plant propagation is when the pups are a third of the size of the parent plant. To propagate the pups, you must wait until they are about one inch or a third the size of the mother plant. Cut them from the plant using a sharp knife or twist them safely to separate them from the mother plant.
These are the types of plants that t produce pups after the first bloom season. For most of these plant varieties, blooming happens six months to one year after planting, remember that the pups grow at the base of the main plant, and if not removed, they stay attached until the plant dies.
– Separate The Pups
Hold the mother plant and separate the leaves to see the part where the pups connect with the main plant. Snip the attachment point with a clean and sharp knife or razor. Using dirty tools can introduce diseases to the mother plant and the offset.
You can also separate the pups from the main plant by gently twisting them. Once you locate the connection point of the offset with the mother, pinch and carefully turn it counterclockwise. Keep rotating until the pup separates from the plant.
– Grow The New Plant
Once you have successfully removed the pups, you can grow them into a full-sized plant. What you should do is place them in a water container and place them in a well-lit space with indirect sunlight. Care for the plant by watering them weekly to continue growing, and they will develop themselves, making sure that they are not underneath direct light.
Once the plant produces new leaves, you can transfer them to a cuter vase for decoration. You can use fishing lines to support your floating pot so that it will develop in a healthy way. The new plant does not appreciate direct sunlight, so keep it in a hidden corner near the window.
Remember that they have leaves, roots, and flowers but do not grow on soil, which means that they will grow in different ways, but not in soils. These plants mainly grow on top of other trees without being parasitic. The small roots hold the plant on the tree but are not for transporting minerals and water.
Basically, they get water and nutrients from? The tiny scales on the tillandsia plant leaves called trichomes are responsible for water and minerals absorption, and successfully, they get these from the air.
– Give the Proper Care
You may now aim to provide it with the right plant care tips so that your practiced propagation process would have a successful growth from the pups. Tillandsia plants grow well in areas with high humidity; therefore, you must water and mist them regularly during the hot seasons.
You can reduce the amount of watering and mist during cooler seasons, and when watering, ensure the plants are wet but not soggy. You can do so by submerging them with the upper part facing downwards. Leave the plant in the water for 20 minutes to an hour and shake it to remove excess water. This is due to the fact that watering during the blooming seasons can be tricky because the inflorescence should not be submerged in the water.
Growing air plants becomes more manageable if you provide them with indirect sunlight. You can place them in a bright spot with partial light to help with the growth. Besides, the light and indirect sunlight you must also be keen on the right givens, because you have just propagated this plant, and now it is in a vulnerable stage, needing proper requirements.
As another air plant care tip, you should also aim to fertilize with bromeliad once a month during the growing season. While this will help to fasten the growth a little, the plant will still take years to grow fully. In short, you will notice that fertilizing also helps to quicken blooming.
How To Propagate From Seed The Air Plants?
To propagate air plants from seeds, first, collect the seeds from a pollinated plant, and then you must soak the seed for a period of four weeks. After doing so, you must transfer the seeds to a growing medium, and ensure to mist them to see a successful process.
– Collect Pollinated Seeds
Firstly, you must wait until the adult plant produces flowers and pollination takes place. A few weeks later, it will have small seed pods with fluff at the top, and this is the part that is important to be watchful of.
As a result, you must collect them before the wind blows them, and use tweezers to open the pods and get the seeds. Make sure that the seeds would not crack or break because they have to be handled carefully.
– Soak the Seeds for Four Weeks
Fill the large dish or container with water and put the seeds inside; as a result, you must make sure that you check them often until they swell and become bigger. A sign the seeds are germinating is if they change from brown to slightly green. For a successful seed growing, get a large open dish that can drain. You should not keep the seeds in stagnant water for long because they can die due to insufficient air.
Although propagating air plants from the pups are more common, you can grow a fresh plant from the seeds; however, this method of plant produce requires more patience. The seeds take longer to germinate and become seedlings, but you will get healthier plants.
– Transfer the Seeds to a Growing Medium
Once the seeds show signs of germination, you should separate and transfer them to a growing medium. Most gardeners use a piece of cheesecloth. Whatever clothing you choose, ensure it remains moist but does not create a soggy environment.
The next step is laying the seeds on the growing medium, leaving enough space for them to grow. This planting process is almost similar to planting in the garden, with the only difference being the absence of soil.
– Mist Them
The tillandsia plant seeds take longer to grow into seedlings, so be patient. They prefer high humidity but don’t do well in wet areas. Besides, too wet environments attract mold and mildew, killing young plants, and you wouldn’t want to do so, because this is when the plant is still growing and establishing its new growth, and they would require more careful growth, till they establish themselves and start to mature up.
When grown indoors, the air plant can be placed in an open place with indirect sunlight to survive. You can put it in a hanging container or platter, and ensure you mist regularly to keep them moist.
Ensure the growing medium is a little dry before the next misting. You must mist more often during the growing stage to provide enough humidity. Once the plants become seedlings, their humidity requirements become less.
You should also keep the seedlings in indirect sunlight and ensure enough light for their growth. They should also get enough air. If you notice mold growth, you can transfer the seedlings to a new medium.
One thing you won’t appreciate about growing tillandsia seeds is that they have a slow growth rate. They can take a year or two to grow two inches while undergoing their life cycle. These plants live for two to five years.
– Can You Grow Air Plants From Leaves When Propagating?
No, you cannot grow air plants from leaves. These plants look like succulents, and it is easy to assume they are. However, they belong to the tillandsia family and are epiphytes. Unlike succulents, tillandsia plants do not grow roots from the leaves and other parts.
Also, epiphytic plants do not require soil to grow. They grow on other trees and absorb their nutrients from the air. They have different roots from other plants, and their short roots are mainly for holding the plant in its place. The easiest way to propagate tillandsia plants is by cutting their pups, and you can also grow new plants from seeds.
You can propagate the air plant from its pups or seeds. From this article, you will find that;
- You can grow air plants from the pups that grow at the mother plant’s base or from the seeds.
- Pluck the offsets using a sharp razor or twist them off the mother plant and plant them. If you are growing air plants from the seeds, they will take longer to germinate and grow.
- Tillandsia plants require a humid environment with enough light and good air circulation.
- If you propagate the plant from the offsets, ensure they are a third of the size of the mother plant. Small pups are delicate so you must be careful.
Propagating an air plant is easy, if you follow the right steps. Get your tools ready to propagate and grow more air plants, and happy gardening.