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How to Grow Sky Plants

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The most well-known and visually appealing air plant is the sky plant (Tillandsia Ionantha), but there are more than 500 types of Tillandsia. Sky plant, unlike other small air plants is robust and adaptable. It also requires minimal maintenance, which is great if you’ve never cared for slow-growing plants like this before.

They are also beautiful to look at. They are small and start with a few green/gray leaves. Then they grow into a round-shaped cluster. As they get more established, their thin, long, and wavy leaves become thicker.

Tillandsia ionantha blooms only once before it dies. It can occur at any time of the year. These small, delicate yellow or white flowers are found at the top of stunning purple-toned shoots. The leaves of the plant become more attractive during this phase by developing pink or reddish hues.

Tillandsia is an air plant, so it should not be placed in any standard potting medium. This epiphytic species can grow on other plants or, more commonly, on trees. You can place it on an ornamental piece made of untreated wood, in glass terrariums, or even inside a shell. To hang the plants, some epiphyte enthusiasts even use wireframes.

Sky Plant Care

Although Tillandsia ionantha is one of the most resilient air plant species, they still need to be cared for. They require plenty of sunlight, good air circulation, and regular misting.

Another attractive aspect of Tillandsia is its ability to be virtually pest- and disease-free. It’s not found in soil so it is less attractive to mites and insects. If you have any pests that are bothering your sky plant, it is possible to get rid of them by rinsing and drying the plant.


Good air plant care starts with the right lighting. The sky plant is best friend in indirect light. They can dry out if they are placed in direct sunlight. The leaves may also become scorched if there is low humidity.

Because they love fluorescent lighting, they make a great addition for office environments. They won’t flower if the lighting isn’t sufficient.


This plant, as its name implies, can grow in the air. Its roots should not be placed in a potting media.

To secure your Tillandsia, you will need to first use plant-safe glue. The roots of the plant should wrap around the mount, wood or other plants after about a month.


Tillandsia and other air plants thrive in warm, humid conditions. They do not require as much water as other air plants and they don’t like being wet. It is therefore recommended to mist lightly. This will usually happen a few times per week. If you live in a hot, dry climate, it may be more often.

You can run your sky plants under the water tap in dry areas, but they shouldn’t be completely submerged. You should turn them upside down and shake off any excess water. Before repositioning, they should be allowed time to dry.

This plant is very sensitive to water, and it is often killed by overwatering.

Temperature and humidity

Tillandsia ionantha, although a mesic variety, is best suited for warm, humid, tropical-like climates (ideally between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), can be adapted to dry heat if you give them regular mistings.

The winter is a time when cooler temperatures are welcomed. This will encourage flowering next year. This plant needs good air circulation.


You can feed your Tillandsia Ionantha up to twice per month with fertilizers made for them. Many people report positive results when adding organic fertilizer made of fish emulsion as a misting spray.

Sky Plant Variety

  • When the plant is given enough sunlight, ‘Feugo” has deep red leaves.
  • Despite being a smaller variety, ‘Rubra” is a wider-spreading plant.
  • Maxima has a larger plant and can take more direct sunlight.

Sky Plant Propagation

The best thing about this plant is its ability to sprout offshoots once it has reached maturity. These are called “pups”. The pups can be easily cut off once they reach half the size of mature plants. This will allow you to continue enjoying ionantha for many years.

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