I've been aware of Tillandsias for quite some time and have admired them on blogs and at nurseries but it wasn't until recently that they really started speaking to me. Maybe it's a midlife crisis romance sort of thing. (Oh right, mid life. How many 104 year old men do YOU know?) It all started with this one looking so gorgeous at Molbak's house plant sale last month. At the time, none of the purple flowers were present, just the big pink whatchamacallit from which individual blooms emerge.
She's been putting out blooms one or two at a time, since we brought her home.
Then, at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, they seemed to be everywhere this year.
They've always been used at the show, especially in the hanging glass terrariums but this year they seemed to be telling me that some of them wanted to come to Tacoma to live.
It's easy to love a plant that requires no soil, grows and blooms and can make a quick centerpiece by throwing it in a bowl of oranges!
Ownes Gardens, a Tillandsia grower from Monroe, WA was once again at the show and I was ready to adopt some pups! These don't need paper training, won't bark at guests, and don't leave hair all over your house. They're not much fun to cuddle with though and don't even try to teach them to fetch a toy, it's a huge waste of time.
Sylvia at Dig Nursery had some of these in slightly larger than a thimble sized terra cotta pots last year - very sweet and I kicked myself for not getting some then . Here they were without the pots but easy to throw in a bag!
Once I started putting these in my bag, it was hard to quit.
A lady who seemed fascinated by these little gems asked me what I was going to do with them, would they all be used together, etc. I had no idea but remembering a comment that Loree made "I looked around the house for a tillandsia." made me think that it was a good idea to get them anyway just to have on hand for any tillandisa emergency that might come up.
I kep seeing interesting varieties of these, I found T. seleriana (left) at Swanson's Nursery on Saturday. It bears a resemblance to an artichoke.
They work well in shells, on wood, clay and glass. They're even happy to sit on soil and some will even throw anchoring roots down.
A great part about not needing soil is that these can sit atop glass vessels and still allow light to play through the glass.
Some of you may remember the jade trees, stripped of their stone leaves and blooms that I wrote about here. They ended up going to the basement until I could do something with them.
Here's what I did with a couple of them with finds from Owens Gardens and Alpine Nursery.
I've added a few more tillandsias to the trees since I took these pictures but you get the idea. Have you grown tillandsias? Do they thrive for you & increase in number?