Propogating Tillandsias


Today I wanted to wrtie a little on how Tillandsias are propagated. This is particularly important at this time as the majority of Tillandsias grown in SA are imported and when there are no flights there will be no new imported plants. Tillandsias can be propagated by seed or vegetatively. Most Tillandsias flower and then produce pups, the mother plant then gradually dies back. These pups can be removed or allowed to stay together and form clumps of plants.The number of pups produced varies depending on the species and conditions but is usually in relatively small numbers. To propagate larger quantities of plants then you need to grow from seed. We have been doing this for a littlle while now, experimenting with different methods. It takes at least 6 years for a seedling to grow into a reasonable sized plant, so it will be a few more years before these seedlings are ready for sale. Growing from seed also gives opportunities to produce hybrids. When we have a plant in flower we will cross pollinate it with other plants and mark the flower spikes so we can track which seeds are produced. The seeds can take several months to mature, the pod will burst open when it is ready and release many windborne seeds.

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