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5 Tips To Grow Tillandsia Xerographica

Tillandsia xerographica is also called the “King of the Air Plants.” Even though it grows slowly, it can reach a height of 12 inches and a width of 23 inches, making it a good option for those who want a sizable air plant.

The Silverleaf species is distinguished by leaves with fine white hairs called trichomes. The silver-leaf air plants can handle drought and bright light pretty well, making them a good choice for people just starting.

As they don’t need soil, there are various ways to show them off, such as displaying them on their own, gluing them to driftwood, or hanging them. It’s easy to see why this plant is so well-liked: it adds a touch of classy greenery to any space.

Botanical nameTillandsia xerographica
Scientific nameTillandsia xerographica
English nameTillandsia xerographica
Subject/genus nameBromeliaceae Tillandsia
place of originLatin America

Tillandsia Xerographica Flower Language

The flower language of Tillandsia xerographica is “indomitable.” All air plants share this flower language.

It thrives in an unforgiving environment without soil, drawing water from the air through its leaves to fuel flower production; hence, the flower language. Xerographica has the most impressive appearance of any air plant.

Because of this, it’s a good gift for people working hard in a new place or setting. It could also be a present for opening a new store, moving, or for a birthday.

Use of Tillandsia xerographica in Feng Shui

The feng shui benefit of tillandsia xerographica is that it drives away negative energies.

By getting rid of the bad energy that has built up in a room, it will be easier for the good energy to move around and for luck to rise overall. It works wonders for improving your financial, professional, and physical well-being.

It prevents bad qi from entering a room by decorating the entrance, the front door, or the window. It’s aesthetically pleasing, so why not use it as a decorative plant with a feng shui effect?

How to Grow Tillandsia xerographica

SunshineShade with good ventilation
TemperatureKeep at least 41°F
Cold resistanceweak
Heat resistanceweak
WateringSpraying: 1-2 times a week (evening to night). Soaking: About once a month
Fertilizerliquid fertilizer
Pruning timeMay to October

Sun and placement

Tillandsia xerographica prefers to grow in a shady, well-ventilated environment. However, shade does not mean dark shade but rather bright shade where the sun shines through the trees.

It should be grown indoors in a place with as much light and airflow as through a lace curtain. Grow them outside in the bright shade but not in direct sunlight.

Even if it has silver leaves, direct sunlight can cause it to wither. Also, take extra care when transferring them from indoors to outdoors.

Putting in a circulator is a good option if you don’t have access to proper ventilation in your home.


The ideal growing temperature ranges from 68-86 °F (20 to 30°C), with a minimum of 41°F (5°C) required.

As a result, the key is to keep it cool in the shade in the summer and warm indoors in the winter. If you’re growing them outside, bring them inside when the temperature rises above 50 °F (10°C).

It is best to keep them away from windows in the winter because it gets just as cold near windows as it does outside. It is also critical that the plant not be exposed to direct heating air, or it will dry out and die.

Watering Frequency

  • Misting: Once or twice a week (evening to night)
  • Soaking: about once a month

Water Tillandsia xerographica with a misting spray in the evenings and at night. The holes, called “pores,” that take in oxygen and water, open up when the sun goes down and it gets dark.

The pores are not open if you water during the day. As a result, they cannot absorb water, leading to rotting.

Except during the rainy season and winter, soaking the plant in a bucket of water for 4 to 6 hours once a month will help the plant absorb water efficiently, and the leaves will be healthy.

However, soaking for more than 6 hours can result in rotting, so don’t soak for too long.


Tillandsia xerographica requires no fertilizer and thrives on water alone.

However, liquid fertilizer can only help the plant grow large, glossy leaves during the growing seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (October to November).

It is best to absorb water by misting or soaking it with a liquid fertilizer diluted to at least the recommended concentration.

The normal dilution method makes the liquid fertilizer too thick for air plants, so when giving liquid fertilizer, makes it even thinner.

Pruning Technique

Tillandsia xerographica will gradually sprout and grow larger during the growing season, spring and fall. The outermost leaves often become old and die as a result of this.

These dead leaves should be carefully removed from the plant’s base. If they are not removed, ventilation will be reduced, and water will accumulate in the spaces between them, allowing pests and diseases to thrive.

By gently pulling downward, dead leaves can be easily removed.

Common Problems Of Tillandsia Xerographica And How To Deal With Them

Although Tillandsia xerographica is simple to grow and can be decorated in various ways, it is not without its challenges.

We will explain how to deal with any problems that may arise. You can be confident that you will be able to handle any problems that may arise if you plan how to deal with them ahead of time.

Root rot (rot at the base of the root)

Root rot symptoms include:

  • The plant does not get well even when watered.
  • Soil does not dry quickly.
  • Leaves easily fall off.
  • The leaves are turning brown/yellow.
  • The trunk or trunk base is soft.
  • The soil has a rotten smell to it.
  • Mildew is growing on the soil’s surface.
  • The roots are discolored black.

Air plant root rot is a symptom of water accumulation at the base of the roots caused by overwatering or poor ventilation, which causes the roots to rot.

The base of the roots becomes soft, and the cells die, causing the leaves to fall off the plant. It’s important to keep the plant in a place with good airflow and to dry it well, so it doesn’t stay wet.

Here’s how to treat root rot:

  1. Place the plant in a well-ventilated, brightly lit area.
  2. Remove any damaged or rotten parts.
  3. Withhold watering temporarily.
  4. Instead of fertilizer, try feeding the plant a growth stimulant.

If root rot develops, it is critical to relocate the plant to a more well-ventilated location.

Remove the damaged leaves and roots and provide them with a healthy environment.

Lack of Water

Running out of water shows low water levels. Underwatered symptoms include:

  • The leaves become thinner.
  • The leaves curl inward.
  • Leaf tips turn brown.
  • Leaves lose their firmness.

The above symptoms can be caused by a lack of water, particularly during the growing season from spring to fall. Although it is not a direct cause of death, it hurts Tillandsia xerophylla if left unchecked.

Soak Tillandsia xerographica as a treatment.

Soaking the Tillandsia xerographica in a bucket of water for 4 to 6 hours during the evening or night will effectively absorb water and eliminate most of the above symptoms. Those attached to driftwood or stones should be soaked in water as they are.

People often think wrongly that Tillandsia xerographica doesn’t need watering. Tillandsia xerographica, on the other hand, likes water, so it is essential to mist it a lot in the evening and at night and put it somewhere with good airflow.

If you still have symptoms of water deficiency, soaking the plants once a month or so will help. The best time to soak is from spring to fall when plants are actively growing.

Leaf Scorch

The following are symptoms of leaf scorch:

  • Leaves lose their pigmentation and turn white.
  • A portion of the leaf has turned brown and withered.

Excessive exposure to direct sunlight can damage the leaves and result in a condition known as “leaf burn.”

If you notice symptoms of leaf burn, you should move the plant as soon as possible.

Here is the solution:

  1. Shade the plant from direct sunlight with curtains, etc.
  2. Remove the burnt leaves.

If leaf burn occurs, the plant is most likely exposed to too much sunlight, so take precautions to avoid direct sunlight.

Also, burned leaves can never improve, so cut off the hurt ones and wait for new, healthy leaves to grow.

Spider Mite Infestation

Spider mites cause the following symptoms:

  1. Threads on the leaves resemble spider webs.
  2. Small insects on the undersides of leaves.
  3. Leaves with spots or wounds.
  4. The leaves have faded and are dying.

Spider mites are very annoying pests that can multiply quickly and resist chemicals.

If left unchecked, there is a risk of a mass outbreak of spider mites, so take action as soon as possible.

Here’s how to handle them:

  • Cut away any damaged leaves.
  • Water the front and back of the leaves and the base and stem.
  • Spray with a liquid that works against spider mites (milk diluted 2 times, baking soda mixed with water, strong coffee, vinegar diluted 10 times, insecticide).

Once spider mites have emerged, you can consider applying commercial insecticides (Amazon link); diluting them with water twice is one method of dealing with them, but for those concerned about the smell, flash them off with water.

In the first place, spider mites will not occur unless you neglect to frequently spray and wipe off the leaves.

To keep the area clean, you must buy a misting sprayer and wash the plants in the shower once a month.

Tillandsia xerographica Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, here are some frequently asked questions about Tillandsia xerographica and their answers.

What Causes Leggy Tillandsia Xerographica?

The growth of Tillandsia xerographica is caused by “a lack of sunlight.”

It will grow leggy if you keep it in the dark shade because it gets sunburned by direct sunlight. It is straightforward to grow too tall in a dark indoor environment.

Grow them in a bright indoor location, such as near a window where light can filter through lace curtains. If it becomes overgrown, keeping it in a brighter location is more critical than where it is growing.

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight outside because it will burn the foliage.

What Prevents The Leaf Tips Of Tillandsia Xerographica From Curling?

The “way of decoration” is the cause of the leaves’ tips, not curling.

Tillandsia xerographica curls the tips of its leaves to protect the roots. The leaves will not curl easily if the plant is displayed in a pot or placed directly on a flat shelf or stand.

If you want the leaves to curl, place them on a stand or hang them in a way that does not disturb the leaves.

What Causes Tillandsia Xerographica to Turn Red?

The reddening of Tillandsia xerographica leaves indicates that flowering is approaching. It is common for the leaves to turn red before flowering.

After flowering, air plants frequently die with offspring. So, if the plant flowers and then makes a new plant, please take good care of that new plant.

Flowers do not always bloom during the growing season, but only when the plant is of sufficient size and has favorable environmental conditions. So, remember that turning red is the most obvious sign of flowering.

Why Does The Tillandsia Xerographica Base Turn Brown?

The browning of the plant’s base is caused by “a lack of dryness after watering.” If the base of the leaves remain moist after misting or soaking, they are more prone to rotting.

The root base turns brown when it rots. To avoid this, after misting or soaking, place the plant in a well-ventilated area to dry completely.

Water can easily remain at the base of the leaves, especially after soaking. It is best to dry it upside down, so the water drains properly.

What Causes Tillandsia Xerographica To Die?

The main causes of Tillandsia xerographica withering are sunlight, water, and air circulation.

It will wither if exposed to too much direct sunlight or darkness, so grow it in bright shade or through lace curtains. In addition, if no ventilation is provided, the plant will not dry out after watering and may rot.

The most common cause of wilting is a lack of water. The term “air plants” has led to the misconception that they do not require watering.

Most air plants, on the other hand, adore water. The same can be said for Tillandsia xerographica.

As a result, misting and soaking them thoroughly in an appropriate environment is critical to their successful growth.

What Should You Do If Tillandsia Xerographica Is Not Doing Well?

If your Tillandsia xerophylla is struggling, it could be due to the environment in which it is growing. Maintain the plant in a bright, well-ventilated environment with regular watering.

When there is a lack of water, the leaves shrivel up, lose their firmness, and appear lifeless. If this is the case, soak the plant for 4 to 6 hours in a bucket of water.

The shriveled leaves will regain their gloss and vigor once the water has been absorbed. Turn the plant upside down, drain the water thoroughly, and allow it to dry out to make it more vigorous.

How To Add Style To Tillandsia Xerographica?

The most popular way to display Tillandsia xerographica is in a single location. It is a large and impressive plant among air plants, so take advantage of its presence.

It’s also nice to mix it in with other plants and interior decorations, but if it’s too big, the presence of Tillandsia xerographica will be lost. When putting them together, it’s best to have a small number of plants that look good together.

Key Takeaways 

Tillandsia xerographica grows well in well-ventilated shade, and just one Tillandsia xerographica makes it an easy and stylish choice for interior greenery, even for inexperienced plant growers.

The word “indomitable” in flower language conveys a powerful impression befitting the king of air plants, making it an excellent choice as a gift for opening a new store or home.

The feng shui effect of getting rid of bad vibes makes people luckier, and many people will like that.

Why not try growing them as beautiful interior greenery?

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