One of the best choices for people who just started planting is tillandsia harrisii. It is a species from the family Bromeliaceae and genus Tillandsia. This soft-leaved harrisii air plant is native to Guatemala and was named after an air-plant collector Bill Harris.
It does not require a lot of care or effort hence is quite good for beginners. Tillandsia harrisii grows at a slow pace but it can grow up to 8 inches tall. The leaves on this plant show a rosette shape as they are curled.
Tillandsia harrisii leaves also have trichomes which help the plant absorb nutrients. Read further to fully know about the features and care of this plant.
Tillandsia Harrisii Classification
The genus Tillandsia consists of about 540 species and they are most commonly present in deserts, forests, and mountainous areas. This genus is native to the Southern border of America, Central America, and some parts of Mexico.
As they grow in such difficult and diverse weather conditions they gather their nutrients through trichomes. Tillandsia genus is known as epiphytes but is also called aerophytes as they are air plants.
Air plants are interesting in the way that they reproduce by puffs and one plant can give almost 10 to 12 offspring. They are very easy to keep and they go very well in offices and homes.
Features of the Tillandsia Harrisii Plant
Harrisii air plant is a slow grower and it grows up to 4 to 8 inches tall. It can spread up to 2 to 3 inches wide. Its small structure makes it a very good choice as an ornamental plant.
The stem of tillandsia harrisii is quite thick and approximately 40cm long.
The leaves of this plant are velvety and soft to touch. They have trichomes for the absorption of nutrients and trichomes help them survive in diverse conditions. The Harrisi air plant has symmetrical leaves, which curl and give a rosette shape to the plant.
The plant is not much affected by the passing seasons and it’s an evergreen plant.
Tillandsia harrisii bloom
It also gives beautiful lilac flowers which can completely change the outlook of any room. They take a year or two to bloom but it’s a beautiful sight and that too with not much effort.
Its flowers grow up to 6 cm long and have a tube-like shape. They do not have any scent to them. The flowers don’t need to be soaked in water or they will be destroyed completely.
Tillandsia Harrisii Care
This plant does not require much time or effort and is an easy option for all lazy persons.
Water: Twice a week will be enough
Sunlight: Indirect bright light
Humidity: Moderate humidity as they are air plants and love a good airflow.
Fertilizer: Once a month will be enough.
Now let’s discuss the complete care of the Harrisii air plant in detail.
Tillandsia harrisii plants can be watered by misting them about 3 to 4 times a week. You have to keep in mind that the whole plant should be generously misted.
Another option for watering is to soak the plant in water about 2 times a day. Watering this plant will mainly depend upon the weather conditions. If it’s too hot then your plant will surely need some more water and humidity so you can water it in greater frequency. If the weather is not too hot then only misting would be enough.
The flowers growing on this plant do not require active watering so only misting once will be enough for them. Another tip for soaking your plant is that after soaking make sure you keep it in a place where air crosses. This will help the harrisii air plant to dry out completely and it is necessary for the plant.
The Tillandsia harrisii plant loves indirect, bright light and that is the best option for these plants. They can manage in direct sunlight but don’t expose them for too long. Long direct sunlight exposure will cause your plant to dry out.
Direct sunlight will be a good option in the morning and afternoon. If you keep your tillandsia plant inside your home, you can keep it aside in a window or someplace that gets indirect light most of the day.
If you want to keep your plant outside, make sure you keep it in a shade or behind other plants. This will help to stop the tillandsia plant from drying out.
Tillandsia harrisii can tolerate extreme temperatures but to an extent. It can manage between 10 to 32 degrees Celsius. Frost for long periods of exposure to direct sunlight both can cause damage. They don’t grow very well in heaters or coolers.
Harrisii air plant loves humidity and on days when there is some extra humidity, you do not need watering it. Sometimes when humidity is low you can mist the plant. But be careful to let the tillandsia plant dry in between misting sessions.
If the plant is not completely dry it will invite a lot of pests and can cause irreparable damage to the growth. After misting, always remember to leave your tillandsia harrisii plant in an airy place to get it dry.
You need to invest in some good fertilizers for your harrisii air plant. Fertilizers should be only used in the growth period which is in summers and springs.
While feeding the plant with fertilizers be careful that you do not overfeed it. Overfeeding the harrisii air plant can cause a lot of damage to its growth and leaves.
You can fertilize your plant about once a week. Fertilizer usage more than that will not be good for growth.
As the tillandsia plant is an air plant it does not require soil to grow. So for all the lazy people out there, the soil is not a requirement in this plant.
Tillandsia harrisii lifecycle
Tillandsia plants have a perennial life cycle and they do not die easily. They take about 4 to 5 years to die. So you need not worry about your plant a lot. It’s quite easy to maintain the plant.
If you ever find a disease or pests on your plant you need to disinfect it. You should use a good quality insecticide on your harrisii air plant and don’t overspray it. The pest will be dealt with easily. You need to be careful while spraying insecticide. You should wear a mask and gloves.
As already told soil is not needed to grow for this plant, repotting won’t be required either. So this box is already ticked for you.
Whenever you see your plant not growing at a good pace, you need grooming and pruning. This applies if it’s the growth season.
For pruning your plant, you must pay attention to the lower leaves. They are mostly dry and damaged. You need to pluck those leaves with a soft hand. Mist your plant a bit and clean it thoroughly. Trimming is also needed once in a while to give your plant a good look.
Tillandsia Harrisii Propagation
Naturally, the tillandsia harrisii air plant reproduces by pollination. It is quite simple to propagate these plants as explained in the next steps,
- Firstly you need to remove your harrisii air plant from the pot and place it in water for about 2 to 3 hours,
- Take your plant out of the water and remove excess water,
- Place your plant with leaves flat and the base visible,
- Look for the pups on the base of the plant,
- Separate these pups and place your parent plant back,
- Place this pup in a new container and place that container in indirect light,
- Misting is required about 2 times a day but make sure the plant is dry at night.
Tillandsia harrisii is an air plant, easy to grow, easy to care for, and does not require much effort. It can be placed indoors or outdoors. Its lilac bloom is very beautiful and soft leaves are velvety.
Repotting is not required and you have to take care of any pests. Watering and fertilizing are required. Propagation is natural by pollination and artificially can also be done. The artificial process is not very complicated.