How do air plants reproduce?
air plants, like many other plant species, also bloom. After this phase, the reproductive process begins. Unfortunately, these plants only bloom once in their life, but they do so in a beautiful way, giving different flowers according to their variety. These can range from pink to intense violets.
On the VAR plant, SCAP and RUB, flowers are born directly from inside the plant. They usually make 2 to 5 flowers that are a shade of purple.
On the other hand, on the plant CAM and TRI a spike grows first from which, later, the same purple flowers will grow. This spike, usually puts an intense pink tone on the CAM and more reddish in the case of the TRI. The purple flowers usually have a life of about a week while the pink spike usually lasts several weeks.
Air plant growth process
In the following image, you can see a plant TRI in its most advanced phase in which it has already flowered and is having a cutting. The process is as follows, first of all, the child is born, either by seed or by cutting. In this case it is by cutting from the mother plant. When this reaches at least 2/3 the size of the mother plant, the child will be ready to be separated. If we prefer we can leave it attached to the mother and they will coexist forming a small colony. If we decide to separate them, we will only have to pull it by making small movements and it will be easily deprecated. This new tillandsia will grow to adult size, depending on the variety can take several years. At this point, the plant will be ready to start the flowering phase.
When the spike has reached its maximum size, it will go from having a light green color to being pink or even reddish. From there the purple flowers will begin to come out. Depending on factors such as temperature, light and humidity, such a spike will become more or less pink. In its final phase of life, the flower withers, as we see in the following image. After a few months, one of the lower leaves of the plant will begin to separate and from it the child or children will begin to grow.
When the spike has dried, you can cut it with the aim of stimulating the plant to start the phase in which future children are born. At this point, the rotating life cycle begins again. So you can either leave the child(ren) attached to the mother or separate them once they are more than half the size of the mother. In this way, you will have one or more cuttings that will live independently. On the contrary, you can leave it attached to the mother and they will end up, over the years, making a small colony.
Alternative growth method...
Another way for air plants to reproduce is the most common method in any plant: from a seed. However, this form of reproduction in air plants, is more unusual, since it is very slow and the seeds hardly find an ideal environment to grow. After flowering, if the flower has been pollinated, it ends up drying out and making a small explosion in which dozens of white filaments with seeds come out. These seeds, if they turn out to be deposited in a humid and suitable environment, can grow.
How to make my tillandsia bloom?
Sooner or later all tillandsias bloom with the passage of time. To stimulate flowering it is convenient that our air plants have a very good indirect luminosity. In this way, some of them will turn pink before flowering.
Should I do something different when it blooms?
In order for our flower to last as long as possible, it is advisable to prevent said flower from getting wet. This could wither it ahead of time. The ideal way to provide our aerial plants with the moisture you need to live is through spraying.