Many of you have heard the common technique for watering air plants is to spritz your plant with water a couple of times a week. Over here at Stabiles we have found that if you take your plant off of your sculpture and place it in a water bath for two to four hours the results are excellent. We find this technique is more convenient and the plants will be happier. So every 7-10 days place your Tillandsia in a water bath when you leave for an errand or go to the beach as we do and remove it from the water bath when you return home, shake off the excess water and place it on your sculpture; Voila.
The Container needs to be deep enough for the airplant to go completely under water, even though it will just float and roll on the surface.
*For the leafy Tillandsia with deep cones we recommend placing the plant upside down for one hour to allow it to drain.
To me the coolest part of integrating the airplants with my Art is the revolving relationship that occurs when you give the airplant a whimsical and playful vehicle that will allow it to flourish. The airplant is going to eventually flower and during this transformation it will become a mother plant. The plant is known for going dormant for a few weeks after flowering; every plant is different so just let it do its thing.
When propagation starts, little offspring will reveal themselves at the base of the airplant. Allow this natural occurrence to continue, the now mother plant will be used as a host by the offspring until they are large enough to be independent plants. Every Tillandsia generates new plants at a different rate; sometimes it’s a single baby plant or a couple of them. Allow them to grow attached to mother until they are two-thirds the size of the mother plant. Once the plants are large enough, you can separate them by pealing them away as if you were separating a banana from a bunch of bananas.
Pick one of them and make it the new plant for your Stabiles. If your plant has several baby plants, leave them attached to the mother and grow them into a larger grouped Tillandsia. I have some large format pieces coming soon, so start growing your Tillandsia for a hanging piece. My last tip is make sure that you don’t get rid of the mother plant until she disappears on her own, the Tillandsia is known for having offspring a couple of times, even though they will only flower once.