Gardening Magazine

Flowers out of Thin Air

By Gardenamateur

Plants often talk to us by the way they go about flowering, and the message from this little person here is simple: "I'm happy, I like it here."
Flowers out of thin airThis little bloom belongs to Pammy's air-plant, a tillandsia, which lives under the covered pergola area attached to the rear wall of our house. This is a spot which gets lots of light but no direct sunshine. It gets terribly hot and humid in summer, but at least it's protected from the chilly southerly winds of winter. And so it's happy.
Flowers out of thin airLike all tillandsias sold in shops here, it's not planted in soil. Rather, it's ignominiously glued onto a stick usually, and the glue never lasts as long as a happy tillandsia. So that's why we have used a bit of plastic-coated wire to bind it to its stick. As I mentioned earlier, this is Pammy's plant. She dutifully mists it with her little water sprayer bottle to keep up the humidity levels, and that's it as far as care goes. No feeding, just misting.
Flowers out of thin airStepping back two feet you can see one of the three wall pots planted with other bromeliads which keep the tillandsia company. These are almost at the end of their oddball 'blooming' of their colourful bracts, which has been going on for a couple of months now.
Pam and I both love the little flowers in our garden every bit as much as the big bobby dazzlers. We could see the tillandsia's flower buds forming a week or two ago, and we looked forward to these tiny blooms every bit as much as any other plant's flowering. Today they 'came out' in all their tiny pomp, and they didn't disappoint us. In fact, I think the bluey-purple is a bit more bluey-purple than last year. It really must like it here!

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