Tillandsia Xerographica (King of Airplants)
The Tillandsia Xerographica, nicknamed the King of Airplants because of how large and old it can grow, can live upwards of 20 years, reaching three feet in diameter and three feet tall. It is a highly coveted plant due to its low maintenance, beauty, and aesthetic diversity. Florists have taken to using this plant in arrangements and bridal bouquets because of it's stunning appearance and unique shape.
Native Origin of Tillandsia Xerographica
Tillandsia Xerographicas are native to Southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. They are epiphytic plants that grow on the tops of trees, using the branches for support. As epiphytes, they pull water in their leaves from the air around them, and so prefer a hot, humid climate. However, they can be grown easily indoors.
How to Care for and Water Tillandsia Xerographica
There are several ways you can water and care for the Xerographica, because, as an epiphyte, it draws in moisture from the air around it through the leaves. How you care for it and promote growth will depend on if you're growing it inside, outside, the climate, and humidity that it lives in. No matter which way you choose to water, just remember that if water stays in the cup of the plant it can rot out and die, so make sure to shake them out and dry your Xerographica laying upside down.
1. Set it outside in a summer rain
Rain is the best way to water your Xerographicas. Rainwater is a natural fertilizer, and not only gives the hydration that your plants need, but also essential nutrients. Just make sure that you shake your Air Plant out completely and dry upside down so that no water remains in the cup of the plant.
2. Dunk in a bowl of water
Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, and submerge your Xerographica completely for a few seconds. Pull it out and check that the leaves have all changed color from a silvery white to a bright green. You want to see that green color to know that the leaves properly absorbed the water. If there are any portion of the leaves that are still silvery, wet it until you see the green. Dry the Air Plant upside down. Do this once or twice a week, depending on what shape you want your plant to have.
3. Spritz with water bottle
Spritz your Xerographica two to three times a week, until all the leaves turn from silvery to green. When using this method to water your plant, also soak the plant once a month for at least 15 minutes.
4. Soak in a bowl of water
This method is similar to dunking, but allow your Xerographica to stay submerged for 15-30 minutes. Shake all the water out of the Air Plant, and dry upside down to make sure no water is retained in the cup. Do this one to two times a month.