by Ryan Lesseig

The Tillandsia Stricta is an air plant that is native to Trinidad, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and northern Argentina. This air plant is able to grow on sand dunes as well as in trees so you can imagine how many different climates it can survive in. The variation found in different Stricta varieties’ leaves, is due in large part to them living in a variety of temperatures and climates. The different leaf types range from hard and stiff to soft, with most having silver and light green coloring. There is one type of Stricta that has dark almost black coloring, which is often referred to as "Stricta Midnight."

This Tillandsia variety normally matures in the Summer and will produce a beautiful white bloom spike that will display flowers that can be blue, purple, and even yellow.  A cool fact about the Stricta flowers: they only last a day! However, the colorful leaves below the flower can remain beautiful for almost 3 months. Once the Stricta air plant has bloomed, it will normally develop 1-3 “pups”. These pups can be removed once they reach 1/3rd the size of the mother plant, or they can be left intact and the plant will form a “clump” over time and will get quite impressive! The clump can be attached to a wire or string and will eventually create a nice ball of plants

 

Tillandsia Stricta care is low maintenance and relatively easy like most other Tillandsia. This particular plant thrives in humidity with bright filtered light, or a nice shady tree.  This air plant can survive in temperatures ranging from 50-90 degrees Farenheit, and like most Tillandsia species they do not like extreme cold or heat.  The Tillandsia Stricta likes fresh moving air; so make sure they are in a well-ventilated space (this can even be in a slightly shaded spot outside, if you live in a warmer climate). You can water your Stricta once or twice a week depending on your environment by submerging the air plant for around 30 minutes. Make sure once you remove the plant from watering, that you gently shake off any excess water from the leaves as this can sit in the plant and cause rot (avoid the flower if it is blooming). If you’re going to put them in an enclosure (like one of our air plant terrariums), then make sure the air plant has dried before you do so. The Tillandsia prefers rain, pond, and aquarium water but filtered and tap water will do just fine. If using tap water, allow the water to sit out for a bit to let chlorine and other chemicals dissipate before watering the plant. Do not use distilled or softened water. For more in-depth care info about tillandsias, visit our air plant care page.

While the Tillandsia Stricta is one of the more common air plants, it is fun to decorate with and does well indoors. This air plant can thrive on a variety of surfaces, so you can place them on wood, rocks, seashells, ceramics and anything else your creative imagination can think of! When mounting the air plant, avoid stapling or nailing through the plant and definitely avoid superglue and copper because all of these will kill the plant. Aside from those exceptions, the sky is the limit and you can use whatever material you like to mount the air plant. Two more no-no’s… Do NOT plant the Tillandsia Stricta in soil and do NOT let the air plant stay wet longer than 4 hours, as it will rot. Follow these easy and simple rules, and you can have a healthy air plant friend.

Do you have a Stricta in your air plant collection?



Ryan Lesseig
Ryan Lesseig

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