tillandsia pseudobaileyi in bloom

Tillandsia Spotlight: Baileyi Air Plant

by Megan Richards


tillandsia pseudobaileyi air plant in bloom

Native to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, the Tillandsia baileyi is quite the funky plant.

The baileyi is characterized by stiff silvery greenish/purple tubular leaves that twist and curve from its bulbous base. Much like the bulbosa belize and the caput medusae, the baileyi has an almost hollow onion shaped bulb for its base. In the wild, this bulb is often the home to rainforest ants.

tillandsia pseudobaileyi air plant

When in bloom, the baileyi emits a long lavender inflorescence that blooms beautiful purple flowers. After blooming you might notice a tiny pup growing out of the base of your plant. You can leave this to form a clump, or remove once it it is ⅓ the size of the mother plant. These plants are prolific propagators, so you might notice more than one pup growing from its base.

To care for your baileyi, place it in a area of bright indirect sunlight. We also recommend that you place your baileyi plant either upside down or hanging at an angle so water does not get trapped in its bulb. Be sure to water your baileyi at least once a week, and shake out any excess water that may have become trapped in its base. Allow to fully dry before placing back in its terrarium or holder. You can also fertilize your baileyi plant once a month to encourage growth and pup formation.

You can anchor your plant to a piece of wood with a piece of wire, or even strong plant safe glue. If placed in a terrarium, do not cover its base with rock or moss if it is wet, as this can cause it to rot.


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