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A Complete Guide to Tillandsia Xerographica Care

Like its name, Tillandsia Xerographica has a distinct character and appearance.

Tillandsia Xerographica needs bright indirect sunlight with temperatures ranging from 60-80°F, watering once every month, humidity between 60-70%, monthly or bi-monthly fertilization, and occasional pruning.

In this article, I will describe everything needed to be done to care for Tillandsia Xerographica perfectly.

Read the article to know more about this beautiful air plant.

Overview of Tillandsia Xerographica

Let us look at the basic overview of this strange yet exotic Bromeliad.

Scientific NameTillandsia xerographica
NativeGuatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico
Growth ZoneUSDA zone 9-11
Plant TypeEpiphyte or Lithophyte
Growth SizeOver 3 feet
Growth RateSlow Growth
FoliageRosette arrangement of long green leaves with a curl at the tip
Blooming PeriodFlower lasts 2-3 weeks
FloweringAbout 40cm long tubular, red-purple flowers that grow as inflorescence.
Common PestsAphids and Mealybugs
Horticultural DiseaseRotting

Fun Facts About Tillandsia Xerographica

  • Tillandsia Xerographica is known as “The King of Air Plants” since it is bigger than others, with more than 3 inches wide.
  • Having Tillandsia Xerographica at your workspace or study room increases productivity and concentration by 15%.
  • An unusual fact about this plant is they do not need soil to grow! So there is no requirement for potting or transplantation.
  • Air plants serve to regulate the humidity of your room.
  • Besides bowls and containers, you can hang and put them anywhere aesthetically at your house.
  • The Air plant grows 3-8 pups after blooming.

A Complete Guide to Tillandsia Xerographica Care

Xerographica is a lot more easygoing than other air plants.

Tillandsia Xerographica care hack
Summary of care requirement for Tillandsia Xerographica

1. Light and Temperature

Tillandsia Xerographica enjoys both direct but not harsh and indirect sunlight and a temperature ranging from 60-80°F.

The most demanding period for Xerographica to receive an abundant lighting supply is April to October.

Provide these plants with a warm climate and sunlight for about 8 hours daily. Their colors will fade in low-light conditions, and the plant will wilt.

Thanks to their winter-hardy nature, they can survive a longer chill. However, in high temperatures, they may be dehydrated and die.

You should move the plant indoors and place it under grow lights during winter.

If the light and temperature are peaking, keep the plant cool by misting it regularly and keep them 3-5 feet away from the east-facing window.

Make sure to rotate the plant now and then to get even light on each part.

2. Watering and Humidity

Since the plant has thick leaves, watering once a month or even misting a few times a week can keep them alive.

If the plant is extremely dehydrated, your plant leaves will become wrinkled, withered, and rolled up. Similarly, overwatering will render mushy roots, leaves falling off, etc.

Rotting prevails if your air plant is not dried properly after soaking them. So, you must avoid too much humidity as well.

Lack of humidity will cause the plant to dry out faster in the sun.

Place the plant near a wet pebble tray or keep a humidifier nearby to maintain optimum humidity.

If your plant is overwatered, place them in a shaded place for some time. Similarly, in the case of underwatering, soak the water immediately and drip away extra water.

One of the prevalent problems of air plants is rotting. Too much humidity or water can invite fungal infections, and the plant will rot.

3. Proper Fertilization

Generally, Tillandsia Xerographica is not a demanding plant regarding fertilizers. They can even survive without them.

Go for dilute general-purpose fertilizer toned down to 1/4 of the recommended strength. Using air-plant fertilizer is even better!

You need to fertilize them once every month or two during summer and avoid fertilization during winter.

These plants do not need soil; they can also grow properly attached to a tree.

It would be best to avoid copper fertilizers, as they may adversely affect the plant.

Overfertilizing the plant may show symptoms like yellowing of lower leaves, leaf tips turning brown and crispy, wilting of lower leaves, etc.

You can wash away the excess fertilizer or leach the soil in such cases.

4. Prune Time and Again

The whole point of trimming this Tillandsia is to keep them fresh-looking and healthy.

The old leaves of the air plant seem to have little dry tips. Prune them using clean shears or scissors.

Tillandsia Xerographica
You should occasionally prune Tillandsia to maintain its beautiful appearance.

Chop off the brown and dry leaves since it is not producing any energy. You may only see them in the tips or the whole leaf too.

Pruning becomes necessary when pests like Aphids and Mealybugs attack the plant.

To stop the spread of such pests and diseases like rotting, it is beneficial to introduce your plant to occasional pruning.

Tillandsia Xerographica: All About Growth

This air plant takes a long time to grow from a seed to a mature plant.

It can grow over 3 feet if you provide it with proper care.

They are in a rosette shape with long leaves that curl on the tip.

If you are lucky, you may even witness your plant flower. The thick stem in the middle bears flowers that only grow once in the lifetime of an air plant lasting for several months.

The plant incorporates greyish-green strap-like large, droopy leaves forming a rosette habit, just like the leaves of a Giant airplant (Tillandsia utriculata).

However, Tillandsia tactorum, Tillandsia harrisii, and Tillandsia bulbosa leaves are smaller than those of tillandsia Xerographica.

You may have to wait more than 8 years to see flowers on this plant.

The flower turns red to purple while the bracts are light green.

Propagation Method for Tillandsia Xerographica

Though seed propagation in Tillandsia is possible, growing through offsets and pups is quicker and easier.

The pups are formed after the plant matures from its bloom cycle; it grows from the mother plant’s base.

You can use the pup for propagation once it is 1/3 of its mother plant. Now let’s find out how it is propagated.

Propagate Tillandsia Xerographica by Separating the Pups

  • You can easily pull off the pup from the mother plant of Xerographica.
  • When it’s not ready, slowly pull it out from the base.
  • On the verge of doing it, do not pull out the leaves, which can cause serious damage.
  • Dip it in the water after separating the pup from the mother plant.
  • Place it in indirect bright sunlight.
  •  Follow the care instructions for a normal Tillandsia Xerographica.

You can check out the below video if you are fixated on propagating your Tillandsia with seeds.

FAQs About Tillandsia Xerographica

Can xerographic take full sun?

Tillandsia thrives the best in plenty of sunlight. A few hours in the full sun will not hurt the plant.

In low-light cases, you can place them under strong grow lights.

Can xerographic grow in my house?

Xerographica is an easy-to-care plant that can grow indoors as well as outdoors.

Ensure you care for their requirements and necessities, and they will flourish.

From Editorial Team


Tillandsia Xerographica is not a high attention seeker and is difficult to grow.

Yet, they require care and love despite their high resilience nature.

Taking corrective actions and preventive measures at the right time can make your Tillandsia Xerographica look more vibrant with its spidery, silvery-white thick leaves.

  1. My xerographica plant is turning brown at its top center and the top most set of leaves is turning brown
    The bottom and lower leaves look good. Ive sprayed about once per week. Not sure what’s wrong

    1. Top leaves turning brown means your plant is dried out/starting to rot and needs to be watered more.
      Pull off the brown leaves; they should come off easily.
      Cut the dead/brown tips with sterilized scissors. It is better to sterilize them with alcohol or soapy water before cutting.

      Soak the plant in water for two hours each on both sides, twice a week in a bowl of tap water. Prioritize using rainwater if you can, as it is best for them. Give them morning sunlight for an hour or two, depending on the variety.

      Important! Dry them upside down, give them a few shakes and get all the water out, or they will rot. Put them on a kitchen towel upside down for about an hour until it dries a little.

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