Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tillandsia ionantha - air plant

I had lunch with ex-colleagues in Sembawang Shopping Centre (SSC) and every time I'm here, I would look at the progress of Nautical. The progress is still slow and I think it will not be ready by April next year.

After the lunch, I went to the nearby nursery, Hua Hng (aka World Farm). It is just about maybe 3 minutes drive from SSC along Sembawang Road. I was looking for apothecary jars for my terrarium. This plant nursery has quite a number of different types of apothecary jars. I have bought 3 jars from them since last year. One medium and two small size jars. The medium jar will cost you at least S$35 and the small one is about S$18. However, the quality of the jars may differ in a batch and it is advisable to change every single set to look for defects. There might be bubbles, chipping or scratches on the glass.

Apothecary Jar @ S$18

There were 6 small jars left and I managed to find one with the least number of defects. Now waiting for my Nerve Plants to grow so that I can transfer them to the terrarium.

Well, something caught my eyes when I was about to pay for the jar. Air Plants! Oh my, oh my, there were many near the cashier as well as hanging on the wall.

Tillandsia Ionantha (Air Plant)

Different species of Tillandsia

Well, I knew that the price of one medium size air plant will set me back by S$25. So, I checked with the staff there and it was S$12 for a medium one and S$18 for a large one (Tillandsia ionantha). As I have not kept air plant before, I do not want to buy the large one, so I settle with the medium one. This is the one I bought…
Tillandsia ionantha blooming - beautiful
Most of the Tillandsia ionantha at the nursery are blooming. When it flowers, the leaves will turn red and purple flower will emerge from the centre of the plant. There are two in the centre of each plant. After I got the plant, I did some research on the internet and most proposed to soak the plant in water for some times. However, as the plant are flowering, I avoid soaking the area where the flowers are.

I guessed the plant was placed outside and it was neglected for few weeks (maybe). I took a forceps and removed dead and rotten leaves from the plant. It was quite a challenge as I tried not to damage the leaves and it could be a difficult task and sometimes you could feel that the leaves had snapped. Ouch!

After the soak, I tried to give the plant a good swing, holding the plant by the roots, yes, by the roots… to remove the excess water. I tied the plant to a string and hanged it to let it dry up.

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