Tillandsia Tectorum Ecuador

Air Plants & Trichomes

 Why are my plants furry?

So, you’ve just purchased a gorgeous air plant and it’s starting to flourish. Trouble is, you’ve noticed a furry substance on the leaves of your air plant. Is it mold? Or worse still, is it something that you should be really concerned about?

The answer to both questions is a resounding NO. You’ll be pleased to learn that the hair-like substance on the leaves of your plant is completely normal. As a matter of fact, it’s an obvious sign that you have a healthy, growing air plant.

What are Trichomes?

The fuzzy, white fiber on the leaves is a natural part of the plant called Trichomes. Trichomes give your air plants the ability to grow without soil.

The word Trichome is derived from the Greek word Trikhoma – meaning to cover with hair. 

What do they do?

Trichomes serve several vital functions for your air plant. As root hairs, they trap and absorb water and minerals. As leaf hairs, they work to lower plant temperature, reflect radiation, and decrease water loss.

Trichomes can even absorb moisture from the air. This adaptation means that many air plants don’t even need regular rain.

Better still, Trichomes provide an invaluable defence system against pesky insects.

Trichomes allow air plants to grow without soil

Trichomes are crucial to Tillandsia because they act as the pathway for plants to absorb water and minerals. As Tillandsia doesn’t have root systems like other plants, it is through their trichomes that they receive everything that is needed for them to survive.

One such species of Tillandsia – Xerographica, utilizes its trichomes to readily absorb moisture from the air. Even though Xerographica hails from a climate that is exceptionally dry, it has evolved to flourish – thanks to its ability to source moisture from the air. 

Want to get your hands on a stunning air plant?

There are some species of Tillandsia that have an amazing covering of trichomes. If you’d like to see a particularly hairy variety, then check out the Tillandsia Seleriana. These plants are striking in their silvery, fuzzy appearance.

If you love the unique look of this type of air plant, then wait until you set your eyes on other species including Ionantha Guatemala and Caput Medusae. These are sure to impress!

Get in touch with us today and purchase an air plant that is perfect for you.

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