Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ionanthas and a Little Care

A little info about Ionantha air plants (aka Iona's) and some care tips.

Air Plant Iona 3 for 1 Deal

Tillandsia Ionantha aka Iona
Native to Cosa Rica Mexico

Ionas are a smaller variety of air plants they range when mature from 1-3"
Iona's only flower once in their entire life cycle and change to a vibrant red towards maturity. This color change is only temporary and happens only once. Which is why we try to send them out green so the new owner can enjoy the color change and bloom.

Iona's start out green as juveniles
SALE Air Plant Mix of 5

As mentioned each Iona will only flower once. However once the flower has dried remove by gently plucking the petals and removing the stalk as this promotes babies (aka "pups")

Iona's are a clumping Variety of air plant and if you prefer not to remove the pups they will form massive clumps over time. As leaves dry gently pull them away from the base of the plant with sideways tugs. If the leaf resists it is not ready to be removed yet. The mother plant will stay a mother plant and you can pluck from her from the pups.

If you prefer to remove the pups wait until they are 1/3-1/2 the size of the mother plant to ensure their longevity. Hold both mother and pup at their base and gently twist in a downward motion. If the pup is hard to remove you may want to remove the pup by cutting downward as close to the mother as possible. Most will only need a gentle twist and tug to remove. Do not discard the mother plant yet. As long as she is still alive she will continue to produce more pups. The mother will often take several years after blooming before she finally dies.

Quick care tips. Make sure you water your plant regular. Yes these plants are easy care but they still need regular watering. Water is the most important aspect of succeeding with your Iona. However too much water and they will rot. Never leave air plants in standing water for long periods of time. Environment dictates everything with care. Your plant needs water regularly at least 1 times per week to start and submerge your plant in room temp water for a min to a couple. If you notice brown tips then mist your plant in between its weekly soaking. They need to be watered underneath as well as on top. The easiest way to achieve this is to actually immerse the whole plant in the sink, bucket or cup if possible. After submerging make sure to shake off excess water and let them dry out. Also lighting is very important. Ionas like a bright indirect light to help them achieve their brightest color change and also bloom a little quicker. If in flower keep the bloom above water. In extreme dry areas or homes with air conditioning your iona may need more water.
Thin leaf varieties may need spritzing more often on the leaves to help the tips from not drying out.  If you miss a watering air plants are very forgiving and are a very hardy plant. Email us anytime with questions on care or to help you develop a care schedule for your environment.

So Enjoy your little ones and get creative!! Until the next post happy gardening!!

Globe Air Plant Hanging Terrarium Clear Glass Orb Kit with Moss, rock or sand


  1. Would these do well in an office under only florescent lighting and you mentioned life cycle but did not say who long their life life span was.

  2. Yes these will do fine under florescent lighting and they will live and reproduce pups/babies as long as you care for them. Happy Gardening!!

  3. How do you use the air plant fertilizer you sell? There were no instructions in my package so I thought I'd drop you a note :)

  4. Are these good for beginners? I've been looking at air plants for awhile but I haven't a clue which ones to buy.