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Tillandsia Reproduction - Seeds and Pups

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Once your air plant has bloomed, the cycle of life continues. Tillandsia, like all plants, cycles through life by producing seeds and offsets or pups. The flower must be pollinated for the plant to form a seed pod.

Inside the seed pods, the Tillandsia seeds are encased in fluffy hairs known as COMA or Parachute. It can take between three months to two years for the seed pods to develop and overtime the walls of the pods split apart and eventually releases the seed. The COMA has been designed to travel through the air like a parachute and as the structural hairs are quite coarse they will easily attach to bark or rocks allowing the seed to germinate in its new location.

In their natural habitat, air plants will release their seed just before the rainy season. The seeds are required to remain wet to begin the germination process and can die quickly in drought conditions.

If the flower of your plant has not been pollinated, it will still produce an offset or pup. Some plants will produce only one pup and others have been known to produce up to 10 pups. In some varieties of air plants the mother plant will generally have a couple of generations of pups before dying, however most species of air plants will only flower once in their lifetime, therefore only produce the one generation of seeds or pups.

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