'Pink Quill' / Cyanea  Tillandsia

'Pink Quill' / Cyanea Tillandsia

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Details:  The Tillandsia cyanea, which is more commonly known as the pink quill, is an easy-to-care-for, versatile, and robust tropical houseplant.

Part of the Bromeliad family, unlike most Tillandsia species, it can be grown in a pot as well as an air plant. 

It produces a display of large, long-lasting, showy pink bracts that resemble ink quills, and this is where the inspiration for its common name comes from. The bracts add interest for several months—so you'll have plenty opportunity to enjoy their vibrancy. You'll also get to appreciate the pretty little violet flowers that emerge in the summer; although they only last two or three days

As the bracts age, they can start to turn from pink to green, and when they diminish, the plant will begin to die off. However, if you want to appreciate the bracts and blooms more frequently, it's easy to propagate from offsets. So you can grow several generations to have blooms appearing at different times.

Light:  Pink quill plants do best when positioned in a sunny spot. This will prolong the flowering period and keep the plant happy and healthy. However, too much direct and intense afternoon sunlight can burn the foliage, and too little will mean they won't bloom.

Most enthusiasts recommend an east or west-facing window position.

Water: Although pink quills don't need as much water as the average houseplant, they do tend to need more than most Tillandsia species.

If they're potted up, depending on the time of year and how dry the conditions are, they could need watering anywhere from every two weeks to every couple of months.

Although some enthusiasts recommend deep watering and then removing any excess water that has drained through, most agree that more regular misting is the best option. Soggy roots are one thing that will cause major problems for this plant, and this can be a problem when watering at the base.

In the warmer seasons, gentle misting every week, allowing the runoff to wet the roots, may be needed. Always allow the potting medium to dry out before rewatering and, if in doubt, underwatering rather than overwatering is the more sensible option. During the colder months, watering should be infrequent.

The Tillandsia cyanea is chlorine sensitive, so rainwater or filtered tap water is the preferred choice.

Propagating: Pink Quills are easy to propagate from through their offsets. Known as 'pups,' they readily grow at the base of a healthy and mature plant. When they reach at least three inches in length, they can be cut from the mother plant and potted into a porous medium. It can take up to six months for them to fully establish their own roots.