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Air Plant in Focus: Tillandsia Stricta


Air Plant in Focus: Tillandsia Stricta

Tillandsia Stricta is an air plant variety that is commonly crossed with other popular varieties of air plants to produce vigorous, beautiful hybrids. The various Stricta hybrids are usually prized for their show-stopping blooms. This species has a wide native range. Various types of Stricta are found from Mexico, the Caribbean and all the way down to Southern Brazil.

The leaf color of the various stricta air plants varies from a an iridescent silver, to to light green, to bronze. It is assumed that the natural variety seen in this species is due its inclination to hybridize with other tillandsias. We have seen very clear Stricta and Ionantha or Stricta and Brachycaulos mixes at the farm.

As is the case with all Tillandisa, Stricta are plants that anchor to a host, but are not considered parasitic. They have beautiful flowers that have a wide range of colors. These colors range from blue, purplish, yellow-white and pink. Shaped like a funnel, they can produce forty plus spikes that are slender in design. Their brilliant colors attract pollinators like insects and hummingbirds. 

Stricta tend to have more linear leaves and rigid leaves, although some types, like Stricta Rio, are slightly softer. Leaf color ranges from a grayish green to a darker green and even hues of red. A blooming plant produces funnel shaped blooms that consist of three sepals and petals, each spreading from the middle of the bracts. Tolerant to low temperatures above forty-five degrees, these plants can thrive inside the home or outdoors. Make sure they have plenty of light, but not direct sunlight and they are in an area with ample air flow.

After blooming these plants produce a couple of offsets. We find they generally give about 3 good pups per mother plant. It is definitely slower to propagate this particular tillandsia than others. 

Would like your very own? Shop here. We generally work with the soft leaf hybrids at Air Plant Supply Co. We are currently working on having Stricta Rio available for purchase. 

Characteristics of Tillandsia Stricta:
Belongs to the Bromeliaceae family.
Height ranges from 4 inches to 6.5 inches.
Width ranges from 4 inches to 6.5 inches
In the category of bromeliad and perennial.
Tends to have irregular growing pattern
Leaves are usually coarse and evergreen
Tends to have showy blooms
Flower colors can be white, yellow, blue, purple or pink.
Tends to have a tolerance for higher temps, humidity and lack of water
Usually blooms in early to late spring
Usually does well with dappled to full sun

Tillandsia Stricta Air Plant in Container
Stricta with silvery-blue leaves in a bamboo holder.

Tillandsia Stricta with Bronze FoliageA bronze-leaved Stricta in cultivation.

Stricta RioStricta Rio, native to the areas near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has more green foliage and less conspicuous purple bracts in the booms compared to other Stricta in cultivation today.

2 Responses


March 16, 2017

excited to try them if they don’t cost to much that is. They look awesome

Melly Mel
Melly Mel

December 26, 2016

I’d love to read a blog about how long it takes for your varieties to bloom from pup, and total life span.

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