Tillandsia Cyanea, or pink quill, is a popular bromeliad houseplant that is quite attractive if it can be maintained properly.
The pink quill is the common name for this, the most well-known species of the Tillandsia genus that can be grown successfully in pots. Most tillandsias are air plants grown in an ornamental fashion, but this species can be pot-grown. They are tropical rainforest plants that grow as epiphytes on trees. Tillandsia Cyaneas have fragile root systems.
Tillandsia Cyanea has striking pink or red bracts that resemble cuttlefish in their shape, being flat and roughly fan-shaped. The flowers of this tillandsia are purple or sometimes blue and very attractive so that in the wild they can engage pollinators such as hummingbirds or insects.
As a houseplant, the pink bracts and striking deep green leaves contrast nicely with a dark pot, for example of a deep blue color. The colors are particularly suited to a pastel- or light-colored bathroom.
A single tillandsia plant of this species flowers once, blooms for only a short period then the plant and its foliage dies but can be propagated. These plants group densely together at their base and normally will flower gradually across the group so that a spread might last around ten to twelve weeks if adequately maintained.
Maintaining the pink quill requires some care, but if suitable conditions are in place and propagation is successful, this tillandsia will last a few years. Direct sunlight should be avoided. Bright light is required and as with a number of the tillandsia species, filtered light is often the most suitable.
Temperature needs to be fairly high at above 65F in summer, and in winter a lower temperature, down to 55F as a minimum, is required. A light feed should be added to any water on a monthly basis in the summer. Watering should be reduced to a much lower level in winter to allow the plant to be rested.
Misting is the best method of watering this tillandsia. This needs to be frequent in summer in order to maintain adequate humidity for these plants. However, the potting mixture needs to be based on free-draining compost as any excess of water will cause the tillandsia to die in fairly short order. Hence letting the compost dry before re-watering is a sensible general measure.
Tillandsia cyanea is propagated through offsets. There are three ways that this can be managed: