Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri, often referred to just as Tillandsia bergeri, or simply bergeri, is native to Argentina. Part of the Bromeliad family, all Tillandsia species are air plants. In its natural mountainous environment, the bergeri can be found attached to rocks and tree branches.
For an air plant, it's robust, easy-to-care-for, and fast-growing. The gray-green, narrow, tapering leaves are tough, and they quickly develop into a tight clumping form.
Flowering for a few weeks in the summer, the pink shades on the bracts add a wonderful splash of color to your home. So do the delicate little blue or violet flowers that form on them. The flowers may only be a few centimeters in size, but they are bright, have white centers, and have interesting twisted petals.
They usually bloom every few years, but because healthy, clump-forming plants produce abundant offsets, you can have a collection of bergeri to ensure some will be flowering each summer.
Kept as a houseplant, Bergeri can be added to a glass terrarium or a sea shell planter. They are commonly attached to a piece of wood or hung from a wire air plant display.
The Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri can also be grown in containers if you use a potting medium designed for Bromeliad species. It can even be grown outdoors if the temperatures are warm enough and winters are dry, but it can be more of a challenge.
|Botanical Name||Tillandsia Bergeri, Tillandsia Aeranthos Bergeri|
|Common Name||Mad pupper|
|Plant Type||Succulent, perennial|
|Mature Size||Up to 10 in. tall|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Hardiness Zones||9 - 11, USA|
|Native Area||South America|
One of the fastest-growing of the Tillandsia species, the bergeri it isn't too difficult to care for. Making sure it receives enough sunlight, good air circulation, and the right amount of water will help it to thrive and produce healthy bracts and flowers.
Filtered sunlight works best for the Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri. Too much intense, direct afternoon sun can cause the foliage to burn and turn brown. It's a fine balance, though, as not enough sun can mean growth is slow, and the plant might not bloom.
Bergeri can grow in very well-drained, leafy soils outdoors if the temperatures are right. However, they are more successfully and commonly grown as indoor air plants or kept in containers using a potting medium designed for Bromeliad species.
The soilless potting mix needs to be highly porous, and some enthusiasts use orchard bark or peat moss mixes.
Under and overwatering are common problems with Tillandsia species. Too little and the foliage can become dry, curled and brown. Too much and root rot can kill off the plant.
For the Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri, misting at least a couple of times of week during the summer is recommended—possibly even daily if conditions are hot and dry. In the winter, this will be considerably less.
It's a good idea to shake off the plant after misting to ensure excess water isn't trapped in the foliage.
If the leaves start to curl upwards excessively, this could be a sign the plant is dehydrated. Some enthusiasts recommended submerging the plant for around 12 hours to combat this problem.
For best results, using filtered tap water or bottled water is recommended.
Temperature and Humidity
Used to growing in drier mountainous regions, the Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri can withstand colder temperatures than many similar species. The cold conditions can even stimulate better flowering. They usually don't have a problem surviving in temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and can even cope with short periods of frost.
If you experience temperatures lower than this outdoors, however, your bergeri should be kept as a houseplant, especially if they're a smaller specimen.
Although feeding a healthy Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri isn't always necessary, there are soluble fertilizers that have been developed especially for air plant species. Using them can encourage blooming.
These solutions can be mixed into a water spray and applied a couple of times during the growing season. Be careful not to over-fertilize though, as this can scorch the plant.
Propagating Tillandsia Aeranthos Bergeri
Propagating bergeri from their offsets is a simple process. A healthy mother plant will produce multiple 'pups' at the base. Once they're large enough, generally around a third of the size of the original plant, they can be cut off, and new roots should establish within a few months.