Botanical name: Tillandsia spp
Pink Quill also called Blue-flowered Torch is a vibrant houseplant which bears a long-lasting, long, flattened, flower-head with pink bracts and blue flowers. The flower-head is about 9-12 in. long and can last up to 3 months. The usual pattern for these Bromeliads is a rosette of leathery, strap-like foliage and flower-head which arises on a stalk from the cup-like center of rosette. Once the flower-head fades, the rosette of leaves begins to die and is replaced by offsets at the base. The display of the flower head is due to the presence of long-lasting showy bracts; true flowers are small and short-lived. They flower when mature usually after about 3 years. Their leaves are covered with specialized cells called trichomes capable of rapidly absorbing water and nutrients that gathers on them. They are native to the American Jungle, where they dwell among the Orchids in trees or on the forest floor.
Unlike the Grey Tillandsia (Air Plants), these Tillandsia Bromeliads often referred to as Green Tillandsia, bear green grassy leaves and large flowers. The most popular Green Tillandsia are Tillandsia lindenii (Blue-flowered Torch) and Tillandsia cyanea which has a more compact flower-head with flowers which are all-blue.
Pink Quill Bromeliads prefer bright light but away from direct sunlight. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Pink Quill Bromeliads require the central 'vase' to be filled with water at all times. Empty and refill the 'vase' regularly to prevent growth of bacteria which may cause the water to become smelly. Use only chlorine-free water as they are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals that may be dissolved in water. Water the soil only when it dries to keep the roots moist; avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot.
Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Pink Quill Bromeliads. To bring the plant to flower may require temperatures above 260C.
Pink Quill Bromeliads require a humid enviroment. Employ these techniques to raise humidity. Allow good air circulation to prevent pests and disease infestation.
Feed Pink Quill Bromeliads with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) once every month during the growing season. Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal.
Repotting Pink Quill Bromeliads is not necessary as they grow slowly and once mature they flower and die leaving behind pups which can be used to propagate new plants. Pot these Bromeliads in a shallow heavy pot to prevent them from toppling over as they can become top-heavy. Also provide support to help keep it upright.
Pruning Pink Quill Bromeliads involves removal of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy and to allow adequate room for the new plants to grow. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Pink Quill Bromeliads are propagated from offsets appearing at the base of the plant. When the offset is several months old, remove it with some roots attached and plant shallow in free-draining bark soil. Place the set up in a warm shaded place until the plant is well established. Ensure the plant is well supported; due to their small roots it may topple over. Pot in a shallow heavy pot.
Growing Pink Quill Bromeliads where air is too dry will cause brown leaf tips. Employ these techniques to raise humidity.
Exposure to direct sunlight is the reason. Pink Quill Bromeliad does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot.
Inadequate light for Pink Quill Bromeliads is the cause of dark, soft, drooping, long leaves. Move it to a brighter spot; it prefers bright light but away from direct sunlight.
Root-rot Disease due to waterlogging is the reason if Pink Quill Bromeliad has not flowered. If it has flowered then rotting and death of rosette which bore flower-stalk is natural to give room for the new plants. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Pink Quill Bromeliads are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors. However, the leaves bear short spines which may cause physical injury if handled with bare hands; always handle with gloves to prevent injury.