This air plant gets its name from the word ‘plants on roofs’ because the species has been cultivated on roofs in Ecuador and Peru. This Tillandsia thrives in these countries because of their drier climates. Compared to most air plants, TTillandsia tectorumillandsia tectorum have fewer leaves and trichomes are usually smaller. Tillandsia tectorum has the largest and most visible trichomes (the white, fuzzy scales on the leaves).

“Over watering can cause the trichomes to become ‘glued’ to the leaves.”

The trichomes on this species reflect a large amount of the UV light from the sun while still allowing air movement to pass through the leaves. Keep this is mind when choosing where you will place your Tillandsia tectorum.

Tillandsia tectorum

This species will thrive in brighter conditions as long as it is watered the proper amount. The trichomes on it’s leaves are more sensitive to water moisture, and over watering can cause the trichomes to become ‘glued’ to the leaves. This means they are no longer perpendicular to the leaf surfaces and they become more transparent so the leaves look more green. If you have ever notice the blades becoming stuck together, it means you may be over watering.


Tillandsia tectorum will survive indoors with low medium levels of light but stay away from low light levels (they cannot thrive without sufficient sunlight). If you are keeping this air plant inside, try and give it a spot with lots of light. Water it sparingly but thoroughly once or two times a week (depending on the temperature, humidity and the amount of light it receives).

Tillandsia tectorum


Have questions about your Tillandsia tectorum? Email or message us on social media! You can also use #AskMrTillandsia on your posts for them to be answered in our YouTube series.

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