Tillandsia Polita is an obscure and rare species. Medium sized to 12 in or so, with an attractive inflorescence consisting of bright reddish orange branches on an erect stem.
The bracts are purple. The many leaves are silvery over green and somewhat speckled on the underside. The plant comes from Honduras, where it occurs in the far north. This plant is a really nice specie, rarely seen.
The culture of the tillandsia in a vegetative state is rather easy if the humidity of the atmosphere is high. However the flowering of the plant is more difficult to obtain. Moreover, the plant decays slowly and dies a few years after its flowering. The rejections which appear at the base will flower in their turn a few years later. Recover the rejections when the plant mother is desiccated and place them in small pots.
Hardiness zone: 10 (1°C/35°F). The tillandsia requires a sharp light in summer and sun in winter. Place it close to a window directed at the west in summer and the south in winter. The ideal temperature in summer is 22 to 24 ºC. In winter the temperature can be cooler (18 to 16 ºC) but it should not go lower than 13 ºC. The tillandsia is demanding on the level of moisture. Keep the water content of the air high. If you do not have a humidifier, regularly vaporize the plant with water at room temperature. If you cultivate it in a pot, place it on a wet gravel bed. Eliminate the yellowed leaves, cut the inflorescence after flowering and vaporize the foliage regularly.
The tillandsia develops few roots. This is why it is often fixed on pieces of wood or plates of bark using wire, with the roots surrounded by foam of sphagnum. Its installation can take place anytime in the year, except during flowering. The tillandsia can also be cultivated out of a pot if the substrate is porous and drains well. In this case, you can use fibers of Osmond, sphagnum moss or sphagnum peat, and pearlite like substrate, and gravel for the bottom of the pot. This plant once out of pot should almost never be repotted.