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Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta

Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta / Rosita

This variety used to be named Tillandsia Ionantha Rosita, however, the name was changed in 1993 to Tillandsia Ionantha var. Stricta.

Quick Guide

Bright indirect light (grows well indoors)
Soak once a week and Mist regularly
Feed once every 2-4 weeks
Height 4″ (10.1 cm)
Width 3″ (7.6 cm)
Vibrant purple/violet flowers
Endemic to Oaxaca in Mexico.

How To Care For Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta

A small and delicate air plant, Ionantha Stricta reminds me of a tiny pin cushion due to its size and shape. The narrow leaves grow from 1-3 inches long and the plant grows between 1-4 inches tall.

Stricta is easy to grow indoors and favors bright indirect light. The leaf tips can dry out and turn brown quickly if the plant is placed too close to a sunny window.

This variety is quite hardy and requires minimal care and can tolerate partially enclosed globes and terrariums.

How To Water Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta

I recommend soaking Ionantha Stricta once a week for about 20-30 minutes and misting 2-3 times a week if possible. The extra misting helps if the plant is kept in a particularly dry environment.

Rainwater is best but you can use soft tap water. Hard water will clog up the plant’s trichomes so it is best avoided if possible.

Tap water should sit in an open bowl or bucket for 48 hours before use. This allows the chlorine in the water to evaporate before watering your air plants.

Hybrid - Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta

How To Propagate Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta

Ionantha Stricta readily produces multiple pups/offsets and forms large clumps of plants in the wild. The clumps consist of mother and child plants and sometimes even a third generation.

Pups form at the base of the parent plant shortly after flowering and are easily removed by gently twisting the offset away from the mother plant. I use a knife or pair of scissors to help.

Wait until the pups are a third of the size of the parent plant and then separate them carefully. I mist my pups 2-3 times a week for two weeks as well as soaking to help them grow successfully.

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Flowers And Expert Tips

This form of Ionantha maintains a deep red color all year round given adequate light. However, it is more typical that the pinkish-red leaves turn to scarlet red during blooming.

The thin narrow leaves give way to a small cluster of purple/violet tubular flowers from March to June. Which is typical of most Ionanatha varieties except Druid.

The violet flowers are very striking and grow up to 4cm in length and protrude from the center of the rosette.

Tillandsia Ionantha Stricta Hybrids

Tillandsia Ionantha var. Stricta (Koide) is endemic to one region in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is mostly found growing on oak trees and rocks in arid areas.

There are many Ionantha Stricta hybrids for sale on the Internet but I am not entirely sure if they’re all genuine. I have listed my favorite hybrid below.

  • Tillandsia ‘Magic Blush’.

‘Magic Blush’ is a cultivar by Pam Koide. The plant is mostly white and then develops a pink/red blush before and during blooming. The plant’s compact feather-like leaves surround a ball-shaped rosette. The seed parent is Ionantha var. Stricta and the pollen parent Magnusiana.

Nature has created many Ionantha hybrids and each variety is unique and has different characteristics. Find out more about the different types of Ionantha.

Author - Stephen Little
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