Cuttings as an Alternative for Propagation of Tillandsia recurvata: An Epiphytic Species of Ethnobotanic Value
Tillandsia recurvata has anticancer properties as well as horticultural value. Production through seed germination is non-viable since the species produces low numbers of seeds with low viability, longevity and germination rates. We explored propagation using cuttings and tested different inert substrates and plant growth regulators. In 2008, cuttings were taken from T. recurvata plants and sown in/on three different substrates (red lava rock, gravel and electricity cable) to which growth regulating cytokinins [6-Benzilaminopurine (BAP) and Kinetin (KIN)] were added. The effects of substrate and cytokinin addition were determined in terms of cutting survival and four different relative growth indices (length, weight, number of live leaves and number of new leaves). Cutting weight, number of new leaves and survival did not differ among the different substrate types and plant growth regulators. The cuttings sown on cable presented a higher quantity of live leaves. Cutting length was greater in the control or with addition of KIN; length was also greater when the cuttings were sown in red lava rock. The red lava rock and cable are both substrates with potential for propagation of T. recurvata; however, given the lack of differences found between the control and KIN treatments, addition of these plant growth regulators appears to be unnecessary. We conclude that sowing cuttings in/on inert substrates constitutes an inexpensive and easily implemented technique for propagation of this species.