Billbergia belongs to the herbaceous evergreen epiphytes of the bromeliad family and has more than sixty varieties. The culture is represented not only by epiphytes but also by terrestrial plant species. In the wild, it grows in Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. At home, plants use their fruits for food and prepare soft drinks from them, and some varieties of culture are used to obtain fiber. This decorative exotic is popular with flower growers due to its undemanding care and unpretentiousness. To date, about thirty-five species of billbergia, belonging to the terrestrial plant varieties, are grown at home.
Billbergia home care
billbergia is a light-loving crop, but it prefers diffused light. The plant does not like stagnant air, so the room with it should be systematically ventilated, but at the same time, the billbergia should be protected from drafts.
You need to place the flower on the east window. In summer, it will need to be protected from direct sunlight in order to avoid burns on the leaves, and in winter, when daylight hours decrease, the culture should be illuminated with a phytolamp, directing it not to the plant, but next to it.
In summer, the temperature in a room with a flower should be from 20 to 25 degrees, and in winter, temperature indicators can range from 15 to 18 degrees. Care should be taken that the temperature does not drop below 12 degrees, otherwise if this happens, the plant will die.
The humidity must be kept at 70%. To do this, it is necessary to spray the leaf plates of the plant with a spray bottle every day and place a humidifier in the room with the culture. For spraying, use settled, boiled water at room temperature. So that the leaves can breathe and are not covered with a layer of dust, they must be wiped with a damp sponge once a week.
Guzmania is also a member of the billbergia family. It is grown when nursing at home without much hassle, if you follow the rules of agricultural technology. All the necessary recommendations can be found in this article .
Watering a tropical plant should be frequent, and in extreme heat, it should be watered daily. Experienced flower growers advise pouring water into a leaf outlet. However, the soil in the pot can also be moistened, but in this case, watering should be carried out only after the top layer of the soil mixture has dried.
In the cold season, watering should be carried out once a week to avoid the decay of the root system.
Do not forget that the soil should be light and well-drained. Therefore, before planting or transplanting a culture, a thin layer of expanded clay should be placed on the bottom of the pot, which will act as drainage and will avoid stagnation of moisture in the roots.
You can fertilize a plant with a complex mineral fertilizer for flowering plants. During the spring-summer period, feeding is carried out once every twenty days, and in winter, once every one and a half months.
Fertilizer is diluted in water for irrigation and applied to the substrate or used for spraying leaf plates.
The culture blooms from May to the end of July. The inflorescences of the plant do not have much decorative effect, but the bracts look very beautiful and unusual. billbergia can bloom from several days to several months.
The color of the inflorescences is often red, white, purple, or pink, it all depends on the type of flower. After flowering and drying of the peduncle, it can be carefully removed.
The plant does not need formative pruning. However, in order to maintain its decorative effect, you need to remove dry leaves and remove dried flower stalks after the billbergia has faded.
The plant should be transplanted every two years when the planting capacity becomes cramped in the root system. The procedure is carried out in the spring. The plant pot should be wood or ceramic. With each transplant, the new container should be 30 millimeters larger than the previous one.
Before proceeding with the transplant, a thin layer of expanded clay must be laid on the bottom of the pot. Then the prepared soil mixture should be poured into the planting container, a hole should be made in it and filled with water. After that, the plant must be removed from the old pot, shaken off the roots from the ground, and placed in a new container in the prepared hole. Further, the free space in the pot must be filled with earth, slightly compacted, and watered. It will take several weeks to acclimatize the culture after the procedure.
The dormant period for billbergia occurs during the cold season. In order for the plant to have a good rest and gain strength in winter, it must be transferred to a room with temperature indicators from 15 to 18 degrees and watering must be reduced to once a week. In addition, so that the plant does not suffer from a lack of sunlight, it must be supplemented with a phytolamp. Fertilize the crop only once a winter.
In early March, when the flower enters a phase of active growth, standard care procedures for it must be resumed.
You can propagate billbergia by seed and children. Reproduction by children should be carried out from February to April. For this purpose, it is necessary to wait until the culture has faded. Then you should wait another twelve weeks until the processes appear and get stronger, which then must be carefully separated with a sterilized blade and the cut sites should be treated with charcoal.
The resulting shoots must be left to dry for a day. Since the planting material already has its own root system, it can be immediately planted in separate containers with a wet mixture of sand and peat. In order for young plants to take root faster, they must be in a sunny room with a temperature of at least 20 degrees. Young billbergia will bloom after two years.
You can also grow a crop by seed. However, it should be borne in mind that this is a very complex and time-consuming process, therefore it is practically not used, giving preference to reproduction by children.
To propagate billbergia by seed, the following procedures must be followed. Prepare the planting container, fill it with a mixture of peat, leaf turf and sand. Then gently press the seeds into the soil, spray it with a spray bottle, cover with foil and remove to a lighted and warm place. Every day, the seedlings should be ventilated and the soil should be systematically moistened. The seeds germinate in about ten days.
After the appearance of three-leaf plates, the plants can be ventilated for several hours, and after a week, the film can be removed completely. Watering young plants should be moderate. You can transplant young the plant to a permanent-growth site after they have six-leaf plates each.
Diseases and pests
Rarely, billbergia can be affected by fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or rust. To rid the culture of the disease, you need to treat the soil and the plant itself twice with a weak solution of copper sulfate.
Also, the flower can be affected by root rot, which occurs when water stagnates in the root system. It manifests itself in a sharp yellowing and wilting of the leaf plates. In this case, transplanting with the removal of the affected part of the root system and processing it before placing it in a new pot and fresh soil mixture with a weak solution of manganese will help to save the billbergia.
From insects on the foliage of billbergia, scale insects and mealybugs can settle. To get rid of pests, the crop should be treated with Actellik insecticide, diluting it according to the instructions on the package.
The plant can decorate any interior. This exotic will not leave indifferent any grower, especially since caring for it is minimal and not difficult.
And according to the Feng Shui philosophy, billbergia is able to bring coziness to the home atmosphere and fill the home with the energy of abundance and good luck. Therefore, if you want to become luckier and replenish your collection with an exotic plant – billbergia is what you need.
Billbergia species and varieties
In the wild, the plant grows in Ecuador, Venezuela and Costa Rica. It reaches a height of up to 1.5 meters and has a dense spreading rosette with narrow, long, dark green leaf plates with thorns along the edges. The inflorescence is pyramidal, multi-flowered pink with white densely pubescent edges. The culture blooms from March to July. After flowering, yellow, warty, edible fruits with a pleasant sourish taste are formed.
Aechmea (Bromelia White) – is an epiphytic tuft-shaped plant with tough, long, narrow dark green leaf plates, collected in a rosette with a serrated edge. The inflorescence is white with blue paniculate bracts. Flowering time is in July.
Native to Colombia, Argentina and Brazil. The culture reaches a height of up to 1 meter and has a dense, spreading rosette with long, xiphoid gray-green leaves with a serrated edge. The peduncle of the plant is straight with dense pubescence. The inflorescence is narrow, paniculate in dark purple shade with a white stripe in the middle of the petals. The culture blooms from March to June. Fruits are small, ovoid, edible with sourish fleshy pulp.
Is a rosette herbaceous perennial, reaching up to 1.5 meters in height. The leaf plates are rigid, with spiked edges, xiphoid with a red base. The inflorescence is a sessile, spike-shaped lilac shade with a white center. Fruits are oval, yellow, edible.
The plant reaches a height of up to 1.5 meters and has a dense spreading rosette with long, xiphoid leaf plates with jagged edges of a dark green hue. Inflorescences are light purple, tubular. Flowering time falls in mid-summer.
Is a herbaceous perennial growing up to 40 centimeters in height. The leaf plates are narrow, long, linear type with a serrated edge of a dark green hue. Paniculate inflorescences of purple hue. Fruits in the form of oblong gray-green berries.
Even in indoor conditions, such species are cultivated as mosaic guzmania, tricolor, blood-red, Ostara, one-eared, Donnella-Smith and conifer.
Even in indoor conditions, keeled, royal, perforated, hieroglyphic and giant Vriesea are also cultivated.
Still, in room conditions, Tillandsia Duer, Linden, Sitnikovaya, silvery, Gardner’s, violet-flowered, etc. are grown.
Other species are cultivated in indoor conditions: blue neoregelia, bubbly, scion, few-flowered, beautiful (elegant), gloomy, marble, etc.