A plant from the Bromeliad family, unites about 60 species growing in places with sharp temperature fluctuations and a pronounced dry season.
- Origin: Brazil, Peru.
- Illumination: bright diffused light.
- Content temperature: summer – +22 +28°С, winter – +14 +18°С.
- Watering: in summer – regular in a rosette of leaves, in winter in the soil 1 time per week.
- Growth rate: average.
- Reproduction: seeds, offspring.
- Transplant: after flowering.
These are mainly epiphytes, forming a long tubular rosette of leaves to accumulate water. The leaves are leathery, yellow, variegated or one-color. From oblong-triangular to narrow-linear in shape, pointed at the top and covered with small scales on both sides. There are thorns along the edges of the leaf blades. The flowers are brightly colored, petaled and arranged in a spiral or rolled into a tube, in paniculate or racemose spike-like inflorescences. The leaves are bracts brightly colored and very large. The fruit of Billbergia is a berry.
Thanks to constantly growing lateral shoots, the plant forms a large bush, consisting of numerous individual rosettes, reaching a height of 50-60 cm.
Billbergia – flowering plant
The first time after planting, the plant will bloom in about 2-3 years. As a rule, bilbergia blooms in the first half of summer, but with proper care it can bloom as early as April. The plant blooms with amazing bright flowers that appear on the peduncle. Usually the flowers are painted in lilac-violet tones and are surrounded by beautiful, bright bracts of pink and crimson hues.
2-3 weeks after flowering, the bilbergia rosette dies off, and a new plant grows from the rhizome or creeping stem, which blooms the next season. Old sockets must be cut 1.5-2 months after flowering.
Billbergia – plant care and maintenance
Billbergia are unpretentious and much easier than other indoor plants tolerate drafts and dry air. Billbergia care and maintenance involves placing the plant in a shaded or bright place, but not under the influence of sunlight.
A soil mixture of humus, leafy soil, high-moor peat and river sand in equal proportions is best suited. It is also recommended to add chopped sphagnum moss to the soil.
In spring and summer, the substrate should be constantly wet, but not waterlogged. In winter, it is enough to water once a week, allowing the earthen clod to dry out slightly. For irrigation, you need to use only soft and settled water at room temperature. It can be watered by pouring water into the funnel of the leaves of the plant with a dense rosette, and at temperatures below +20 ° C and after flowering, the substrate must be moistened.
The optimum maintenance temperature in spring and summer is +24 +28°C. In autumn, it is necessary to gradually lower the temperature to + 18 +20 ° C. In the period from October to February, variegated forms must be kept at + 16 + 18 ° C, and forms with green leaves + 14 + 16 ° C and always in a bright room. Keeping at a temperature in winter below +10 +12 ° C will lead to disease or death of the plant.
Top dressing is carried out from the beginning of spring to the end of summer at intervals of 1 time in 2 weeks with special fertilizers for bromeliads or half the dose of fertilizer for flowering houseplants.
Transplantation is carried out annually after the flowering period in a substrate of leafy, humus, soddy, peat soil and river sand (1:1:1:1:0.5).
Reproduction is carried out with the help of seeds and side shoots that have reached a length of at least 15 cm.
Keeping at a temperature in winter below +10 +12 ° C will lead to disease or death of the plant. Can be damaged by pests: spider mites, aphids, scale insects and mealybugs. Control measures: remove pests with a sponge with soapy water, and in case of severe damage, it is necessary to treat with karbofos or actellik, a solution of 15-20 drops per 1 liter of water.
Billbergia drooping (Billbergia nutans) or Tears of the Queen
An epiphytic plant that forms narrow-funnel-shaped leaf rosettes in the form of bunches. 30-70 cm long, leathery leaves are smooth on top and with small spikes along the edges, dark green in color, and covered with gray small scales below.
If you place the plant in a more lighted place, the color becomes pinkish-bronze. Billbergia drooping has a curved and very thin peduncle. The upright bracts are lanceolate, tiled, pointed, pink. Simple loose inflorescence, with short bare branches, bearing several flowers. Small bracts grow together with pedicels. Flowers sessile or on a short pedicel, erect or deviant. The sepals are obtuse, elliptical in shape, 1.5 – 2 cm long, pink in color, and dark blue along the edge.
The linear petals are blunt, 2 times longer than the sepals, pale green in color with a yellow-blue edge and with 2 large serrated scales at the base, and the stamens are equal in length to the petals. The fruit is a berry.
Billbergia magnifica (Billbergia magnifica)
A plant with a few, almost erect, leaves up to 70 cm long and up to 8 cm wide, collected in a tubular rosette. The leaves are very rigid, densely covered with dark twisted thorns along the edges, with a rounded apex in small thorns, sharply turning into a short pointed tip. The upper side of the leaves is dotted with small white scales, located in the form of strips of different widths. A drooping thin peduncle with a thick white powdery coating up to 25 cm long.
Bracts are wide, thin, elliptical, pointed, pink. Inflorescence simple, loose, up to 30 cm long, with strongly pubescent axis. The bracts are well developed, the lower bracts are similar in shape and size to the bracts. Sepals at the apex obtuse, elongated or oval, asymmetrical, thin, up to 12 mm long, slightly drooping. Flowers sessile, deviated. The magnificent billbergia has petals linear, up to 7 cm long, spirally twisting during flowering, yellowish-greenish, and blue at the top. Anthers of stamens are blue. The ovary is densely pubescent with dark vertical stripes and fruits – berries.
Billbergia pyramidal (Billbergia pyramidalis)
Originally from Southeast Brazil and the Antilles, where it grows at an altitude of 500-1700 m above sea level. Billbergia pyramidalis is a terrestrial plant with a tubular-funnel-shaped rosette of leaves. The leaves are rigid, broadly linear, from 40 to 100 cm long and up to 6 cm wide, pointed towards the top or rounded with a pointed tip, with finely serrated edges and wide white stripes below.
The straight and strong peduncle is densely white-felt, and the bracts are almost erect, tiled, pointed, lanceolate-elliptical, pink in color and crowded at the bottom of the inflorescence. Simple inflorescence erect or almost erect, corymbose or short-cylindrical, densely pyramidal, up to 15 cm long, densely white tomentose. Ovate and pointed small bracts. Flowers on thin and short stalks. The sepals, slightly fused at the base, are asymmetrical, elongated, obtuse or with a short apex, pale red, 15-18 mm long.
Petals tongue-shaped, obtuse, bright red, not much longer than stamens, with 2 fringed scales at the base. The ovary is almost cylindrical. Can bloom 2 times a year. Flowering periods: July-August and February-March. The fruits are berries.
Billbergia green (Billbergia viridiflora)
A large plant with numerous green leaves, collected in a sprawling rosette. The leaves are hard, dense, pointed, 50-100 cm long and up to 10 cm wide, spiny at the edges, and bordered on the back by a wide light stripe.
The peduncle is thin, erect, equal to the length of the leaves, with a white powdery coating. Thin bracts are erect, up to 14 cm long, pointed towards the apex. Inflorescences simple, up to 50 cm long. Linear-triangular, thin bracts slightly pointed. Flowers on a long thin stem. Billbergia green-colored blooms in February – April and has fruits – berries.