Billbergia

Billbergia nutans is a Bromeliad, and is best grown as an indoor plants in the UK.

The genus was named after Gustavo Billbergia, a Swedish botanist.

Billbergias originate mainly from the north of South America i.e. from Brazil to Peru.

The flowers are actually bracts that grow to 70-100mm (3"-4") long

The dark green serrated leaves are about 500mm (18") long.

They form clusters of 25-35mm (1"- 1½") long green flowers (bracts) edged with blue, and have yellow stamens.

The species requires a minimum temperature of 5°C (40°F) and moderate to full sunlight.

Cultivation notes:

Week 15: Pot up mature plants in 100-125mm (4"-5") pots of ericaceous potting compost.

Provide a humid atmosphere throughout the year, keep fresh water in the cup at all times.

Water when the compost is dry to the touch.

Water preferably with rainwater and feed the soil freely during the growing period, but do not allow water-logging.

Like many bromelliads, Billbergias form two different root systems.

One type is moisture seeking water roots the other are tough and strong roots adapted to holding the plant secure, these do not absorb water and nutrients.

When growth slows down, keep the rosette and soil just moist.

Propagate by removing side-shoots from the parent plant when they are half the size of the full-grown plant.

Allow cut surfaces to dry for a day or two, and then plant firmly, but not too deeply in ericaceous compost.

They are relatively pest free although occasionally the may be attacked by scale insects.

Treat them with an insecticidal soap to keep the attack under control.





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