The Guzmania

Guzmania lingulata

Guzmania is best known for its striking extravagant flowers that come in an array of tropical colours and appear only once in the lifetime of each rosette. Keep your plant in a bright position out of direct sunlight and ensure the well in its centre is always topped up with fresh water!

Temperature:

Bromeliads prefer warmer climes of 18-27 degrees in order to thrive and continue the growth of their long dark umbrella-like green leaves. They will therefore do well at room temperature. However, they will tolerate temperatures as low as 14 degrees.

 

Lighting:

Bromeliads are often found high in the tree canopy and therefore exposed to high levels of light. This light should be indirect and protected away from harsh sunlight that would burn the leaves and dry your plant out.

 

Watering:

Watering makes this plant a difficulty and therefore not ideal for a busy plant owner. Ensure you use bottled or rainwater when watering as the harsh chemicals found in tap water will decline the Guzmania’s health. Firstly, ensure you always keep the vase found in the middle of the bract bloom full of water. This water should be poured out and replaced frequently, or it will stagnate. The minimal soil surrounding the roots should also be kept moist but not soggy. The best way to judge this is if you can squeeze water out of the soil then it is too wet!

 

Soil Type:

Replant your Guzmania in a mix of potting soil and bark. The bark will retain moisture and will slowly release it as the surrounding soil begins to dry out between waterings. Orchid bark will work well for this.

 

Humidity:

Like any tropical bromeliad species,  Guzmania appreciates high humidity. This can be done by misting your plants leaves daily with a mister. Or, alternatively by keeping your plant in your bathroom (if it suits the above lighting requirements) where there is a daily high humidity from your bath/shower.

 

Propagation and Re-Potting:

Although your plant will only bloom once, you can grow new plants from your original mother plant. Small green cone-shaped pups will grow from the base of the plant. These pup plants can be broken away at the root and re-potted. Each with the potential of growing a beautiful bract bloom in a few years’ time.

Like many bromeliads, Guzmania grows natively in the canopy of the South American tropical rainforest within the crevices found between a branch and the trunk. These plants, therefore, lack an extensive root system and prefer to be kept compact in a smaller pot with little soil surrounding the roots.