Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The bromeliad, Guzmania lingulata 'Orangeade'

Having blooming plants in the house rejuvenates the ambiance of any room instantly!  I almost always have a bromeliad in my house. Their colorful bracts, which are often mistaken as its flower, are such a burst of joy. Their actual flowers are quite small blooms that you can see around the top of the bracts for a brief time. But the spiky bracts can last for a month or more.

After the bract dies back, the mother plant will live for about a year or so. Sometimes they live a lot longer but are not really expected to do that. It will produce young plants, called pups, from the base of the soil. You can separate the pups from the main plant  after they are a few inches high and plant them in 4" diameter pots until they are ready for a 6" diameter pot. They can bloom after they are about a year old. 

Not only are they are they among the largest of blooming houseplants, they are one of the easiest flowering plants to grow inside! These wondrous epiphytes are natives of the rainforest but propagated for sale in greenhouses. We are very fortunate to be able to appreciate their splendor in our own homes.

This Guzmania lingulata "orangeade" is fresh from the florist, Flowers and Plants Etc. To order floral arrangements or some houseplants almost anywhere in the world, click below:

Care Instructions---
  • Bromeliads prefer bright indirect or some direct sun. Full afternoon sun would be too much. Near, or in, a north or east- facing window would be ideal.
  • For plants in a 6" (15cm) diameter pot (which most of them are in): let the soil dry out about 1/2" below the media before giving a good soak. Up to 2 cups (or almost 1/2 liter) water should do, but make sure they do not sit in water for long. 
  • Watering them thoroughly in the sink so that they get an even watering, the letting them drain for a bit is ideal.
  • They appreciate humidity and a mist of water on their leaves daily would be appreciated.  It's not crucial, but they do like a touch of water to stay in their "cup" which is the center of the plant.
  • Fertilize regularly. When repotting, they would do well with a blend of about 1/8 potting soil and 7/8 orchid bark..

***To watch short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below:
  The Indoor Garden TV


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