Guzmania is an epiphytic and terrestrial plant of the bromeliad family. The kind of these plants includes more than 130 species.
Bromeliad was named in honor of the Spanish botanist A. Guzman in 1802.
The flower grows in a warm climate so the air temperature should be at least 25 degrees for successful flowering.
Guzmania grows as an epiphytic plant on trees and on mountain slopes in the natural habitat. Also this flower can take root in the soil as a terrestrial plant.
Guzmania grows between trees in the forest or on open mountain slopes up to 2500 m at the altitude. This beautiful flower can be found in South Florida, Brazil, Central America and Venezuela. Guzmania houseplant grows only in pots.
Guzmania Description and Care
Basal rosette is reach up to 50 cm at the height and sometimes can be the same diameter. It is located at the bottom of the plant.
Decorative leaves can reach 50 cm in diameter. They are bright green or variegated color. Leaves are all-edged, belt-shaped with a sharp end.
The inflorescence is located on the direct peduncle which grows from the center of the basal rosette. Inflorescence looks like a cone which is surrounded by bracts of bright color. For the first time the plant blooms during 2-3 years.
Flowering period lasts up to 3 months. The mother plant dies after flowering but it leaves several appendages around itself.
The leaves of bromeliad Guzmania cover each other and create a bowl. Rainwater accumulates in the bowl when the plant grows in natural habitats. Water is used by the plant itself and by other animals during the drought period. Organic substances dissolve when they enter the water. This is an additional fertilizer for the flower.
Air roots are poorly developed. The main function of the roots is to cling to the trees.
There are several hybrid plants that grow in greenhouses, winter gardens and indoor. If you buy Guzmania in a flower shop, it can blossom this year.
The Guzmania is often used to decorate household plots. There are varieties with pink, yellow, red and orange blossoms.
Guzmania minor "Rondo" is one of the most popular houseplant. This short-stemmed epiphytic plant has a short and thick flower stem with bright red and orange flowers. The flowering period lasts several months.
How to Care for Guzmania
Guzmania requires conditions close to the natural environment for successful flowering. If you follow our recommendations, the plant will blossom for a long time.
Guzmania needs a diffused light. Direct sunlight can cause burns on the leaf surface. The plant should be protected from direct sun at lunchtime because it likes be in the shade.
The pot with plant has to locate on the east or the west side. Guzmania will not bloom, if you placed a pot on the north side.
In winter you need to provide the flower with intense diffuse light.
In summer a pot with plant can be located outside but it must be protected from direct sunlight and drafts.
The plant does not need shade during autumn and spring.
The daily rate of illumination should be at least 8-9 hours. If lighting is not enough, you will need to install artificial lights.
Guzmania is heat-loving plant. Comfortable temperature for intensive growth should be 20-25 degrees. In winter, there is a period of rest so the temperature indoor is reduced to 18 degrees. The minimum temperature in the resting period is 12 degrees.
All bromeliad varieties need constant high humidity and the temperature indoor must be at least 20 degrees. The flower is grown in a terrarium or in homemade greenhouse.
In summer, the plant is sprayed with water several times a day. Water for spraying is used distilled or soft.
Also, the pot with flower is placed on a pallet with wet pebbles or moss in a hot period. You have to sure that the pot does not touch the water. Another way to increase humidity indoor is to install an artificial fountain.
Guzmania Watering and care
Guzmania is watered abundantly during the period of active vegetation. The top layer of soil in the pot must dry before each watering.
Water is poured into the middle of the rosette. If you have water in the basal rosette, you should drain off it.
Water is used distilled or soft because the lime and chlorine have negative affect to all bromeliad varieties. The temperature of water should be at least 20 degrees. You can also use the water that was passed through the filter.
The frequency of watering depends on the conditions that you created for the plant. The higher the temperature of outdoor, the more often you should water the Guzmania.
I water the flower early in the morning or late in the evening.
Starting from the middle of autumn, the water from the root outlet is drained and not poured until spring. If the water remains in the basal rosette, it will be rot.
In winter, Guzmania is watered moderately. All epiphytic species take down from the support and completely are immersed in water for several minutes twice a month.
The roots absorb the necessary amount of water during this time. Guzmania houseplant is grown in the ground and it is not necessary to immerse it in water.
The soil for Guzmania has to pass air and water well. Gardeners use a different composition of soil for epiphytic and terrestrial species.
Composition of soil for epiphytes: crushed pine bark, peat, sphagnum, leaf earth, humus. All components are taken in the ratio (3: 1: 1: 1: 0.5) and also are added a little charcoal and perlite.
Composition of soil for terrestrial plants: sand, peat, leaf and turf ground, sphagnum moss. All components are mixed in the same proportions. You can add pine bark and charcoal.
At the bottom of the pot (1/3 capacity) is filled with the drainage with expanded clay before filling of the soil.
Guzmania is transplanted every 3 years. The neck of the plant should be left on the surface of the soil after transplantation. The flower will start to rot, if you put it in the ground completely.
The pot for transplant is picked not deep but wide because the plant has superficial roots.
Drainage from expanded clay is placed on the bottom of the pot before transplanting. Otherwise, the roots will rot.
Guzman is propagated in two ways by seeds and suckers. The second way is easy and successful.
Seeds are sown in the soil which consists of sphagnum, peat and sand (1: 1: 0.5). Seeds are soaked before planting in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. After, they must dry a little.
They are planted on the surface of the soil without sprinkling of earth. It is necessary to provide enough lighting after sowing.
A pot with seeds is covered with a polyethylene film or is placed in a greenhouse. You should constantly maintain the temperature of outside 22-25 degrees.
The film is regularly removed and the surface of the soil is moistened. Seeds will germinate in 30-50 days. Young shoots are transplanted after 2-2.5 months. Mix soil for shoots from the turf, leaf earth and peat in a ratio of 1: 2: 3. Young shoots are transplanted into separate pots after six months when they grow stronger. The first flowering will appear 2-3 years later.
Reproduction by appendages
This method is used very often due to easy growing and high probability of engraftment. Guzmania dies after each flowering. But at the base of basal rosette there are buds from which a lot of offspring grow. So, 3-4 leaves and poorly developed root system will appear after 2 months.
You should carefully separate the appendages with the roots and plant them into a separate container.
Housemade substrate is prepared from a leaf land (3 parts), sand (1 part), and pine bark (1 part). Also you can buy a ready mix for bromeliad plants. The temperature indoor is kept high enough 26-28 degrees. The top of container is covered with a glass jar or polyethylene film. Do not forget to ventilate the seedlings.
The plant is transplanted into a separate pot and grown as an adult plant, when the root system intensifies after a few weeks.
The plant is fertilized from spring to autumn once a month. Fertilizers are used for bromeliad varieties or ornamental flowering plants.
You need to reduce fertilizer concentration from the norm by 2 times to prevent death of a plant. Fertilizers are diluted with water for watering.
If fertilizers have a large amount of nitrogen this cause a negative effect on the growth of Guzmania. So, you should choose fertilizers with low nitrogen content or without it.
Pests and diseases of Guzmania
Guzmania is attacked by pests such as mealybug, spider mite and quadraspidiotus perniciosus (San Jose scale).
Pests can be seen on the top or the bottom of the leaves. If you do not destroy the pest in time, the leaves will turn yellow and dry. You can use a soapy mix with a sponge to remove pests.
You should use a ready insecticide, if the plant is heavily damaged by pests.
Also, Guzmania is exposed to fungal diseases when indoor there are favorable conditions such as high humidity and high temperature. In this case the mold quickly multiplies.
Tips and difficulties in caring for Guzmania
The roots of the plant decay - Constant high humidity indoor or excessive watering. You need to reduce watering in winter and pour water only to the basal rosette in the summer.
The tips of the leaves darken. Perhaps, there is too dry climate inside. The plant is watered with poor quality water. You have to increase the humidity of room and always check that the water is in the basal rosette.
Brown spots on the leaves. Guzmania suffer from sunburn. You should limit the exposure of direct sunlight to the leaves.
Yellowed leaves. The basal rosette began to rot. The main reason is too much watering of the soil and a large concentration of fertilizer. The flower will die.
White coating on the leaves. The plant was sprayed with hard water with excess of lime. It is necessary to wash off the leaves with high-quality water or a soapy solution. In the future, use only soft and distilled (rainy) water.
The children do not appear after flowering. You need to cut the peduncle after flowering. The period of ripening of seeds considerably breaks the process of appearance of young shoots.
The plant died.
There are several reasons:
- Watering is too intensive for a long time, especially before flowering
- Drafts in the room
- Temperature indoor too low
- In basal rosette was no water for a long time