Guzmania - decorative spike
Guzmania (Guzmania, the Bromeliad family) is an evergreen epiphytic herb native to Central and South America. Guzmania is quite compact, its height is 30 - 35 cm. Juicy green leaves about 45 cm long are collected in a rosette. Spiky inflorescences of guzmania are very decorative, flowers in many species do not open, since fertilization occurs inside them.
In nature, there are more than 120 species of this genus. The most common species in culture is reed guzmania (Guzmania lingulata). The leaves of this species are broadly linear, tightly adjacent to each other, an inflorescence appears on their outlet on a thick short peduncle. The wrapping leaves of the inflorescence are bright red or orange, they cover numerous white flowers. Guzmania Donnella-Smith (Guzmania donnell-smithii) forms a loose rosette of leaves covered with pale green scales. The peduncle and the lower part of the inflorescence are decorated with tiled red leaves, the flowers themselves are composed of whitish scales. Guzmania blood red (Guzmania sanguinea) forms a rosette of leaves in the shape of a glass. Its inflorescence does not have a peduncle; it only peeks out from the outlet. Bracts are thin, red. The flowers are collected in a corymbose inflorescence, they are white or yellow-green. In addition, Nicaraguan guzmania (Guzmania nicaraguensis), musaica guzmania (Guzmania musaica), and one-legged guzmania (Guzmania monostachia) are found on sale.
Guzmania should always be in a warm and bright room, but without direct sunlight, protected from drafts. The plant needs a temperature of at least 16 - 18 ° C, before flowering - 25 ° C. Humidity for guzmania needs high. It is better to put the pot with the plant on a pallet with wet pebbles or gravel, spray the leaves regularly. In summer, the rosette of leaves should always be filled with soft, preferably rain, water.
Guzmania is watered abundantly with lime-free water, from May to August, fertilizing with fertilizer is carried out twice a month, in winter the plant is fed once every two months. Guzmania does not need a transplant, because after flowering, the rosette of the mother leaves dies. Guzmania propagates by root offspring or seeds. Daughter sockets develop at the base of the mother. They are separated after a few months and planted in small pots (diameter about 15 cm). The substrate is prepared from peat, crushed sphagnum and needles in a ratio of 2: 1: 1 with the addition of charcoal. You can purchase a special primer for orchid and bromeliad.
Scars, spider mites, and root root inflict great damage to the plant. The reason for their appearance, first of all, is the low humidity. It is necessary to improve care, and spray the affected plant with an insecticide. The browning and falling leaves of guzmania indicate insufficient watering.