Guzmania , from the Bromeliaceae family, is one of the best indoor plants for the modern interior. Its ability to grow out of direct sunlight and its low wintering requirements make it even more attractive. This is a tropical epiphytic plant that grows naturally on open mountain slopes in Central America and Brazil. There are about 218 species. The genus was first described in 1802 and was named Guzmania after the Spanish botanist, zoologist and pharmacist Anastacio Guzman, who was studied in South America. Many species of guzmania have been cultivated for indoor floriculture in the past.
The plant is very showy. Even before flowering, it is striking with its powerful, narrow, rosette-shaped leaves. The flowers of the guzmania are not pretty, but the bracts are very bright – that’ s why this natural wonder is valued. The flower stems remain for 2 to 6 months a year. After flowering, the plant dies, but gives off many lateral shoots.
What do you know about the guzmania flower?
Guzmania is originally from the tropics and grows best at a stable temperature of 20 – 22 °C at home. Only during the preparation period for flowering the temperature should be at least 25 °C. If you want to achieve the high air humidity that the plant requires at home, you will need to spray it daily with distilled or filtered water, and between October and February you should only do this in the morning. Do not spray the bracts with water while spraying, otherwise the flowering time will be severely reduced.
Watering a guzmania flower; As the roots of all bromeliads are very sensitive to the effects of chlorine and lime, you should only water and spray them with filtered, or better still, distilled warm water (20 ºC). The frequency of the watering should be such as to prevent the substrate from drying out: it should be done as soon as the surface of the substrate shows signs of drying out. Water should be poured directly into the leaf rosette. Does the flower love light and sun?; This plant needs good light all the year round: this requires bright, diffused light without access to the direct rays of the sun. The best place is on a windowsill or near of a west-facing window.
The soil mix that the Guzmania flower loves It is not easy to buy a good quality ready-made bromeliad potting soil. That is why expert growers prepare the soil for guzmania with their own hands. There are several mixes that are available. The most simple one is made up of fibrous sour peat, sod and leaf soil and coarse sand (2:1:1:0.5). One part charcoal slice can also be added to this mixture. The second
method of substrate consists of crushed pine bark, fern roots, sphagnum, raised peat, vermiculite and pieces of charcoal in equal proportions.
What conditions does the Guzmania flower like? It is a moisture-loving plant and requires at least 70% humidity. So you should place the guzmania in a deep and wide tray with wet pebbles or clay pebbles. Water and sprinkle it regularly. Use carefully purified and settled water for spraying and watering because the root system of the guzmania will die as a result of watering with chlorine and calcium. The water temperature should be 2 to 4 °C higher than the room temperature. The watering should be done as soon as the top layer is slightly dry. Water the leaves in the rosette and not the ground. If the temperature is lower than 20 °C, reduce the watering but keep the leaves moistened with warm water every day. Spray the plants every day with filtered, lukewarm water only. The bracts must not be exposed to any drips. From October to February, only spray the plants in the morning hours.
How to care for the Guzmania flower?
Special fertilisers for bromeliads are used for the care of guzmania. If you want to use an all purpose fertiliser for flowering plants, it should have a reduced calcium content and be free of boron and copper. Orchid fertiliser can also be used. Feed the guzmania from March to September 1 to 2 times a month by dipping a fertiliser solution into the leaf rosette or by spraying it over the leaves, but avoiding the bracts. Guzmania does not need any special pruning. Just remove any withered or damaged leaves before the plant is cut down. Also remove the flowering stem by gently cutting it out at the base.
How to cultivate the Guzmania
Guzmania can be propagated in 2 ways at home:
- By sprouts: By the end of flowering, guzmania will produce lateral shoots (offspring). These will be used for the cultivation of the plant. As soon as the offspring grow their own root system to 1.2 – 1.5 cm, they can be potted out in the individual pots. The baby plants with a root system are cut off from the mother plant with a sharp, sterile knife. The cuts are covered with a thin layer of artificial bark or horticultural varnish. Use readymade orchid soil or make your own substrate to nurture the offspring. Put the pot with the seedlings in a warm, bright place and cover it with a plastic bag for a few days to keep the humidity high. When the young plants have grown, transplant them into a permanent pot in the spring to avoid damaging their fragile roots.
- By seeds: Guzmania can also be propagated by the seeds, but it is difficult and time consuming. The seeds are sown in pots of peat and coarse sand that have been washed in a solution of manganese and have been dried. They are not embedded into the soil, but sprayed with warm filtered water and covered with glass. The seeds will sprout in 15 to 20 days if you keep the seedpots in a warm place and periodically remove the glass for airing and spraying. The seedlings should be pricked 8 to 10 weeks from the start of cultivation. A substrate of peat, leaf and turf soil (4:2:1) is used to raise the seedlings. In another 15 to 25 days, the seedlings can be planted in their permanent pots.
How do you save a Guzmania? Why is my Guzmania turning brown?
Diseases of Guzmania, How is Guzmania treated? The guzmania can be infected by fungal infections such as sooty fungus and root rot that can develop as a result of excessive or improper watering and irregular temperature conditions. This can cause rotting of the humus’s ground organs as well as the roots. Unfortunately, these changes are often discovered too late, when the guzmania can no longer be saved. In addition, bromeliads are susceptible to fungicide treatment. Fungal diseases are easier to prevent than to treat. Try to ensure that the guzmania is kept in optimal conditions and is properly looked after. Guzmania leaves can get sunburnt if they are exposed to the sun. You can prevent this by shading the plant from direct sunlight between midday and 4 p.m. with a light curtain.