Unpretentious and dedicated bilbergia drooping
The Bromeliad family includes easily recognizable and original indoor plants. This is one of the leaders in home gardening, not always unpretentious, but always extravagant. Outlandish colors of powerful hard leaves, unusual inflorescences and the status of a bold exotica are inherent in all bromeliad beauties. With one exception: about belonging to the same family with guzmania, echmea and cryptanthus, relatively modest Bilbergia droopingor bilbergia drooping (Billbergia nutans) - it's hard to guess. This plant rather seems to be cereal, but it has its trump cards. A modest bilbergia with amazing grace has a harmonizing effect on the interior and, by its requirements for care, can rightfully be called an unpretentious plant.
Bilbergia - pseudo-cereal with colorful details
Bilbergia (Billbergia) Is not an ordinary representative of the Bromeliad family. This is a herbaceous perennial, often developing in nature in the form of an epiphyte. The fact that it is related to other bromeliad houseplants can only be guessed upon careful examination, when the dense texture of the leaves and the funnels in which they are collected become apparent.
Unlike most of its relatives, bilbergia leaves look like cereals or bulbous - long, narrow, with a pointed apex. The surface of the leaves is covered with small scales, they are equipped with spikes along the edge, the plates themselves are leathery and hard. On sale you can find both variegated and plain bilbergia. The leaves of the plant form a tubular outlet designed to store moisture.
Bilbergia in height reaches a maximum of half a meter. But thanks to the wide bush, lush and decaying sod, the plant seems much larger. Actually, bilbergia does not grow quite a sod: the mother plant forms hundreds of children, growing in a dense group and gradually filling the entire space of the container. Young sockets can bloom in their third year. The maternal outlet dies shortly after flowering, constantly being replaced by new children. The base plant has to be cut manually so that it does not interfere with the development of new outlets.
Bilbergia inflorescences, which are not very attractive at first glance, are worth a closer look. The drooping, movingly hanging panicles of inflorescences along the edge of the spikelet lobes are painted in a bluish-blue color, which makes the motley yellow-green-pink color even more original. And the whole inflorescence is effectively emphasized by bright bracts of pink-fuchsia color. Bilbergia flowers are arranged in a spiral, as if twisting into a spikelet-tube.
The luxurious flowering of this bromeliad beauty lasts throughout the cold season - from October to the end of January. Due to the shifted flowering period, bilbergia looks great as an accent in the autumn and winter interiors, breaking into the foreground and drawing attention from the brightest competitors with its touching originality.
Bilbergia is often called the most devoted plant from the Bromeliad family. She really can become one of the easiest to grow green pets, because not only she will gratefully respond to minimal care, but she will also forgive small mistakes. Bilbergia is a hardy culture and does not require a specific approach, perfectly suitable even for those gardeners whose work schedule does not allow to devote much time to plants. Not to mention that this is one of the best cultures for beginners.
Conditions Required by Bilbergia
The fact that this plant is able to become one of the friendliest and easiest to grow is evidenced by a surprisingly pronounced adaptability to completely different growing conditions. Bilbergia can adapt to almost any conditions, comfortable for our stay.
The main trump card of bilbergia is the ability to adapt to the most meager lighting. This is one of the rare indoor plants, which in the interior, in the depths of the rooms feel as good as on the windowsills. And such abilities allow the use of bilbergia to decorate the interior, in the role of a full-fledged accent in the design and decoration of living spaces. For bilbergia, only brightly lit areas with direct sunlight, especially midday, are not like. The most colorful flowering and beautiful shades of bilbergia leaves can be observed on light and semi-shady locations of any intensity.
This plant does not have any special requirements for air and substrate temperatures. Bilbergia will feel comfortable in any rooms in which the temperature does not drop below 12 degrees in both summer and winter. If you have the opportunity, then to stimulate flowering, the temperature can be reduced by 2-3 degrees compared with the usual conditions, but such a measure is not required.
Also important is the ability of bilbergia to grow outdoors in the warm season. As soon as the threat of night frosts disappears and the weather is stable and stable, this beauty can be put in the garden or on the balconies. In the fresh air, bilbergia will actively grow and will surprise you with the beauty of greenery, and most importantly, it is just being in the open air that stimulates the accelerated flowering of young outlets. But be sure to make sure that the pot with the plant will stand in a sheltered place where it will not be threatened by strong winds and precipitation.
Irrigation mode and humidity
In order for bilbergia to become one of the most attractive accents in the autumn and winter interior, it is enough to take care of maintaining a stable moisture content of the substrate. This beauty prefers medium-moistened soil, without stagnation of moisture, with drying of the top layer of soil between waterings. Focusing on the frequency of the procedures is simple: the top 2-3 cm of soil in the pot should dry before the next procedure.
Like the rest of the bromeliads, bilbergia can be irrigated and a funnel of leaves. But this approach is more risky. First, you need to monitor the water level in the leaf funnel, which should never dry completely. Secondly, it is strictly forbidden to carry out such watering if the plant is in cool conditions, and also after flowering is completed during the dormant stage. Therefore, pouring water into the funnel for this crop is best replaced with classic watering. Excess moisture from pallets must be drained.
The winter regime of irrigation is corrected in accordance with the reduction of light and lower temperatures, the procedures are made more rare, and the humidity of the substrate is reduced. In the cold season, watering bilbergia more than 1 time per week is not recommended.
Bilbergia with great gratitude will respond to spraying. Other measures to increase air humidity can be omitted, but leaf spraying procedures can be brought up to several times a day in summer. Spraying becomes a mandatory measure when the content of bilbergia in a temperature above 23 degrees heat. During flowering, the procedure can be replaced by the installation of pallets with wet expanded clay or moss.
Pay attention to the water that you will use to work with bilbergia. This room culture is suitable only soft water at the same temperature with the air around the plant.
This plant needs fertilizers not only during the stage of active vegetation. Despite the fact that a distinct dormant period is observed in the development of bilbergia, she likes stable growing conditions and feeding for plants does not stop even in winter. True, from October to February, during flowering, fertilizers are applied very rarely - once every 5-6 weeks, but with a standard portion of fertilizer.
Top dressing in the warm season must be made from the moment of the beginning of active growth until the end of flowering every 2 weeks. Bilbergia prefers top dressing with special fertilizer mixtures intended for bromeliads or flowering houseplants (although the latter should be used in halves). Excess nitrogen can cause the death of the plant, and classic universal fertilizers are strictly prohibited.
The bromeliad beauty develops with the constant replacement of faded rosettes, which are selected by young plants 1-2 months after flowering. Old sockets must be cut manually, 4-6 weeks after flowering. They will not only prevent the plant from maintaining attractiveness, but will also “slow down” the growth of young children.
Substrate: for bilbergia you need to select a rather specific soil mixture - rough in texture, with a reduced proportion of turf soil. Pay attention to pH indicators: they should be equal to 5.0 units. A mixture of high peat, leafy soil, river sand, moss and humus is suitable for this plant.
Transfer: not annual, but rather frequent (active growth requires timely separation and planting of children from the mother's bush). There is no specific timeline for the procedure: to carry out a transplant with separation as necessary, as soon as there are too many children for this capacity, the roots will begin to crawl out of the drainage hole at any time convenient for you during the active growth period (from March to August, but not later).
Capacities for bilbergia: due to the fact that this plant actively forms young rosettes and grows, only large vessels can be selected. But they should be wide and not too deep. In addition to containers, bilbergia can be grown on tree bark or driftwood (on the principle of other epiphytes and orchids), but only if the plant was originally accustomed to such conditions and you acquired it on the bark.
Diseases and pests of bilbergia
- Spider mites.
Since bilbergia often get sick, the plant needs to be inspected every week, paying attention to the back of the leaves. Pests can be controlled only by combined methods: removing insects with soap solutions and parallel treatment with insecticides.
Common problems in growing bilbergia
- The collapse of outlets in low light;
- The gradual dying of the outlet at the end of flowering for natural reasons and without flowering when the substrate is waterlogged;
- The appearance of brown spots on the leaves in too intense light;
- Drying of the tips of the leaves when using hard water or stagnation of water in a funnel from the leaves.
Bilbergia breeding methods
If you want to get adult and large plants that are attractive and look great without a long wait, during the transplant, it’s worthwhile to separate not individual children, but simply divide the group bushes into two or three parts. Large delenki will take root faster, will actively grow and will actually bloom as profusely as an undivided mother plant before transplantation.
Children that form in astounding numbers
This plant is very easy to propagate, because planting material can be obtained with each transplant. Individual plants adapt worse than delenki, the process of achieving maximum decorativeness takes longer, but individual "rosettes" can become a luxurious plant after several years. Children need to be carefully broken down, while plants that have not grown to a level of 20 cm or higher cannot be separated.
Slices of bilbergia must be sprinkled with powdered charcoal and dried. Rooting children will require lower heating, air temperature at least 20 degrees and cover with a film or cap.