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Native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, Acanthostachys strobilacea (Pinecone Bromeliad) is a small shrub that grows to reach 2-5ft in height. This attractive epiphyte requires a moderate amount of water and semi-shade to grow and thrive, making it the perfect plant for a hanging basket in a sunny or partially-shaded location. Its leaves are a deep green with gray scurf and spines, while its flowers range in color from yellow to orange.
Despite its exotic appearance, Acanthostachys strobilacea is low-maintenance, making it ideal for gardeners who don't have much time to spare on tending to their plants. In addition, it is drought-tolerant and can even thrive in xeriscaped environments.
For those who live in USDA Zone 9-11, Acanthostachys strobilacea is well-suited for growing in containers. The plant can be successfully grown in cold regions as long as its soil is kept moist. In cooler climates, the plant should be moved to a sheltered area during the winter months to ensure the soil does not become too cold and wet, as this could damage the roots. Furthermore, when growing in a pot, it is important to ensure the pot is well-drained and to water the plant regularly and deeply.
Overall, Acanthostachys strobilacea is a beautiful and exotic plant that is low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, making it a great addition to any sunny or partially-shaded garden. With the right care, it can thrive in its environment and bring a unique beauty to any garden.
The Aechmea is very diversified, hardy, extremely popular, and very easily cultivated in the bromeliad family group. They range in sizes from a very tiny 6 inches, to more than 10 feet in height and 6 feet in diameter. Their foliage colors vary from lime green, yellow, red, burgundy, and black, and incorporates many patterns, spots, stripes, bands, silvering, shadings, and blotches. These patterns often vary form the top of the leaf to the bottom of it. The Aechmea family has large inflorescence and brightly colored, long lasting bracts that holds the magnitude of tiny flowers. Often the colorful berry-like fruits mature for a long time on the flower spike. It's a very healthy, cold and rot resistant plant to grow outdoors fixed in trees, walls, or, in pots in an orchid mix.
Adult plants need a sunny position to become red in the blooming period. In a luminous shade it flowers, but the leaves remain green. The rose bracts persist a long time, and if flowers are pollinated black pointed fruits will appear as shown in the picture. It's curious because, when the plant grows in very shaded locations the leaves become very long, to the point to seem a completely different plant and very elegant indeed, with no weak aspects. However, if it is gradually moved to full sun it blooms and the leaves become red.
Once known as Vriesea imperialis, this plant is usually considered the signature species of the genus Alcantarea. A giant among bromeliads, it can grow to be more than 5 feet tall! It makes a wonderful focal point in any tropical landscape.
King of fruits! One of the most delicious fruits in the world, especially when picked and eaten fresh. Pineapples are a tropical fruit that is rich in vitamins and dietary fiber, with the ability to boost the immune system. Popular varieties of pineapples include Royal Hawaiian, Victoria Gourmet, Hawaiian Gold, Sugar Loaf, and Miniature Dwarf. There are also ornamental varieties, such as the variegated pineapple "Ivory Coast," that are valued for their exotic tropical look and require very little care.
Pineapples are short, stiff herbaceous plants that are closely related to bromeliads. They have long, thin leaves with spiny tips and prickly edges, and a violet or reddish flower on a dense head, which appears from January to March in Florida. The fruit is compound, fleshy, and usually yellow to orange when ripe, with a rough outer skin.
Pineapples are not very susceptible to diseases, but they can suffer from root rot, mealy bugs, and spider mites. To prevent these issues, it is important to keep the area clean and free of any infestations. In cold regions, it is necessary to bring the pineapple container inside and keep it in a cool place during the winter. If temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period, it is necessary to cover the container with a thick layer of mulch to protect the plant.
Pineapples can be grown and harvested in pots, but it is important to be careful with watering and only use acidic soil. Like any bromeliad, pineapples need very little water and the soil should be allowed to dry between waterings. The heaviest fruiting season for pineapples is summer, from May to September, although some varieties have a staggered fruiting season throughout the year.
Read more about Pineapple: The most luscious Hospitality Fruit: Pineapple.
Araeococcus looks more like an exotic grass than the bromeliad it really is.
Billbergia nutans, commonly known as Bromeliad Queen of Tears, is a small shrub native to South America that is easy to grow and maintain indoors. It is a compact plant that seldom reaches 2 ft tall and wide with unusual, chartreuse foliage and vibrantly-colored flowers.
The foliage of this beauty can reach up to 15 inches and will spread out in a graceful rosette. The flowers that appear periodically are pink, purple, yellow or green and are surrounded by pink or red bracts. The foliage of this plant is what sets it apart from the rest. Its thick, strap-like leaves in a chartreuse color makes it a striking statement.
When given the proper care, Billbergia nutans can easily thrive as a houseplant. It requires semi-shade, adequate water and good air circulation. When grown outside in subtropical climates it will do best when protected from the heat and cold. When planted in a pot, make sure the pot is big enough for the soil to retain moisture. In cold regions, empty the rosette of water and pack it with insulation material before winter sets in.
Not only is Billbergia nutans an attractive houseplant, it's also known for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds when its in bloom. Its nectar sacs are what gives it its common name, Queen's Tears, as the nectar will "weep" from the flowers when the plant is moved or touched. Furthermore, it is such an easy variety to propagate as it readily produces offsets making it a great gift option and commonly known as Friendship Plant.
Billbergia was established as a genus in 1821 by Thunberg. The name is a tribute to the Swedish botanist Gustav Johannes Billberg. The flowers range from virtually colorless to deep violet, some are night-bloomers and a few are fragrant. According to the petal habit Billbergias are divided into two groups: billbergia, in which the petals recurve slightly and helicodea, in which the petals coil back like a spring. The seeds are contained in hard berries just below the flowers. Pups are produced on short stolons so that a clump forms quickly. Billbergias in habitat are generally epiphytic and may also grow on rock. In culture some (B. nutans, B. pyramidalis) also thrive as terrestrials in ordinary (well draining!) garden soil. They prefer a small pot. Billbergias are usually grown "hard"-strong light to enhance leaf coloration and markings, little or no fertilizer to ensure that the plant does not outgrow its optimum size and color.
Most bromeliads are epiphytes in their native rainforest habitat. They have small roots, mainly used for anchoring themselves on trees, so these tree-dwelling plants gather moisture and nutrients through their leaves. You can encourage bromeliads to flower by adding a pinch of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to the water or fertilizer. Keep it in partial shade. Water the center of the rosette and keep room-temperature rainwater or distilled water in its urn (center of the rosette) at all times. Water soil just enough to keep the roots barely moist. Empty old water from the urn once a month and promptly replace it with fresh water. Do not soak base of plant, which can lead to root rot. In fall and winter, keep the soil slightly drier. Soil: orchid mix.
Billbergia have been crossed with Cryptanthus
and the resulting hybrids Cryptbergia are intermediate in habit between the two genera.
This species is endemic to Brazil.