CULTURAL INFORMATION FOR GUZMANIA BROMELIADS

 

Of the more than 150 species of Guzmania, nearly all are tank-forming and although some may have colorful leaves, most are shiny dark green. Their bloom spikes or inflorescences are their most desirable asset and hold their color long after flowering. These may be compact heads or elongated spikes resembling fountains. Most guzmanias grow in tropical forests in wetter, cooler, shadier habitats than most other bromeliads.

 

LIGHT: Because of the lower light requirements, guzmanias are an ideal indoor bromeliad. If placed outside, be sure that no direct sun reaches them.

TEMPERATURE:    Guzmanias must be protected from frost or freeze and many do not care for extreme summer heat.

WATER: Water quality is very important for guzmanias. They do not care for hard, alkaline or salty water. Flush central reservoirs of bromeliad at least once a week. Avoid hard water; it can cause spotting of the leaves. Collected rain water is beneficial.

AIR:      All bromeliads like good air circulation. If a bromeliad is placed in an unshaded window, it will likely burn because there is no air circulation to dissipate the heat.

FEEDING:      Use a dilute solution ( 1/4 strength) of a high quality, acidic, water-soluble fertilizer and drench the potting medium, foliage and central reservoirs with it.

There are several formulation of DYNA-GRO fertilizer that we highly recommend. Guzmanias can also be fed by mixing a slow-release fertilizer into the potting medium. Beware of copper and boron which are toxic to bromeliads. Your fertilizer should have none or no more than trace amounts of these micronutrients.

PROPAGATION:     In most bromeliad species, the plant you see blooming now will not bloom again, but begins a reproductive cycle that should produce multiple plants that should mature within approximately one growing season. The 'pups' will draw nourishment from the mother as she gradually declines. When the 'pup' is one-third the parent's size or when it begins to get crowded in the pot, it can be removed by gently twisting or cutting it away from the mother. Be sure to leave enough stem to anchor it when it is potted. Most guzmanias grow best as single plants to allow their beautiful symmetry to be appreciated.

POTTING: Don't use pots larger than necessary; most guzimanias grow nicely in 4" to 6" pots. Any potting mix is acceptable as long as it is acidic and holds moisture yet drains quickly. It should also be sufficiently firm to hold the plant steady.