Billbergia nutans H.Wendl. ex Regel
Queen's Tears, Friendship Plant
Billbergia nutans var. nutans, Billbergia linearifolia, Billbergia minuta, Billbergia schimperiana
Billbergia nutans is an epiphytic bromeliad that forms clumps of funnel-shaped rosettes of arching slender bronze-green leaves. Leaves are up to 1 foot (30 cm) long and have small teeth along the margins. This plant is considered to be succulent, by which its leaves are thicker and more fleshy in nature. The arching flower stalks carry pink bracts, and pendant flowers with chartreuse green petals edged with royal blue in spring.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
These plants are widely available at nurseries and garden centers. They need a medium to bright light as indoor specimens.
Bromeliad care is easy and requires no special tools or fertilizers. Feed the plants with a half-strength fertilizer every month in the growing season.
Water needs are easily achieved by filling the cup at the base of the leaves. The water that collects in the pot should be emptied weekly to remove debris and the dead insects the stagnant water tends to lure into the cup.
Set the pot in a saucer of gravel filled partially with water to increase humidity and help provide a moist atmosphere. Make sure the roots are not submerged in the water, or this might invite rot.
Some Bromeliads grow well as Air Plants, which are glued or nested onto logs, moss, or other non-soil organic items.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Bromeliads.
This species is native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.
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