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How to Grow and Care for Deuterocohnia


Deuterocohnia is a genus of Bromeliads endemic to South America. It is named for Ferdinand Julius Cohn, German botanist, and bacteriologist. Plants once described as belonging to the genus Abromeitiella have been reevaluated and reclassified within Deuterocohnia following modern DNA analysis.

The genus is comprised of a few generally mat-forming succulents from Argentina and Bolivia. They are rosette-forming terrestrial Bromeliads with heavily spined leaf margins. The flowers, on a short inflorescence, are green and inconspicuous. They do not die after flowering and often rebloom on the same flower spike. The sizes range from the tiny Deuterocohnia brevifolia, only a few inches across, to huge plants with broad leaves.

Growing Conditions

Light: The plants need full sun to light shade.
Water: They are very drought tolerant but do best with average water during spring and summer. It does not like to have water on leaves in cold weather. Limit water during winter.
Soil: Grow your Deuterocohnia in well-drained, humus-rich soil.
Temperature: Hardy to 20 °F (-7 °C).


Remove offset rosettes and replant. It also can be grown from seed.

Pests and Diseases

Fungal rots from overwatering in poor draining soils.

Grower's Tips

This is a perennial Bromeliad that forms an interesting mounding ground cover. It grows very slowly into a tight cushion-shaped colony. In its native environments, it is watered perhaps only twice a year, obtaining most of its moisture from the air itself. It is able to obtain extra moisture from ocean fogs that roll in.

Deuterocohnia is a nice plant for a small-scale groundcover in rock, cactus or succulent gardens. This Bromeliad makes an interesting specimen plant in containers.

Grow your Deuterocohnia in well-drained humus-rich soil with added pebbles, perlite, hardwood bark or other material to facilitate drainage. Keep in bright light or part sun and water moderately in spring and summer letting it dry between waterings. Limit water during winter. It is probably one of the cold hardiest of the Bromeliads, but detesting winter wet on its foliage proves difficult to keep outside.


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