Guzmania are evergreen perennial plants belonging to a plant group known as epiphytes. These are plants that grow on other plants in their natural habitat, rather than in the soil. Most varieties of guzmania usually grow on tree trunks but do not harm the tree itself. The plant is cultivated commercially, mostly as an indoor plant and thrives well on in patios or in conservatories.
Guzmania leaves are stiff, glossy and strap-like and grow in a rosette from the plant’s base. Mostly yellow or white, but also pink, red and orange, flowers grow on stalks that have brightly coloured orange or red bracts beneath the flowers. It reaches a full height of about 18 inches over two to five years.
Tropical rain forests are the main habitat of guzmania. The plant can be found in unpolluted equatorial regions of Andean rain forests up to an altitude of 900 metres. The conversion of rain forest to crop land has destroyed much of this habitat.
Guzmania are available all the year round from commercial suppliers and it typically flowers in flushes throughout the year.
Guzmania is a genus of the Bromeliaceae family. These are over 3,000 monocarpic flowering plants native to the tropical regions of the Americas and West Africa and include the pineapple. Monocarpic plants die after flowering but produce offsets, known as pups, as they decline.
Guzmanias like warm temperatures and high humidity. Fungus can attack the roots if the plant is too wet and cold. The plant can be propagated from seed or offsets in special compost at an ambient temperature of about 27 degrees C. The offsets should be removed in mid-spring. Guzmania prefer a shady and sheltered location. Spray the plants with a fine mist in the early morning during summer, but do not spray during winter.
Did You Know?
Guzmania is named after the 18th century Spanish naturalist, Anastasio Guzman.