Vriesea: characteristics, cultivation and diseases

Of all the houseplants we can choose from, the Vriesea it is one of the best because it is very easy to grow and gives a lot of satisfaction, it furnishes and does not clutter unnecessarily. This kind of plants so widespread in our homes belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae, the same which also includes the pineapple along with as many as 200 other species of evergreen plants. Let's get to know Vriesea better by understanding how to cultivate it and how to defend it from parasites that can attack it.

Vriesea: characteristics

Originally from Central and South America, the Vriesea it is a plant that grows very slowly and produces a fruit similar to a capsule. Its leaves have ley margins and a very shiny green leaf, or yellow with streaks.

We find them arranged in a rosette, gradually widening from the base of the plant, as if to form a green cup where rainwater can be collected. In the center of the rosette of the Vriesea the inflorescence appears in the shape of a sword or sphere, with colored bracts from which flowers bloom. I'm yellow flowers, almost always, and with a tubular shape. They show up only after three years of the plant's life, so we must have a lot of patience and a green thumb. Moreover, this plant blooms only once in its life, and then dies leaving some heirs, or shoots placed at the base of the rosette and from which new plants will sprout.

Vriesea: cultivation

We place the Vriesea in a very bright place but where it is not hit by the sun's rays in a direct way, as long as he can enjoy a few hours of sunshine a day. It grows slowly and can bloom at any time of the year, to make it grow better we must cut the rosettes of leaves that are in the process of withering.

It is not at all trivial to water the Vriesea, it is necessary to fill the well that forms in the center of the rosette that acts as a reservoir for the plant and at the same time keep the soil constantly moist but without the formation of water stagnations. As for water, we try to use rainwater or demineralised water because limestone bothers the Vriesea.

There is no need to fertilize it, it always grows at its own pace and a fertilizer could burn the leaves or cause the development of harmful algae. If we really want to intervene, we can use a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the irrigation water but not too often, every 3 weeks is fine.

Only if we are taking care of our plant well, after its three years of life, will it give us flowers, in any season of the year, when it feels like it. In any case, being able to it is useless and it should not be done, we must limit ourselves to eliminating dry or damaged leaves, to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.

Vriesea: multiplication

Vriesia spreads from basal shoots, that is, thanks to the young plants that sprout at the base of the rosette and which can be potential new adult plants, when the central rosette dies, following its flowering. To make the sprouts survive, we must take them when they have reached a height of at least 15 centimeters and place them in small jars, separately. It is possible to multiply the Vriesea also for Talea.

Vriesea: species

There are about 200 species that belong to this genus, let's see the main ones. There is the Vriesea carinata, small species, under 50 centimeters, with red bracts and yellow flowers, and then there is the Vriesea fenestralis, with leaves of anomalous size, larger than average, and of a yellowish-green color. Its green bracts with red speckles are also particular yellow flowers.

V. Imperialis shows leathery leaves of an intense green color and produces very particular flowers, red-brown and large, while the Splendens, originally from Venezuela, it produces yellow and very long flowers on a flower stem that does not exceed 60 cm in length.

Let's move on to Hieroglyphica, with light green bracts and yellow flowers, small and with large yellowish-green leaves spotted with red. There are still the Vriesea saundersii and the Tessellata. The first has large leaves of gray-green color with white spots on the upper page and linear and red color on the lower one. There Tessellata it has stems up to one meter high with yellow bracts while the leaves are of a beautiful light green color with darker streaks and leathery consistency with showy

Vriesea: diseases

When we find ourselves having to administer pesticides to plants like this, let us remember that the doses must be those indicated and we cannot do our own thing. They are particularly sensitive, and in order for them to heal, we could end up killing them.

One of the most common problems concerns the Mealy cochineal which must be eliminated manually, with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, or with a "soap and water" wash. Even cultivation errors can cost us dearly. If we expose the plant to cold currents its leaves will begin to lose their bright color, if instead we let them take little light, they could lose their brilliance.

Sometimes the leaves of the Vriesea they may show a whitish substance on the outer edge, this happens when we have used water that is too hard and calcareous for watering, it is better to change the water and use a good fertilizer. If the leaves become bricks on the tips, the plant is too dry and we need to move it.

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