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Guzmania, a splendid houseplant that comes from tropical areas to our cities to add a touch of color and elegance to the environments we frequent every day. There are many varieties of this plant among which it is possible choose colors and sizes that best suit the rooms and tastes of ours and others. It does not have a long life, but, for what it lasts, there Guzmania, makes his figure.
Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, of Guzmania there are at least a hundred species, all of which owe their name to a Spanish naturalist who lived in the 18th century: Anastasio Guzman. If the name comes from the Ideric peninsula, the herbaceous and evergreen genus instead originates in the Antilles and in general in areas of Central and South America.
It therefore lives in rather humid climates and with certainly not cold temperatures, it has linear leaves, leathery to the touch and shiny to the eye. In almost all species of Guzmania we find them arranged in such a way as to form a rosette which in the center shows a central cavity, called a “vase”, perfect for holding water.
When we talk about flower, in the case of the Guzmania, we must distinguish the "real" flower from the bract which, although colorful and beautiful, is not really the flower. The first, the officer, in the case of this plant is white or yellow, and has a short life, on the contrary the floral bracts that protect it, last even a couple of months always remaining in shape and with bright colors.
As for the size, they can vary a lot from species to species, ranging from 20 cm to 2 cm, so it is necessary understand which Guzmania is suitable for the use we want to make of it. In general, regardless of tastes, they are all suitable for both apartment and greenhouse life, to stimulate the production of new flowers the trick is to cut the rosette after flowering, when the leaves begin to change color and wither.
Although they appear as tropical specimens imported into the apartment, these plants do not require too much care, the fact that they do not have a very long life does not depend on this, it is in their DNA. Indeed, at the end of flowering, the Guzmania it "collapses" and after a while it dies but produces small shoots very often. We can see them at its base, courageously developing and transforming themselves until they reach the size of their "mother".
The sore points for the Guzmania, are the Aphids and the phenomenon ofbrowning of the leaves. The second is often a consequence of incorrect watering resulting in root rot while aphids represent an external attack. These parasites come and attack both the leaves and the flowers, suck the sap making the plant sticky but can be hunted by implementing a washing treatment with specific insecticides.
To make the Guzmania it must never be forced to withstand temperatures below 15 or 16 ° C, so it is clear that on the balcony in winter it does not have to be. As for the general position in which to place it, it is important that it receives a lot of light, above all because in this way this plant keeps alive the colors that mother nature has given it and I am referring above all to those of the bracts.
This is a plant that it should not be watered too much, even if tropical, but every day or almost we must remember to sprinkle the foliage with water, so that it does not feel nostalgia for the humid climate characteristic of its parts.
One of the most requested species of Guzmania and the Lingulata which features very evident white flowers thanks also to the contrast with the bracts from which they sprout, bright red, or even scarlet or orange. To support the flowers there are stems even 30 cm while the whole plant can measure up to 45 cm. Its leaves are green on the upper page, reddish on the lower one.
In addition to the popular and very widespread Lingulata, there are many other species that deserve our attention and which are easy to find in nurseries and crops. And many are pink, like flowers or as shades of foliage. There Guzmania sanguinea For example, it has a touch of pink on the leaves with a soft green background, then produces tubular flowers, white or yellow, up to 7 cm long.
There G. Conifer it has considerable size as a rosette, even one meter high, and blooms calmly in late summer, with red bracts with an orange tip. Two other species of Guzmania that I want to mention are but Musaica and Zanhi. The first has light green leaves streaked with dark red, particular because they form artistic compositions that seem to have been studied at a table, then completed during the flowering phase by pink-red bracts and golden yellow flowers.
There Guzmania Zanhii it has strange narrow, olive green leaves that form a rosette up to 60 cm high, the inflorescence that sprouts in the center is composed of white or yellow flowers and reddish bracts. Pink appears on the leaves of the variety “Omer Morobe”.
Guzmania: price and where to buy it
Promising not to sad for the short life to which this plant is intended, and to treat it by spraying it every day so that it can also be enjoyed in our area, we can buy a copy for only 12 euros on line. It comes in a 12 cm diameter vase that we will have to immediately place in the light and in a room where the temperature is between 15 ° and 30 °.
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