a genus with about thirty species of evergreen perennial plants originating in Brazil. They are formed by dense flattened rosettes of ribbon leaves, fleshy, rigid, arched, with slightly thorny margin; at the centre of the rosette are formed leaves of various colour, from red to yellow to brown, which in spring constitute an inflorescence, which rises slightly from the rosette of leaves, where small white flowers bloom.
The adult plants can reach a height of 30-40 cm, with much bigger diameters, seen that the plant tends to widen by means of stoloniferous roots, which expand on the surface of the soil, from which new rosettes of leaves come out. In the wild, the plants produce also small fruits containing the seeds. We suggest to remove the withered inflorescences, in order to avoid that they facilitate the onset of moulds or fungi, which could attack also the rest of the plant.
The exposure indicates the most suitable position in which the plant should be placed in order to grow better. Each species has different cultivation needs and for this reason, it is important to inquire about the specific needs of each species before proceeding with cultivation.
Therefore, place the nidularium in a very luminous place, but possibly far away from the direct rays of the sun; in winter, it is to be withdrawn in the house, as it prefers temperatures around the 18-20°C and does not bear temperatures lower than the 10°C; the nidulariums fear also the air currents and, more generally, the temperature changes; it is therefore good to place them in a sheltered place, far away from doors or windows.
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These plants need to be watered often, filling the calyx consisting of the rosette with leaves, the soil should be kept slightly moist, in the cold months thin out a little watering, from March to October provide fertilizer for flowering plants mixed with water of watering, every 15-20 days. Spray the leaves often with distilled water to increase the humidity.
In nature the nidularium are epiphytic plants, they grow therefore on the bark of other branches; use a compound similar to that used for the orchids, formed by chopped bark and vegetable fibre, to which to mix a little peat. These plants are often cultivated in hanging baskets, from which the stolons come out, which then create new plants “hanging” from the mother plant.
These species can be propagated by seed, but usually they divide the adult plants, taking the new plants and cutting off the woody stolon which unites them; the new plants are to be immediately repotted in a single container.
Nidularium: Pests and diseases
As far as parasites and diseases are concerned, nidulariums are often affected by cochineal. Cochineal is in fact a small insect that lives on plants and feeds on their sap. It is concretely a dangerous parasite for the health of our plants because, if the climatic conditions are favourable, this parasite finds its ideal habitat on the leaves of the plants and thus irreparably damages ornamental, herbaceous and shrub species as well as citrus plants.
To protect the plant and its health, intervene with specific pesticide products against cochineal.