To the genus Pitcarnia belong about two hundred species of bromeliads originating from Central and South America; they can be epiphytes, lithophytes or terrestrial. Many species have a decidedly conspicuous development in the wild, whilst in container most of them keep below the 45-50 cm of height. They form compact rosettes, formed by long linear or ribbon-like leaves, of a pale green colour, covered by thorns in the lower part; often the outer leaves are modified in long stocky thorns.
From late spring to winter, they produce a high, brightly coloured inflorescence from which red, orange or white flowers bloom. Usually, the inflorescence, long from the winds up to the forty centimetres, tends to be prostrate and the flowers are usually hanging, very elongated, in the shape of a narrow trumpet.
Some species could also be cultivated in the garden, as they do not fear the cold and are resistant to the winds, but usually it is easier to find on the market the ornamental species for apartment.
Place the Pitcairnia in a bright place, even if exposed to direct sunlight, but not for too many hours a day. The apartment species don’t like cold weather, even if they could bear temperatures close to -1/-2°C for short periods we prefer to grow them indoors; this prolongs the flowering season.
- The plant from which we get the big fruit that we all know is a bromeliad, native to South America, and now widespread in many tropical areas as a plant grown for consumption in the United States.
- The bromeliads are plants of tropical origin, there are hundreds of species, many of which are very widespread in cultivation as indoor plants, because they are very decorative, and often …
- This genus includes a dozen or so juicy bromeliads from South America, some of which were once classified as abromeitielle. They make up an important part of the…
- Hi. They gave me in November the flower Guzmania lingulata, green sheets and orange top, but being the period of the ignition heating the flower and dead, how should I behave in order to make it more comfortable?
It is advisable to water the pitcairnia often and regularly, just moistening the ground and filling with water the cone formed by the rosette of leaves; in the warm months, or in those in which the domestic heating system is active, it is good to vaporize the plant often, to increase the atmospheric humidity. Every 20-30 days, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, in half the dose recommended on the packaging of the fertilizer.
Soil is a key aspect to take into account when you want to grow any plant species. Soil is in fact the main source of livelihood for plants, through which they receive the most important nutrients they need. However, most pitcairnias are epiphytes, so they do not need soil; it is recommended to use orchid soil mixed with a good amount of balanced universal soil.
Usually they do not have a very developed root system, so they can be grown in small pots, are particularly suitable for cultivation in hanging containers.
In nature, pitcairnia produce fruits, from which fertile seeds are obtained. The propagation of the specimens in pots, however, usually happens by division of the tufts, in fact the pitcairnias, like the other bromeliads, after the flowering tend to produce numerous basal shoots. If separated from the main head, they can be repotted individually, and develop in a short time a good root system.
Pitcairnia: Pests and diseases
These plants are often attacked by cochineal. This parasite attacks the pitcairnie by feeding on the sap contained in the leaves and debilitating the entire plant. To combat the problem you can use cotton wool soaked in alcohol and rub the affected parts with this solution by manually removing the cochineals. In the most serious cases, use specific pesticide products available from the best garden centres.