Billbergia plants species are a very popular bromeliad, with Billbergia nutans or ‘Queens Tears’ and Billbergia pyramidalis being two of the most widely grown species.
Billbergia ‘Santa Barbara’ is an upright cultivar, small but very attractive pink and green flowers, that will reach around 30 cm in height.
Being relatively easy to grow they also have colourful flowers and interesting foliage, originally from Brazil and to a lesser extent Mexico and surrounding areas.
The popular B.nutans starts as a fairly upright plant, however with time it develops an attractive arching growth habit with foliage reaching 30cm + in length. The arching habit is accentuated when the flowers form as they have a natural drooping habit. The nectar that forms on the tip of the flowers glistens, hence the name ‘Queens Tears’.
Propagation is easiest by division, best carried out after flowering in spring. Simply separate the offsets with a knife and repot in a free draining potting mix. Use a fine to medium orchid mix for good results.
Bilbergia – Basic Care and Growing Conditions.
Like many bromeliads Billbergia require very little attention once established, they are naturally epiphytic but can easily be grown in pots in a free draining potting mix.
These plants may be mounted on cork or wood if desired.The tubular leaves of are designed to hold water and as long as they do Billbergias are happy.
Best when growing in bright dappled shade or indirect light. These plants are ideal for growing indoors in light areas of the house, but away from windows and direct sun. They also do well on a sheltered patio.
Billbergia species include :
- Billbergia distachia
A bit of a chameleon, dark green foliage in the shade, and red tones in the sun. Excellent as an ground cover plant in sun to part shade. Pink and green flowers appear sporadicly through the year. Also known as the Alberta Bromeliad
- Billbergia nutans
This is the one from south America commonly called ‘Queens Tears’. Tubular hanging flowers, dappled shade is best. A broad leafed form is also available.
- Billbergia venezuelana (syn B.rosea)
Perhaps the showiest of all of the Bilbergias. Large flowers which consist of pink bracts, and pale green flowers.
- Billbergia suandersii
- Billbergia pyranidalis
Wonderful red flowers in early autumn. The flower itself is a ‘paintbrush’ shape.
- Billbergia amoana
A taller growing species to 1m. Apricot flowers and again part shade and a well drained soil
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Wide range of Bromeliads, Nepenthies pitcher plants, Anthuriums and Tropical Rhododendrons or Vireyas. All available for sale by mail order from Riverside Bromeliads and Denali Bromeliads.