Billbergia nutans is an evergreen plant native to South America, and in particular Brazil. It consists of a dense rosette of thick, dark green, stiff and serrated fleshy leaves that grow upwards. In spring from the center of the rosette of leaves grows a long spike of flowers from pink to dark purple, from yellow to red; many varieties have brightly colored bracts that completely cover the floral stem.
In autumn it produces stiff berries that contain some seeds.
Billbergia nutans prefers very bright places, but not direct contact with the sun's rays. The ideal cultivation temperature is around 15 ° C, so in summer it is good to place them outside, in the shade, in well-ventilated places protected from the sun and heat; in winter they are admitted to the house, possibly away from heat sources and away from drafts. It is a plant that is well suited to temperatures that can range from about 10 ° C in winter to around 30 ° C in the summer season. They are plants that can be placed in airy places, a positive factor for the plant, but not in the presence of cold air currents.
The Billbergia nutans needs a good rich and very well drained soil; it is advisable to use balanced universal soil mixed with a small amount of sand, at the bottom of the pot place a layer of gravel or expanded clay to facilitate drainage. The soil must have a certain acid component.Multiplication
The billbergie usually produce basal suckers, which can be detached from the mother plant in spring; new plants should be immediately repotted in individual containers. Usually, suckers start to flower after a period that can range from one year to three years.
In summer and spring you can sow the seeds still fresh, the seedbed must be kept moist in a position protected from the cold and the sun with a constant temperature, around 25 ° C.
Billbergia nutans: Pests and diseases
This plant is usually not attacked by parasites, occasionally it can be hit by aphids and mealybugs, which can be effectively counteracted with the use of special pesticide products, or with the preparation of macerates based on nettle or garlic to be sprayed on the plant. In the case of the cochineal, then, it is possible to mechanically intervene to eliminate the parasite from the leaves with the help of a cotton swab with alcohol.