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Guzmania, exotic and colorful

Yellow guzmania

Guzmania is a plant often grown indoors in cooler climates that is simply beautiful.

Main Guzmania facts

Name – Guzmania
Family – Bromeliaceae
Type – indoor plant

Height – 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm)
Exposure – light but without direct light

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – end of winter or summer

Native to Central America and to the Caribbean Antilles, it is grown for its foliage and its superb flower.

Planting and re-potting guzmania

Guzmania is a plant that requires soil that is sufficiently rich and well-drained to grow well. Special Bromeliaceae soil mix seems to be the best solution for your guzmania.

  • Guzmania never grows far-reaching roots, which is why a small pot, about 4 inches (10 cm), is more than enough.
  • You will only need to repot when you want to split new shoots from the main plant.

Upon re-potting your guzmania

If you plan to repot your guzmania and separate new shoots from the mother plant.

  • Guzmania roots hate having too much water.
    Double-check that the new pot has a hole in the bottom.
    Increase drainage with a layer of gravel or clay pebbles along the bottom of the pot, to make water flow through more easily.
  • Good soil mix is needed. Usually, stores offer special Bromeliaceae potting soil for sale, you can use that if possible.
    The plant, when it lives indoors, needs soil mix because that is the only source for the nutrients it needs.
  • Low but constant moisture levels must be maintained, which you can ensure if you spray the leaves often.
    You must rest the pot on a bed of gravel, rocks or clay marbles doused in water.

Where to place your guzmania

Guzmania requires temperatures that oscillate between 65 and 74°F (18 to 24°C) and never drops below 57°F (-13°C).

The temperature of a house or apartment is thus ideal for growing guzmania.

The best location for your guzmania is any spot where there isn’t any direct sun on the plant.

  • The guzmania can’t stand the sun’s rays when they touch its leaves directly.
    So the plant rejoices in adequate light but not direct sun.
  • Absolutely avoid setting it near heat sources such as radiators, because moisture is what this tropical plant needs most.
  • East or West-facing windows are thus usually the best call for your guzmania.

Watering and fertilizing

Caring for guzmania in the gardenRegular but moderate watering is called for because Guzmania doesn’t usually require a lot of water.

In spring and summer

Keep the soil mix a bit moist and check that water drains properly.

Provide liquid leaf plant fertilizer more or less once a month to extend the blooming to the maximum.

  • Water from above, ideally with water that is already at room temperature.
  • It’s ok to let water collect in the little funnel where the leaves meet the stem. This is called the rosette. A couple drops a day are enough.
  • Take care to dry this vulnerable spot whenever the temperature drops below 65°F (18°C).

To retain a certain moisture level, it is best to put the pot on a bed of clay pebbles wallowing in water.

In fall and winter

Reduce watering and wait for the soil to be thoroughly dry in the surface before watering again.
Stop adding fertilizer.

Common diseases that infect guzmania

Most diseases targeted are the typical indoor plant diseases, red spider mite, scale insects, aphids and also powdery mildew.

  • If the color of the leaves turns pale, it is probably due to a lack of fertilizer.
  • If the inside leaves turn yellow or brown, it is probably due to too much watering.

Read also:

Smart tip about guzmania

A fabulous indoor plant, guzmania is native to tropical forests. The dry air in our homes makes it vulnerable.

Spraying the plant regularly and placing the pot atop a bed of wet gravel will help re-create the plant’s natural habitat.

Guzmania fears drafty spots.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois): Flower Council Holland
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  • MR STEVEN ROBERTSON wrote on 18 January 2022 at 21 h 16 min

    We have two Guzmania plants that were lovely to look at but leading up to the end of November the top of the plant which was red leaves with some yellow just died went brown and horrible we don’t understand why as was not in direct sunlight or anything we did wrong?is this maybe what it dose or what should we do now? thank you

    • Gaspard wrote on 22 January 2022 at 5 h 04 min

      Hi Mr Robertson, I can imagine two possible scenarios playing out here:

      • if you’ve had the plants for a long time, it might simply have died out of old age; guzmania plants don’t live all that long, several years at most. In the course of its life, it grows those stunning leaves, sometimes will bloom at the tip, or it might produce offshoots to the side from the roots instead, and then it’ll die, drying out from the top.
      • however, I think perhaps what happened is that you were watering as usual, which was fine for summer but not good at all in fall and winter, when the weather gets darker. Indeed, in fall days are shorter and even indoor plants like guzmania enter a dormant phase where they don’t grow as much. During this time, they don’t consume much water either. And if the watering is the same as it was earlier in the season, that same amount is now too much. Soil gets waterlogged and roots suffocate. Symptoms are yellowing and browning leaves, turning all soft and flopsy. The key in this case is to stop watering altogether until the soil is dust-dry, and then start watering again in tiny amounts. Also, keep misting the leaves a bit, not too much.