Alcantarea imperialis rubra
Formerly known as Vriesa imperialis, this dark-red giant can span over 1.5 meters in ten years. The tough, leathery leaves tinge a deep red in bright light. The thick, red flower spike can grow 2.5 meters high, producing hundreds of lightly fragrant, white flowers. Prefers bright light and can withstand relatively cool temperatures.
This is another beautiful giant alcantarea which can span over 1.0 meters when fully mature. When it matures the leaves gets covered with a silvery white powder which makes this beauty stands out in the landscaping. The inflorescence is tall and branched and has fragrant flowers that attracts bees, butterflies and/or birds. It can be grown outside in tropical areas. It will take many light conditions.
This is another much sought after, rare, large Brazilian native. The leaves can grow to 1.5m long when mature, with the lower leaves drooping over and creating an unusual landscaping feature. The thick flower stalk can grow to 1.5 meters tall, branching out into dozens of flower stalks bearing numerous blossoms, and can last several months.
Special bromeliad fertiliser
This is the top notch commercial grade fertiliser used by nurseries. Slow release fertilisers that you get on shelves of supermarkets are just activated by soil temperature and not soil moisture. This special bromeliad fertiliser is 'controlled release fertiliser' which is activated by both soil temperature and moisture. It releases fertiliser when plant needs it. Also unlike many standard fertiliser on supermarket shelves which usually feeds for 3 months, this fertiliser feeds for 12 months. Plus you only need a quarter tablespoon (4-5 gms) per 4” (100mm) pot. That means our 240 gms fertiliser bag can be sufficient for about 50 X 4″ pots.
Directions: Half fill the pot with a good quality, free draining potting mix. Sprinkle appropriate amount of fertiliser* and place the plant in it. Fill with remaining potting mix. Fertiliser may be mixed with the potting mix, but applying fertiliser at the root zone can achieve quicker results. One application lasts 12 months (at 21 deg C average soil temp.) *Use about quarter tablespoon (4-5 gms) per 4” (100mm) pot. Adjust the amount as per the pot size.
Please note that if your bromeliad is a coloured one, it may turn green within a few days. Extensive experiments in our greenhouse have shown that it really doesn’t matter if your coloured bromeliad turns green in the beginning. In fact, it will serve to establish your plant, giving out good vegetative growth.
(This fertiliser is suitable for tubestock, pups and young bromeliads for vigorous growth.) You can then apply an appropriate high potassium fertiliser, which will bring out the colour.