Nidularium - Bromeliaceae family - How to care for, cultivate and flower Nidularium plants

Nidularium - Bromeliaceae family - How to care for, cultivate and flower Nidularium plants



The Nidularium are delightful plants that are very popular in our easy-to-grow apartments.






: Angiosperms


: Monocotyledons


: Commelinoids











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The genre Nidularium belongs to family ofBromeliaceae (the best known member of this family is thePineapple) and includes about 20 species of epiphytic or terrestrial evergreen plants, very widespread in our homes, appreciated both for their beauty, for their ease of cultivation and because they do not require a large amount of light.

They are native plants of tropical and subtropical America and in particular of Brazil.

They are often confused with gender Neoregelia, from the same family.

The leaves they are shiny, ribbon-like, fleshy, with smooth or toothed edges and develop in a rosette around a sort of central cavity created by widening their bases forming a sort of cupin which rainwater is collected in nature. Often abundant flora and fauna accumulate in this water reserve: plant and animal residues with decomposition are partly digested so that in a certain way we can speak of carnivorous plants (albeit in a very limited way).

From the central part of the rosette emerges the floral stem covered by short brattyeverdi, triangular, sometimes conspicuously colored that bear small and numerous white or variously colored flowers depending on the species and variety.

Botanically this plant is defined monocarpic that is to say that it blooms only once in its life in fact after flowering the plant dies (after a period of time which varies from species to species) but leaves some shoots at its base (suckers) which will give rise to new plants.

The fruit it is a capsule.


The genre Nidularium includes about 20 species among which we remember the most widespread:


The bromeliad Nidularium billbergioides (also called Nidularium citrina) is a beautiful bromeliad that can reach up to 50 cm in diameter, provided with numerous ribbon-like leaves, bright green and with the margins provided with cortespine.

Form of the inflorescences that carry delicious white flowers that bloom during the summer at the top of a long flowering stem covered with red or yellow bracts.

There are several varieties, among which we remember: Nidularium billbergioides'Flavum' characterized by having bright yellow bracts surrounding the flower stem.


There Nidularium innocentii it is a plant that has an even larger development than the previous one, reaching 60 cm in diameter.

It has leaves slightly indented along the edges and green-brown on the upper page and reddish on the lower page.It blooms usually in summer and the small white flowers are carried by a long flower stem that develops from the center of the rosette of leaves protected by bracts red.

There are numerous cultivars among which we remember: Nidularium innocentii 'Lineatum' characterized by more or less intense green leaves with white streaks; Nidularium innocentii 'Striatum' similar to the previous one but with coppery green leaves and cream-colored streaks and white-green bracts.


There Nidularium fulgens it has green leaves variously streaked with dark and indented along the edges.

It blooms in summer and forms red bracts that protect the inflorescence with small white flowers.


There Nidularium scheremetiewii it is also a worthy representative of this splendid family that produces delicious blue flowers protected by red bracts.


The bromeliads Nidularium they are plants that adapt well to indoor life as they do not require large amounts of light.

The ideal temperatures are around 24 ° C even if it is a plant that adapts quite easily while in winter they must not fall below 15-18 ° C and absolutely under 13 ° C.


The watering is particular: the well that is located in the center of the rosette must be filled and must always be full and every month it must be emptied to renew the water and eliminate any salts, plant or animal residues or other substances that could rot and damage the plant.

The soil must be kept constantly humid (not wet) taking care not to leave water in the saucer as it does not tolerate water stagnation.

It is very important to spray the plant during the warmer seasons in order to maintain a humid environment.

It does not like drafts, especially cold ones, fumes and air pollution in general.

A very important thing is that the Nidularium they do not tolerate limestone so either demineralized water or rain water is used or tap water can be used after boiling it with a few drops of vinegar before using it.


For the Nidularium a good limestone-free soil is used. One type of mixture to use could be a mixture of equal parts of fertile soil, peat and perlite to aid in water drainage. It is very important that the soil allows the rapid draining of excess irrigation water as they do not tolerate water stagnation.


They do not need large amounts of fertilizer.

Fertilizer (or any other substance) should never be placed in the well of the leaf rose of the Nidularium as it could burn the leaves or cause the development of algae harmful to the plant.

You can use a good liquid fertilizer to be diluted in irrigation water every 2-3 weeks.

A well-balanced fertilizer is used, that is to say that it contains both the macro-elements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) also contain the so-called microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantity (but still needs it) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for the growth of the plant.

Whatever type of fertilizer you use, remember to halve the doses compared to what is indicated in the package.


The Nidularium they usually bloom in summer.

The flowers don't last long. Once the plant has flowered it dies quickly leaving numerous shoots (suckers) which will flower the following summer or the following depending on the age of the plant.

The rosettes that gradually wither must be eliminated, preferably in spring, taking care not to damage the young suckers.

If the Nidularium it does not bloom and you think it has reached "age" and are well conformed to produce the flowers and you are sure you have ensured the conditions of light, humidity, temperature and above all optimal fertilization you can proceed in this way: put the plant in a transparent plastic bag with a ripe apple and then close the bag. Keep the plant like this for a week. As the apple ripens, it will release ethylene which triggers a chemical reaction in the plant that tells it "it's time to bloom". Be careful not to do the treatment on plants that have not reached at least the third year of age and are not small in size because this could damage them and in any case they would not be influenced by the treatment.


Usually the Nidularium it cannot be pruned. The leaves that gradually dry up or become damaged must simply be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.

Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably over a flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.


There Nidularium it propagates from the shoots that are formed at the base of the plant or by seed.

In choosing the technique to be adopted, it is necessary to keep in mind that multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, when genetic variability takes over, it is not certain that plants will be identical to the mother plants, in which case if you want to obtain a very specific plant or not. if you are sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by suckers.


After flowering the old rosette of leaves dies but before this happens at the base of the plant, shoots usually form inside the base of the leaves to protect them or in the immediate vicinity. These shoots once they have reached a height of at least 15 cm they can be taken from the mother plant with some roots and planted in individual pots using a compote made up of two parts of soil and one of peat.

Since during this period the earth must remain around 24-27 ° C and be constantly humid, cover the pot with a plastic sheet (use sticks that you will place in the soil to keep the plastic high) and place it in a half-shade place. the casing and check the degree of humidity of the soil and make a way that it is always humid and eliminate any condensation that has thickened in the plastic.After about 4-6 weeks the roots should have taken root at which point the plastic is removed and the plant is treated as if it were an adult.


The seeds of Nidularium they should be sown in spring in a compote made up of three parts of peat and one of coarse sand or perlite or vemiculite. The compost is compacted well in the tray, then moistened completely and the seeds spread over the surface, without burying them.

The tray containing the seeds should be kept in a dimly lit place and at a temperature around 24-27 ° C. It is essential that the soil is constantly moist (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.

The tray must be covered with a transparent plastic sheet (or with a glass plate) which will guarantee a good temperature and avoid too rapid drying of the soil. The plastic sheet must be removed every day to check the degree of humidity in the soil and remove the condensation.Once the seeds have germinated (usually after a few weeks), the plastic sheet is removed and the new plants gradually expose themselves to light but trying not to change the temperature.

When the seedlings are large enough to be handled (usually after 3-4 months) they are transplanted into single pots using a compost as well as adult neoregelia plants and treated as such.

The resulting seedlings should start flowering within three years.


With this type of plants it must be remembered that the administration of pesticides is done with great caution and must possibly be administered so that they do not stagnate in the well full of water as they could damage the leaves.

Leaves that are beginning to lose their vibrant color and have a stunted appearance

This symptom indicates either little watering or drafts.
Remedies: act accordingly.

The leaves rot especially the central ones of the rosette.

This symptom indicates too low temperatures associated with too much water.
Remedies: the damaged parts are eliminated and the plant is moved to a warmer place.

Leaves with a whitish substance on the outer edge of the leaves

This symptom is caused by the administration of too hard water that is to say with too many minerals and in particular with too much calcareous and the white matter is nothing but the crystals of the minerals that are exuded by the plant. This symptom can also be caused by an excess of fertilizers.
Remedies: if you use hard water, immediately change the type of irrigation water as indicated in the paragraph "Watering". If you have exceeded with fertilizers, suspend their administration for at least two months.

Leaves with brown tips

This is the classic symptom of low water and an environment that is too dry and probably with the well of the rosette of leaves without water.
Remedies: fill the well with water and better regulate irrigations.

Spots on the underside of the leaves

Spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineals and in particular mealy cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended to use a magnifying glass and observe. Compare them with the photo on the side. They are features, you can't go wrong. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.

Remedies: remove them with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or if the Nidulariumit is large and potted, you can wash it with water and neutral soap by rubbing very gently with a sponge to remove the parasites, after which the plant is varisciacquato very well to remove all the soap.

Leaves that begin to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown

If the leaves begin to turn yellow and subsequently curl up, assuming an almost dusty appearance and fall and you also notice thin cobwebs, especially on the lower page of the leaves, we are most likely in the presence of an attack of red spider, a very annoying and harmful mite.

Remedies: increase the frequency of nebulizations to the foliage (the lack of humidity favors their proliferation) and possibly, only in the case of particularly serious infestations, use a specific insecticide. If the plant is not particularly large, you can try cleaning the leaves to mechanically eliminate the parasite using a wet and soapy cotton ball. After that the plant should be rinsed very well to get rid of all the soap.


The name Nidularium comes from the Latin nidus «nest »due to the fact that the flowers arise from the central rosette in a kind of" nest ".


Vriesia is a perennial epiphytic plant (lives on trees) characterized by leaves united in a rosette, very fleshy with the elongated shape of a beautiful bright green, sometimes with transverse streaks. It produces particular flowers that develop from the center of the cup, which are collected in a spike inflorescence and wrapped in bright red or yellow bracts. Generally Vriesia blooms in summer, but if it is grown in a greenhouse it is possible to see it bloom in other seasons including winter.

The leaves form a central cup, where rainwater, dust, soil, organic fragments, and even dead insect residues are collected.Everything that is collected decomposes and turns into nourishment for the plant which absorbs it through the hairs present on the surface. inside of the cup.

Vriesia has a slow growth, especially during the first years, and blooms only from the third year onwards. After flowering the plant dies, but before this happens it emits one or more basal suckers which, if transplanted, will give rise to new specimens.

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