The Plant: A bromeliad, forming a tight rosette of pale green, strap-like leaves, from which arises a slender spike bearing deep pink/red bracts issuing a cascade of small green and purple flowers.
Its needs: Billbergia enjoys strong light with free air circulation. Pot in a sandy mix, where possible adding bark chips or charcoal to increase drainage.
Care: In hot dry conditions the leaves may turn brown, mist spray leaves to reduce this. Avoid any sudden drop in temperature. The rosette of leaves forms a central reservoir, which should constantly contain water. Feed every 10-14 days following with a good soaking.
As the plant grows, it will produce new plantlets growing at base of main plant. These can be cut away and potted up in a coarse sandy mix. Susceptible to Scale pest on underside of leaves. Treat with insecticide.
Good for: Easy to grow, very popular.