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Billbergia nutans

Pronunciation: bil-BERG-a NUT-ans
Family: Bromeliaceae
Synonym: Billbergia nutans var. nutans
Common Name: Queen's Tears, Friendship Plant
Plant Type:
  • epiphyte, terrestrial
  • perennial
Height to: 1 to 2 ft
Width to: 1 to 2 ft
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
  • 70 to 60ºF ZONE 13
  • 80 to 70ºF ZONE 14
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
Bloom Description: Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans) produces bright red to pink bracts with cream to yellow flowers with green and blue markings : blooms last 6 to 8 weeks
Soil Type: Well-drained organic rich soil and water occasionally
Toxic:
  • No
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Drought Tolerant
Pests and Diseases: Scale insects, usually disease free
Propagation: propagate Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans) by divisions, new shoots may be uprooted and broken off the main plant after blooming
Native to: Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina
Winter Sowing Zones: none
Notes for Identification:

Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans) is an epiphyte native to Brazil, hardy in zone 8, likes filtered shade and well drained soil. From the bromeliad family, very easy to grow. Foliage forms a basal cluster and is stiff, spiny and toothed. Long lasting flowers drooping from tall stalks. Magenta bracts emit multi-colored flowers of green, blue,yellow, and pink. Source: Accents for Home and Gardens

Due to its easy to split and share nature, Billbergia nutans is often called the Friendship plant.

Blooms last for six to eight weeks. If your plant is proving stubborn, add one teaspoon of Epsom salts to their water supply for one month, and the blooms should appear.

Soil: When grown as a house plant, this plant requires an orchid or bromeliad soil mixture. This can be simulated with a one part gardening soil to two parts perlite or tree bark mixture.

Tip for a non-bloomer: For a plant that refuses to bloom, place it inside a plastic bag with an apple. Leave the bag in place for one week. The apple's ethylene gas will induce flowering 1 to 2 months after treatment.

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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