How to Care for a Guzmania Passion Plant

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Guzmania passion plants are native to the tropical regions of South America, where they thrive in the heavy rainfall, warmth, humidity and filtered sunlight. Their exotic appearance, with a deep red bloom rising above swordlike leaves, may lead you to believe that they are difficult to grow. Guzmania passion plants present few problems, however, if given the right growing conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • Container (ceramic or terra cotta)
  • Stones or pottery shards
  • Orchid or African violet potting mix
  • Cover the bottom of a ceramic or terra cotta container with stones or pottery shards. The guzmania passion plant tends to be top-heavy; a ceramic or terra cotta pot offers more weight to hold up the plant than a plastic pot. The stones or pottery shards add weight to the bottom of the pot, which helps prevent the plant from toppling. Stones also facilitate drainage.

  • Plant your guzmania passion plant in a potting mix specifically designed for orchids. If you cannot find orchid potting soil, you can substitute African violet potting soil. Both types of potting mix are free-draining yet will retain some moisture.

  • Place your guzmania passion plant in a location that provides it with a lot of filtered sunlight. Do not put it in direct sunlight--this will scorch its leaves.

  • Keep a constant supply of water in the cup of the plant. The cup is the center part of the plant from which the bloom emerges.

  • Water the potting mix twice a week during the spring and summer and only occasionally or as necessary in the fall and winter.

  • Mist your guzmania passion plant daily during the spring and summer but only occasionally during the fall and winter.

  • Apply a balanced fertilizer once every two weeks during the spring and summer. Apply a slow-release fertilizer at the end of the summer that will work throughout the fall and winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Guzmania passion plants are not frequent bloomers. However, if your plant has not bloomed in more than a year, you can force it by placing a slice of apple in the cup of the plant. Guzmania passion plants like humidity. If your home has dry air, you can mist the plant daily throughout the year. You can also use a humidity tray.
  • Do not allow your guzmania passion plant to dry out between waterings. If you move your plant outdoors during the summer, place it in partial or dappled shade.

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