re: Brocchina

From: Howie Shen (
Date: Fri Dec 17 1999 - 08:53:05 PST

Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 08:53:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Howie Shen <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg4176$foo@default>
Subject: re: Brocchina

I have been growing a specimen of B. reducta for about
a year now. I got it originally as a 6" pup from a
larger plant, and at the moment it is about 8" tall
and growing steadily. This plant is definately a slow
grower (perhaps bromeliads are in general?), but each
new leaf that rises out along the inside wall of the
center is robust and well shaped.

I grow my plant in a well-drained 6" terra cotta pot
in 50/50 sand/peat. It is kept in a competely
enclosed tank (humidity always 95%+) and NOT standing
in any water tray. I water by misting every other day
with distilled water, and occasionally pour water
directly down the well, allowing it to trickle out
between the seams of the leaves. For lighting, the
top of the plant is within 3 inches of a rack of 4x
40W GE "Plant & Aquarium" bulbs that provide light for
all the plants sharing the tank. These lights do not
emit much heat, so the tanks are around 65F in the
winter and up to 80F this past summer.

My philosophy with growing Brocchinia is the same for
Heliamphora...bright light but cool temperatures and
high humidity to simulate the natural conditions of
the tepuis from which they come. So far I am happy
with the results.

I occasionally fertilize the plant by misting with 1/4
strength Epiphytes Delight (carried by California
Carnivores) and SuperThrive. An interesting note is
that in the wild, Brocchinia reducta plants are
extremely tubular and upright with a golden yellow
color. In cultivation, apparently plants tend to be
more open and green. My specimen started off a bit on
the open side, but the new leaves are standing more
upright now, and the plant is developing yellowish
splotches which could either be a good sign or a
terrible one! :)

Anyhow, good luck and I hope this info helps.
What a fascinating plant, if not necessarily a very
exciting one to look at.


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