Quesnelia - Bromeliaceae - How to care for and grow quesnelia plants
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
There Quesnelia it is a splendid bromeliad not very well known and very decorative spread but it would be worth being able to have in our homes.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The kind Quesnelia belongs to family of Bromeliaceaeand includes terrestrial or epiphytic perennial plants, evergreen, native to eastern Brazil up to 2000 m of altitude. They are little known as house plants, but if properly spread, they would certainly delight any grower thanks to their rosette leaves and very showy upright or pendulous inflorescence.
Leaves they are of an intense green color, elongated, narrow, thick and rigid and in many species with the margins provided with numerous small thorns. The leaves are arranged to form the classic well or central rosette where the young water used by the plant as a water reserve is collected in nature.
The flowers they grow along spikes that rise from the center of the rosette protected by particularly showy and colored bracts depending on the species and variety.
The genus includes about 15 species among which we remember:
There Quesnelia marmorata is an epiphytic rhizomatous perennial plant that does not reach one meter in height and is provided with variously mottled leaves arranged to form a central rosette where in the spring-summer period, a spigapioral up to 20 cm long grows, which will bear blue flowers covered with bracts of color bright pink.
There Libonian Quesneliait is an epiphytic perennial plant that does not exceed 60 cm in height and forms a rosette of leaves whose margins are provided with small thorns and are arranged to form the classic reservoir typical of bromeliads in the center of the rosette. From this formation, starting from spring, a long spike bearing blue flowers surrounded by bracts of intense red color will develop.
There Quesnelia quesneliana it is a perennial rhizomatous species with rosettes formed by 6-8 lanceolate leaves and of an intense green color with brown thorns. It produces cylindrical inflorescences from the end of spring to the summer formed by overlapping pink scales that over time become white and with the bracts arranged in a spiral of bright red or pink that hide the white flowers with 3.5 cm long blue streaks with sepals reds.
There Quesnelia it is a plant whose normal cultivation temperatures can reach, without problems for the plant, even 27 ° C, while during the winter period they must not drop below 16 ° C.
It does not like direct sunlight from which it is important to protect it while ensuring good lighting.
The central cup of the rosette must remain constantly filled with water (absolutely not calcareous) which must in any case be completely renewed at least once a month (preferably every two weeks).
It can be grown both in pots (ensuring a very soft soil and excellent drainage) and as an epiphyte. In the latter case, the roots are wrapped with sponge and fastened to a piece of bark, trunk or wood in general with a string.
They are plants that love the air therefore it is advisable to ensure a good ventilation of the environment in which they are housed while avoiding cold air currents that are not welcome.
It should be watered, if grown in pots, in moderation, waiting for the soil to dry on the surface between one irrigation and another. If the plant is bred as an epiphyte, the roots are sprayed regularly.
When watering a Quesnalia (as well as almost all bromeliads) it is important to keep the central cup that forms from the leaf rosettes constantly full of non-calcareous water which must be replaced once every two weeks to prevent salts, plant residues, insects or any other substance accidentally falling can rot damaging this plant mod.
It is a plant that loves humid environments therefore it is advisable that if grown in pot it is placed in a saucer full of pebbles (in order to keep the roots away from the water), where there will be water that evaporating will maintain a humid microclimate.
In addition, in the hottest season, it is advisable to spray the leaves regularly every day using non-calcareous water: you can use demineralized water or rain water or you can boil the water with a few drops of vinegar before using it.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The soil to be used for repotting must be very light, not calcareous, tendentially acid, formed by a mixture of peat, bark chips, perlite or vermiculiteil all in equal parts and the pot must not exceed 15 cm in diameter.
Since it tends to be an epiphytic plant, it is essential that the soil has excellent drainage, therefore it is advisable that a discrete layer of pieces of earthenware be placed on the bottom of the pot.
I always recommend the use of terracotta pots which, compared to plastic ones, allow the soil to breathe.
To fertilize the Quesnelia a good liquid fertilizer is diluted in irrigation water once a month from spring to late autumn. During the other periods the fertilizations must be suspended.
It is advisable to use a fertilizer that in addition to having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) also contains microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but has always needed) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct plant growth.
It produces only one ear per year that rises from the central rosette starting from spring and lasts for two to three months. Once the ear fades, it must be removed promptly by cutting it downwards as much as possible in order to eliminate it completely.
After flowering the leaves begin to dry out to be completely renewed by new leaves and then by a new rosette that will grow from one of the many pollonics in the meantime have grown at the base of the plant. It is therefore a good thing if, as soon as we notice that the leaves of the previous year start to turn yellow, they are cut up to 5 cm from the base in order to make room for the growth of new leaves.
There Quesnelia it cannot be pruned. Only the leaves that gradually dry up should be eliminated (in this regard, follow the instructions given in the paragraph "Flowering").
The plant multiplies by suckers by taking them from the base of the plant.
This operation must be carried out at the beginning of spring by cutting the young shoots as close as possible to the insertion in the mother plant and still leaving at least a couple of them. However, it is necessary to pay attention that they have reached a length of at least 10 cm before detaching them, otherwise they will not germinate.Once taken they must be planted individually using a soil as indicated in the paragraph Repotting with the only foresight to add even a little fine sand and arrange them so that you can then protect them with a transparent polyethylene bag and in an environment where the temperature is around 18-21 ° C.
The plastic bag will keep the temperature constant and must be lifted every day to eliminate any condensation that may have formed and to control the soil which must always remain slightly moist.In about 3-4 weeks the sucker should take root and then resume growth. At that point the plastic is removed for good and the plant is treated as if it were an adult.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The leaves have darkened edges and begin to wither
The causes of leaf pain can be due to both a too cold environment, poor watering, and too low humidity.
Remedies: analyze how you are growing the plant according to the indications given in this sheet and adjust accordingly.
The leaves appear burned
This symptomatology is certainly attributable to an exposure of the plant to direct sunlight.
Remedies: immediately move it out of direct sunlight.
Brown spots on the leaves
Brown spots on the leaves, especially on the underside, could mean that you are in the presence of scale insects and in particular of the floury scale. To be sure observe them with a magnifying glass comparing them with the photos on the side, they are characteristics, 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 soaked in alcohol or if the plant 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 was rinsed very well to remove all the soap . Only in case of serious infestations is it recommended to use specific pesticides available in specialized gardening centers.
Presence of aphids on all green parts
If you observe small white-yellow-green insects on the plant, you are dealing with aphids or lice as they are more often called.
Remedies: it is necessary to treat the plants with specific aficides, easily available in centers specialized in gardening.
The name Quesnelia it was given in honor of the French consul in Cayenne (in French Guiana) M. Quesnel who introduced the genus in France.