The carnivorous bromeliad from the summits of the Tepuis of Northeastern South America, where the Heliamphoras also grow.
Young plantlets grow up directly from the side of the main plant.
Brocchinia reducta $75
REPOTTING: When repotting your Brocchinia you should use sphagnum moss with some perlite mixed through. This will hold water yet have air spaces to keep the soil aerobic. Wet this mix thoroughly through first before potting your plant into it.
The best time to repot is in the late winter to early spring when the plants are just starting to grow. Use a pot to suit the size of the plant, giving it enough room to grow for the following year, but not too big that it dwarfs the plant.
WATERING: Do not ever let your Brocchinia dry out. During Spring, Summer and Autumn sit it in a shallow saucer of water, changing the water frequently which will help to limit bacteria and fungi in the root system and provide oxygen to the roots. If your water is good enough to drink straight from the tap, then this is alright to use on your plant. If not you should use either rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water. Do not keep water logged. In winter do not let the plant dry out but don’t leave it sitting in water all the time.
Occasionally add water to the leaf well.
FERTILIZING: Do not fertilize with flys or insects. You will end up killing your plant this way. The plant needs the thrill of the catch, to stimulate it, to release its digestive juices to break down the insect. We feed with a mixture of Seasol and Powerfeed (Powerfeed is made by the same company as Seasol). To one litre of water, we use 2 ml of Seasol and 2 ml of Powerfeed. DO NOT use any other fertilisers. We use this mix every 8 weeks from Spring to Autumn either watered onto the growing medium, or poured into the water tray beneath the pot.
LIGHT: Brocchinias require a high level of light. A window sill inside the house that gets morning sun in summer and afternoon sun in winter is an excellent position. Otherwise you can grow them in a terrarium, greenhouse, glasshouse or porch.
HUMIDITY: Brocchinia’s do like humidity. A terrarium or glasshouse will provide this. But a warm sunny window sill will give you enough heat for the plant to survive.
DORMANCY: During winter your Brocchinia will slow down in growth. Do not worry. This is a natural occurrence and the plant must go through this period in order to stay alive and gain strength to grow their spring traps and flowers. Any dead leaves can be stripped off at the base of the plant, like stripping a corn cob. In spring the plants will send up their new leaves.