|Isn't it an adorable little nub? I'm looking forward to watching it grow.|
The leaves are marbled grey and green. Strong light (not hot afternoon sun) adds purple shades to the mix. I fell in love with this bromeliad as a child looking through my father's houseplant books from the 60's and 70's. In this case, it was Alfred B. Graf's Exotic Houseplants Illustrated (a source of many long-term plant crushes). The black and white pictures really emphasized the patterned leaves and form of plants like Quesnelia marmorata. It was years before I braved the world of mail-order plants, and longer before I thought to look specifically for this bromeliad. A few years ago I found Seabreeze Nurseries, in Florida, and ordered a Quesnelia marmorata, Vriesea 'Splenriet', and Orthophytum gurkenii. The last suffered from cold during shipping when I moved from North Carolina and I decided to start over with a healthy one someday. The vriesea is healthy enough, but has been sunburned a few too many times and has looked better. The quesnelia just keeps looking gorgeous, though. It's lost a leaf or two, it's gained a couple leaves, but it always looks great. And now I'll have twice the beauty!
Grecian urn is an easy plant to care for. Give it bright light to filtered sun, avoid hot afternoon sun. This bromeliad needs a potting medium that drains very quickly. I grow mine in a mix of coarse orchid bark and medium Perlite. In winter I water once a week and keep only a little water in the central cup formed by the leaves. In summer I water every 2 or 3 days and keep the cup about half-full with water. As with most bromeliads, fertilizer requirements are low. I give it a bit of balanced fertilizer maybe once a month. My medium is probably far more open than it really needs to be. A cactus mix would work well and would require less-frequent watering than what I've used, reducing maintenance in summer. General wisdom holds that it is better to grow these bromeliads "hard," meaning to tend towards under-watering and under-fertilizing rather than pampering them. Too much water and fertilizer can lead to floppy growth, which would ruin the graceful, upright form. I find this a little funny, because the cultivar 'Tim Plowman' is probably more popular than the species because of its curled leaves. I suppose there is a difference between curled and floppy, but I still prefer the graceful elegance of the regular species.
Winter hasn't loosened its grip here in Wisconsin. In fact, we're expecting nights below 0F in the next week. Discoveries like the new growth on my quesnelia make me think of spring though, and remind me that winter doesn't last forever.
Be sure to check in at Danger Garden at the end of the month for the favorite plant review. Happy gardening!
|Sorry for the blurry picture. I would have uploaded a better one but it was dark by the time I noticed how blurry it was.|