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Botanical name: Nidularium spp
Nidularium Bromeliads commonly called Bird's Nest Bromeliads are foliage plants with a central rosette of very short saw-edged leaves (Bird's Nest) which turns bright-red at flowering time.
The leaves below the bird's nest are about 1 ft long and 2 in. wide. The usual pattern for Bird's Nest Bromeliads is a rosette of leathery, strap-like foliage.
A Bird's Nest Bromeliad may take 3-5 years to reach the flowering stage but the display may last upto 6 months.
Once the flowering is over, the rosette of leaves begins to die and is replaced by offsets (pups) at the base of the plant which can be used to propagate new plants.
Nidularium Bromeliads are endemic to the rainforests of South America in Brazil.
The popular varieties of Bird's Nest Bromeliads are Nidularium fulgens, Nidularium innocentii and Nidularium innocentii striatum.
Nidularium Bromeliads differ from the Neoregelia Bromeliads in that they have a central rosette of very short saw-edged leaves (Bird's nest) which turns bright-red at flowering time.
Bird's Nest Bromeliads (Nidularium Bromeliads) thrive in bright light but away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.
Nidularium Bromeliads require regular pruning to keep them neat as well as provide enough space for the growth of pups. Repotting is not necessary as they have a small root system and once they flower, they die and leave behind pups. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Bird's Nest Bromeliads grow best in bright light away from direct sunlight to avoid sunscorch marks on the leaves.
Rotate the pot regularly to ensure the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
Nidularium Bromeliads can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is insufficient.
Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Bird's Nest Bromeliads require the central 'vase' to be filled with water at all times. Empty and refill the 'vase' regularly to prevent growth of bacteria which may cause the water to become smelly.
Use only chlorine-free water as they are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals that may be dissolved in water.
Water the soil only when it dries to keep the roots moist. Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the bromeliad.
The best temperature for growing Bird's Nest Bromeliad indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 150C. However, to bring the Bromeliad to flower requires temperatures above 260C.
Bird's Nest Bromeliads require a humid enviroment inorder to thrive. If the humidity is too low, the bromeliad develops brown leaf tips.
To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent pest and disease infestations.
Feed Bird's Nest Bromeliads with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) every 2 weeks during the growing season. Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and it may lead to fertilizer burn for the Bromeliad.
Repotting Bird's Nest Bromeliad is not necessary as its roots are tiny and are unlikely to fill the pot. Pot it in a shallow, heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy. Also provide support to help keep it upright.
The best soil for Bird's Nest Bromeliad should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most orchid potting mixes like this quality orchid potting mix available at Amazon are ideal for Nidularium Bromeliad.
Pruning Bird's Nest Bromeliad involves removal of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy and to allow adequate room for the new plants to grow.
Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a sharp, clean knife or a pair of scissors while taking care not to cause unnecessary injury to the plant.
Remove the spent flower by cutting at the base with a sharp, clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Bird's Nest Bromeliad (Nidularium Bromeliad) propagation is from offsets (pups) appearing at the base of the plant.
When the Bird's Nest Bromeliad offset (pup) is several months old or 1/3 to 1/2 the height of mother plant, separate it from the mother by cutting with a sharp, clean knife or scissors.
Ensure the offset has some roots attached to it and plant it shallowly in loose, free-draining, bark soil.
Use a shallow heavy pot to prevent the Bromeliad from toppling over as it can get top-heavy.
Ensure the is well supported to prevent it from toppling over as its has a small root system.
Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place until the new Nidularium Bromeliad is well established after which you can begin normal routine care.
Bird's Nest Bromeliads (Nidularium Bromeliads) problems indoors include drooping leaves, brown leaf tips, leaf patches, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Bird's Nest Bromeliad pale brown leaf patches are sunscorch marks caused by exposure to direct sunlight. The plant cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
Nidularium Bromeliad does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot away from direct sunlight.
Bird's Nest Bromeliad brown leaf tips are due to too low humidity (too dry air). The plant grows best in a humid environment.
To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Bird's Nest Bromeliad dark, soft, drooping, long leaves are caused by inadequate light (too little light. This Bromeliad grows best in bright light away from direct sunlight.
Move it to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light but away from direct sunlight or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is insufficient.
Bird's Nest Bromeliad dying is due to two possible reasons. One reason is that, if it has not flowered, the cause of death is root-rot disease> due to soggy soil.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
Take the bromeliad out of its pot and inspect the roots. Black or brown mushy roots indicate root-rot. Read more on how to treat root-rot here.
The second possible reason is, if the Nidularium Bromeliad has flowered then rotting and death of rosette which bore the flower-stalk is natural to give room for the new plants (pups).
Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors to create space for the new plants.
Common pests in Bird's Nest Bromeliads are Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read more on how to identify and control houseplants pests.
Bird's Nest Bromeliads (Nidularium spp) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors. However, the leaves bear short spines which may cause physical injury if handled with bare hands. Always wear gloves when handling Bird's Nest Bromeliad to prevent injury.