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Fascicularia Growing Guide
Growing Fascicularia bicolor
This unusual plant is a Chilean bromeliad which requires special care to get it to perform in UK gardens and conservatories. It can and does thrive outside if you get its location right although it will not tolerate any frost.
Fascicularia have wide spreading deep green leaves in circular rosettes with a distinct central cup. The inner leaves turn bright crimson-red around the central cup when flowering takes place at the centre. The flowers are bright blue with orange stamens and surrounded by white bracts. All in all a stunning effect over many weeks in summer.
We grew a huge plant for 20 years in the unheated Burncoose conservatory which we lifted and separated numerous offshoots from each winter during dormancy. We then moved it into a huge pot in the show tunnel and took it on the show round with no ill effect.
F. bicolor hates wet and damp which can so easily cause its crown and leaves to rot off in winter. Poor soil is fine providing the plant is grown in full sun. Without sun you will not see the central leaves turn crimson and the flowers appear.
It grows well in a sheltered rockery or on a sunny bank where its roots remain dry and never get waterlogged. A raised bed is ideal as well although frost protection with fleece may be required.
Your plant will take at least five years to develop a central cup and produce flowers but you will start to see the central leaves turn red in summer much earlier.