plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
plant image thumbnail
Queen's Tears

English Name

Billbergia Nutans

Scientific Name


Named after J. G Billberg (1772-1844) a Swedish botanist. Billbergia Nutans is an easy bromeliad to cultivate and one of the longest lasting. Its olive green colour leaves may become reddish if the plant is grown in full sunlight. The pendent flowers have pink, blue-edged sepals and yellowish green, blue-edged petals and are backed with pink bracts.





45°F - 81°F

Temperature (°F)

59°F - 70°F

Germination Temperature (°F)

7 days - 3 months

Germination Period

1'3" - 1'6"

Height (feet/inches)

Half-hardy Perennials

Life Cycle







Water twice a week with soft water in Summer, allowing some water to fill central rosette of stems. In Winter water every 14 days to keep compost dry and do not fill central cup.


Feed with standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks. Let the liquid penetrate the compost, splash over the leaves and in central cups in Billbergias that form a water-holding cup in center rosette.


Because their roots are not extensive, Billbergias can be re-potted in small pots in Spring. A 5 inch pot will allow several rosettes producing flower heads to develop.


Sow seeds on surface of seed compost and keep seed tray in a lit position.


Propagate in Spring by means of offsets at re-potting time, when they are 4 or 6 inches long. Plant offsets in small pots of barely moist compost and place them in medium light. It may be necessary to insert a thin stake as support for an offset until it develops enough roots to anchor it down. Firm rooting is likely to occur in 8 weeks.


Stand pot where it receives good light indoors, with at least 3 or 4 hours of direct sunlight every day is essential for good colour and regular flowering. It grows well in normal room temperatures, can also tolerate quite cold temperatures.


When flowers are faded, pull them out of the rosettes.


Spray on Billbergia when dusty, with soft tepid water, avoiding flowers.


If white cotton-wool patches are around base of plant, paint mealy-bugs with methylated spirits and remove with tweezers.


Billbergia Nutans is a good plant for hanging baskets, on the side of a tree or planted in the ground.


Spraying usually unnecessary. The plant does not like very humid atmosphere.


Equal parts combination of soil-based mixture and leaf mold or J. Innes no. 1.

Did you know?

Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.