Dyckia sp. is a stiff terrestrial bromeliad probably native to Argentina, Brazil or Paraguay. Leaves are up to 10 inches (25 cm) long by 0.75 inches (1.9 cm) wide and are in well armored basal rosettes. The overall height is 12 inches (30.4 cm). Leaves are grey-green above and much lighter underneath. The leaves are very rigid with marginal spines which make this a difficult specimen to handle. We have been growing this species for over 20 years now. Although it is quite an unusual bromeliad it is very easy to grow. Plants are hardy in USDA zones 9-10.
Blooming: Our plant in the greenhouse has never bloomed. I have tried all the tricks to get it to bloom to no avail. This year we are going to put the plants in the cool room for winter and hopefully they bloom in the spring.
Culture: Dyckia sp. needs full sun to partial shade with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of loam and sand. We add small gravel to ensure good drainage. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. We fertilize the plants only once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. The plants are cold hardy down to 20°F (-7°C). We have never let our plants go below 50°F (10°C); this may be the clue to get them to bloom. We should know next spring if they are going to bloom. During the winter rest period we only water once a month.
Propagation: Dyckia sp. is propagated by removal of offsets and from seed when available.
Dyckia sp. was featured as Plant of the Week September 19-25, 2008.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.