Name: Queen’s tears bromeliad, aka Bilbergia nutans, or friendship plant.
Type of Plant: An epiphytic bromeliad native to South America. The shallow roots are used for anchoring the plant onto trees, so they don’t really need soil. Orchid bark is fine.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love that this Bilbergia is called “friendship plant” because I got it from a friend. It’s an easy plant to grow and the foliage is nice enough, but when it comes into flower the complexity of those stylish blooms will knock you over.
A Word to the Wise: This bromeliad is triggered into flowering by short days. Put it out in dappled sun over the summer, and give it some time-release fertilizer at that time. Water every few days outside and indoors. When you bring the plant inside in the fall, put it in a sunny window but in a room that’s just a bit cooler and you’ll be rewarded by the plant flowering in late-December or January.