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Hechtia marnier-lapostollei

Hechtia marnier-lapostollei is a hard-to-find Bromeliad from southern Mexico with really handsome foliage.  Its plump, succulent leaves have a fuzzy, white coating that looks like a dusting of snow.  The plant was named for Julien Marnier-Lapostolle, who owned Grand Marnier liqueur, and was also an avid botanist.  This is a very desirable specimen plant that happens to be easy to grow.

Hechtia marnier-lapostollei

Hechtia marnier-lapostollei is a compact, terrestrial Bromeliad that is well-suited for pot culture.  It grows about a foot across, and readily makes pups, eventually forming a large colony.  You may separate the pups if you wish.  While the leaves do have spines, they are not quite as menacing as some related species.  The white coating of trichomes is heaviest in bright sunlight, and serves to reflect some of the light away from the leaves.  Strong rains can wash some of the coating away.  In the Spring, it makes a 2 foot tall flower spike with pink flowers.  Hechtia plants are either male or female, and it takes one of each to make seeds.  Like most Bromeliads, the plant dies after flowering, although not always right away.

Hechtia marnier-lapostollei

Hechtia marnier-lapostollei is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions.  It handles heat and humidity well, and is reportedly cold-hardy to about 20 degrees.  Like other terrestrial Bromeliads, you may grow it much like a cactus or succulent.  It enjoys well-draining soil, and part- to full-sun.  While it is drought tolerant, it looks best with regular watering, which keeps the leaves nice and plump.  In cooler temperatures, reduce the watering.  Grow it in a pot approximately as large as the plant.

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