Brilliant hues of the foliage and flower of the amazing bromeliad create beautiful color as a houseplant. An unusual array of leaf formation and color.
In the plant family of bromeliads (Bromeliaceae), there is a vast array of leaf formations and an amazing diversity of colorful flowers and bracts. The pineapple is a member of this family and the only one produced for commercial use.
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There is a wide range of unusual foliage and flower shapes of beautiful color. The flowers are generally short lived but the foliage is of brilliant hues including pink, red, cream, purple and red.
Bromeliads grow in tropical regions in the wild, clinging to the trunks and branches of trees. They can be grown indoors on mossy logs that are misted daily or in peat pots if they are watered moderately.
If growing in a pot, they should be watered twice a week in the summer and once a week in the winter. Do not use hard water, as deposits of minerals may form on the foliage. It is best to use rainwater or distilled water.
Bromeliads are resistant to most pests due to their thick, tough leaves. They may at times however, attract slugs as the central funnel must contain water at all times. Simply empty any stale water on a regular basis.
Apply fertilizer when the plant is in active growth. Liquid fertilizer may be sprayed over the leaves.
The easiest way to propagate is to remove offsets from the base of the parent rosette and plant them into small, individual pots of peat and leaf mould.
Most of these plants require warm temperatures and high humidity. Although a heated greenhouse is ideal, many do quite well in a bathroom along the sides of the tub. All bromeliads require good light, but not strong, direct light.
The variety ‘Tricolor’ is one of the most beautiful growing to a height of two feet. The center foliage, also called a rosette, is cream-striped turning a bright red at flowering time. This brilliant color will remain for months provided the center is kept well watered.
A small variety of bromeliad, known as cryptanthus is ideal for the houseplant grower who wants an interesting collection of houseplants. Also known as the Earth Star, these are the most popular type.
Their leaves are striped and are found in a wide range of colors from pale pink to purple and yellow. The Rainbow Star is one of the most spectacular with leaves that take on a pink hue in bright light.
This type grows upright and sends out small plantlets that can be rooted. These unusual plants are easy to care for and take up very little space. These are primarily grown for their beautifully patterned foliage and distinctive leaf formation.