Cryptanthus Red bromeliads, more commonly known as Earth Stars due to their shape, are beautiful and incredibly varied plants that naturally grow in tropical areas. There are over 1,200 types of bromeliads within the Cryptanthus genus, with a great variety of foliage. Their colors range from dark green to bright pink to red and can be banded, spotted, solid, or virtually any other pattern.
Cryptanthus Red Growing Tips
Cryptanthus Red Though the plant blooms only once in its lifetime, its propensity to produce offsets means it is possible to keep dazzling flowers blooming from your bromeliads year-round. Despite their reputation for difficulty, these plants are a very feasible option for any gardener either indoors or in a tropical setting, who wishes to enjoy their lovely and diverse foliage. Cryptanthus plants are generally terrestrial, which means that they naturally grow on the rainforest floor, but most bromeliads are very adaptable and can be grown in potting soil.
- Light: Different Cryptanthus varieties need different levels of light, but most plants within this genus will generally thrive in some sort of indirect sunlight or light shade—remember, they naturally grow under the cover of trees in rainforests. Direct sunlight could potentially bleach the bromeliad’s foliage, or make it appear leathery.
- Water: Cryptanthus thrive in humid conditions, and you should make efforts to keep them moist. However, most bromeliads are fairly tolerant of drought conditions. Make sure, however, not to rest them in standing water. A moderately damp environment is moisture enough for these plants.
- Temperature: These are ideal houseplants: keeping them around 60 to 85 degrees will allow the bromeliads to thrive. However, they are fairly tolerant and many varieties can even survive a winter outside as long as they are not kept below freezing for too long. Though temperate conditions are best, Cryptanthus are fairly forgiving of swings in temperature.
- Soil: A commercial potting soil is fine. Some gardeners grow these plants in a mixture of sand and soil mix, as well—but no matter what the soil, they must be kept damp and the soil must retain water fairly well for best results.
- Fertilizer: These bromeliads require fertilization for maximum growth and will thrive on any balanced fertilizer: 10-10-10, 14-14-14, etc. But remember to dilute the fertilizer to somewhere in the quarter to a half range, otherwise, you risk damaging the plant.