Indoor Plant for May: Vriesea ‘Splenriet’

 

A fiery gift for mom this Mother’s Day

IMG_9072 2Vriesea ‘Splenriet’, a hybrid of Vriesea splendens that is also known as flaming sword, is ideal for novice gardeners. As a member of the bromeliad family, this plant is epiphytic in nature (meaning that it extracts nutrients from the air) and is super-easy to care for. Bromeliad blooms last for an average of 3-6 months, making them some of the longest-flowering plants.

The flaming sword is unusual looking and quite distinct from typical office and indoor plants. The spikey foliage is unusually attractive, but it is the flat, colourful, sword-like blooms for which the plant is most highly prized.

 

Caring for flaming sword

Water: Bromeliads are tropical plants with a ‘rosette cup’ at the base of the leaves that should always be full of water. Take care not to let the water stagnate – a weekly top-up allows the ‘old’ water to be displaced into the soil, which is exactly what the plant needs to thrive.

Light: Position in a well-lit location out of direct light

Pest control: Bromeliads require no pest or disease control.

Feed with: A monthly addition of liquid fertiliser to the water will promote plant growth and intensify colours.

 

Potential problems

Brown leaf tips: There are two possible causes:

  1. The humidity level is too low. Misting will help rectify this.
  2. The centre cup of the plant is dry. Water more frequently.

Brown leaf patches: The most likely cause is too much direct sunlight. Move the plant to a shadier position.

 

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