How to Grow and Care for Scarlet Star Bromeliads (Guzmania Bromeliads) Indoors

Scarlet Star Bromeliads (Guzmania Bromeliads) are grown for the beauty of their bright-red or orange showy flower-heads with a central cluster of small white flowers.

Guzmania Bromeliads are typical Bromeliads with leathery, arching leaves and a distinct central 'vase' from which a stout stalk bearing a bold flower-head emerges. The leaves are backward-arching and smooth-edged, about 1.5 ft long.

Scarlet Star Bromeliad, Guzmania Bromeliad

Botanical name: Guzmania
Family: Bromeliaceae
Sufamily: Tillandsioideae
Common name: Scarlet Star Bromeliads


Guzmania Bromeliads (Scarlet Star Bromeliads) are native to Florida, The West Indies, southern America, Central America, Mexico and western and northern South America.


A Scarlet Star Bromeliad may take upto 4 years to reach the flowering stage but the display may last several months.

The display of the flower head is due to the presence of long-lasting showy bracts; true flowers are small and short-lived.

Once the flower-head fades, the rosette of leaves begins to die and is replaced by offsets (pups) at the base.


Several varieties of the Scarlet Star Bromeliads are available. Guzmania lingulata which bears orange and red bracts and its leaves are 1.5 ft long.

Guzmania zahnii is the giant bearing 2 ft long leaves. Guzmania Omer Morobe and Guzmania musaica are grown for their striped or banded foliage.

Is Scarlet Star Bromeliad toxic?

Scarlet Star Bromeliads (Guzmania Bromeliads) are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

However, the leaves bear short spines which may cause physical injury if handled with bare hands. Always wear gloves when handling Guzmania Bromeliad to prevent injury.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to add these beauties to your collection, they are available online on Etsy.

Scarlet Star Bromeliad Care Indoors

Scarlet Star Bromeliads (Guzmania Bromeliads) prefer bright light but away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained, bark soil coupled with regular feeding during the growing season.

Guzmania Bromeliads require regular pruning to keep them neat as well as provide space for the growth of pups. Repotting is not necessary as they are slow growers and once they flower, they die and leave behind pups. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Scarlet Star Bromeliad, Guzmania Bromeliad


Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Scarlet Star Bromeliads require the central 'vase' to be filled with water at all times.

Empty and refill the 'vase' regularly to prevent growth of bacteria which may cause the water to become smelly.

Use only chlorine-free water for Guzmania Bromeliads as they are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals that may be dissolved in water.

Water the soil only when it dries to keep the roots moist and avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the Bromeliad.

Light Requirements

Scarlet Star Bromeliad grows best in bright light but away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.

Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the Guzmania Bromeliad receives light on all sides for even growth.

If the natural lighting is not adequate, you can grow the bromeliad under a grow light to supplement it. Take a look at these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature for growing Guzmania Bromeliad indoors is an average warmth of 16-260C. However, to bring the bromeliad to flower requires temperatures above 260C.

Scarlet Star Bromeliad requires a humid enviroment to thrive. If the humidity is too low, the plant will develop brown leaf tips.

To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the plant in the bathroom or other moist areas in the home. Read more on these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Ensure that there is good air circulation for the Guzmania Bromeliads to discourage pest and disease infestations.


Feed Scarlet Star Bromeliads with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) every 2 weeks during the growing season for lush growth.

Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and it may lead to fertilizer burn and eventual death of your Bromeliad.

Potting Mix

The best potting soil for Scarlet Star Bromeliad should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining, bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Orchid potting mixes are ideal for these bromeliads. Buy quality Orchid Potting Mix online from Amazon.


Repotting Scarlet Star Bromeliad is not necessary as its roots are tiny and are unlikely to fill the pot. Pot it in a shallow, heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy and provide support to help keep it upright. Check out these Ceramic Pots with Drainage Holes and Saucer on Amazon.


Pruning Scarlet Star Bromeliad involves removal of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and to allow adequate room for the new plants to grow. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a sharp, clean knife or a clean pair of pruning scissors.


Scarlet Star Bromeliads (Guzmania Bromeliads) are propagated from offsets (pups) appearing at the base of the plant.

How to propagate Scarlet Star Bromeliads from offsets (pups)

When the Scarlet Star Bromeliad offset (pup) is several months old or 1/3 to 1/2 the height of mother plant, separate it from the mother by cutting with a sharp, clean knife or with a sharp, clean pair of pruning scissors.

Ensure the offset has some roots attached to it and plant it shallowly in loose, free-draining bark soil.

Use a shallow heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can get top-heavy and ensure that the plant is well supported to prevent it from toppling over as its has a small root system.

Place the set up in a warm, shaded place until the new Guzmania Bromeliad is well established after which you can routine care.

Scarlet Star Bromeliad, Guzmania Bromeliad

Guzmania Bromeliad Problems

Scarlet Star Bromeliad (Guzmania Bromeliad) problems are drooping leaves, leaf patches, plant death, brown leaf tips, pests and diseases among others. Read on for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Dark, soft, drooping, long leaves

Inadequate light for Scarlet Star Bromeliads is the cause of dark, soft, drooping, long leaves as it grows best in bright light away from direct sunlight.

Move the Guzmania Bromeliad to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.

Brown leaf tips

Growing Scarlet Star Bromeliad where the air is too dry (low humidity) will cause it to have brown leaf tips.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.


The common pests in Scarlet Star Bromeliads are Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with appropriate products like Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Plant dying

If the Scarlet Star Bromeliad has not flowered, the cause of death is root-rot disease which is enhanced by soggy soil due to poor soil drainage.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is well-drained to prevent it from getting soggy. Find our more on how to treat root-rot disease in houseplants.

If the Guzmania Bromeliad has flowered then rotting and death of rosette which bore the flower-stalk is natural process which occurs to give room for the growth of the new plants.

Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors to create space for the new plants.

Pale brown leaf patches

Exposing Scarlet Star Bromeliad to direct sunlight will cause it to have pale brown patches on the leaves as it does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot.

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