Botanical name: Neoregelia spp
Neoregelia Bromeliads are foliage houseplants with a central rosette of saw-edged leaves which turns bright red at flowering time. They are native to the rainforests of South America. The usual pattern for these Bromeliads is a rosette of leathery, strap-like foliage. Blushing Bromeliads bear glossy saw-edged leaves which are about 1 ft long. A Bromeliad may take several years to reach the flowering stage but the display may last several months. Once the flowering is over, the rosette of leaves begins to die and is replaced by offsets at the base of the plant which can be used to propagate new plants. The most common of these Bromeliads is Neoregelia carolinae tricolor the Blushing Bromeliad which blushes at the center when about to flower. With age the foliage becomes suffused with pink. Neoregelia spectabilis, Fingernail Plant reddens at the leaf tips. Another common variety is Neoregelia carolinae marechalii.
Blushing Bromeliads prefer bright light but away from direct sunlight. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Blushing 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 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; avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot.
Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Blushing Bromeliads. To bring the plant to flower may require temperatures above 260C.
Blushing Bromeliads require a humid enviroment. Employ these techniques to raise humidity. Allow good air circulation to prevent pests and disease infestation.
Feed Blushing Bromeliads with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) once every month during the growing season. Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal.
Repotting Blushing Bromeliads is not necessary as their roots are tiny and are unlikely to fill the pot. Pot these Bromeliads in a shallow heavy pot to prevent them from toppling over as they can become top-heavy. Also provide support to help keep it upright.
Pruning Blushing Bromeliads involves removal of dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy and to allow adequate room for the new plants to grow. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Blushing Bromeliads are propagated from offsets appearing at the base of the plant. When the offset is several months old, remove it with some roots attached and plant shallow in free-draining bark soil. Place the set up in a warm shaded place until the plant is well established. Ensure the plant is well supported; due to their small roots it may topple over. Pot in a shallow heavy pot.
Growing Blushing Bromeliads where air is too dry will cause brown leaf tips. Employ these techniques to raise humidity.
Exposure to direct sunlight is the reason. Blushing Bromeliad does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot.
Inadequate light for Blushing Bromeliads is the cause of dark, soft, drooping, long leaves. Move it to a brighter spot; it prefers bright light but away from direct sunlight.
Root-rot Disease due to waterlogging is the reason if the Blushing Bromeliad has not flowered. If it has flowered then rotting and death of rosette which bore flower-stalk is natural to give room for the new plants. Remove the dead foliage by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Blushing 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 handle with gloves to prevent injury.