Neoregelia carolinae tricolor
Botanical name: Neoregelia spp
Neoregelia Bromeliads commonly called Blushing Bromeliads are foliage plants with a central rosette of saw-edged leaves which turns bright red at flowering time.
The usual pattern for Blushing Bromeliads is a rosette of leathery, strap-like foliage. They bear glossy, saw-edged leaves which are about 1 ft long.
Blushing Bromeliad may take 3-5 years to reach the flowering stage but the display may last upto 6 months.
Once the flowering is over, the rosette of leaves begins to die and is replaced by offsets (pups) at the base of the plant which can be used to propagate new plants.
Neoregelia Bromeliads are native to the rainforests of South America.
The most common of the Blushing 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) is another of the Neoregelia Bromeliads which reddens at the leaf tips during flowering.
Another common variety of Blushing Bromeliads is Neoregelia carolinae marechalii which displays magnificent colors from rosy red to vermilion or reddish purple and fading towards the tips at flowering.
Neoregelia spectabilis (Fingernail Plant)
Blushing Bromeliads (Neoregelia Bromeliads) thrive in bright light but away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.
Neoregelia Bromeliads require regular pruning to keep them neat as well as provide space for the growth of pups. Repotting is not necessary as they have a small root system and once they flower, they die and leave behind pups. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Blushing Bromeliads grows best in bright light but away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is insufficient.
Keep Neoregelia Bromeliads from direct sunlight to prevent scorching of the leaves. Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Blushing Bromeliad requires 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 these bromeliads 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 soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the Bromeliad.
The best temperature for growing Blushing Bromeliad indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 150C. However, to bring the Bromeliad to flower requires temperatures above 260C.
Blushing Bromeliad requires a humid enviroment. If the humidity is too low, the plant develops brown leaf tips. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Ensure there is good air circulation to prevent pest and disease infestations.
Feed Blushing Bromeliads with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) every 2 weeks during the growing season. Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and it may lead to fertilizer burn for the Bromeliad.
Repotting Blushing Bromeliad is not necessary as its roots are tiny and are unlikely to fill the pot. Pot the bromeliad in a shallow, heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy.
Also provide support to help keep it upright and prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy.
The best soil for Blushing Bromeliad should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining, bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most orchid potting mixes like this quality orchid potting mix available at Amazon are ideal for Neoregelia Bromeliad.
Pruning Blushing Bromeliad 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 sharp, clean knife or a pair of scissors. Remove the spent bloom by cutting at the base with a sharp, clean knife or a pair of scissors.
Blushing Bromeliads (Neoregelia Bromeliads) propagation can be done from offsets (pups) appearing at the base of the plant.
When the Blushing 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 scissors.
Ensure the offset has some roots attached to it and plant the offset shallowly in loose, free-draining, bark soil.
Use a shallow heavy pot to prevent the Bromeliad from toppling over as it can get top-heavy.
Ensure it is well supported to prevent it from toppling over as its has a small root system.
Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place until the new Blushing Bromeliad is well established after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: Nestreeo
Blushing Bromeliads (Neoregelia Bromeliads) problems indoors are mainly due to cultural faults in lighting, humidity and watering. The problems include brown leaf tips, drooping leaves, leaf patches, pests and diseases. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Blushing Bromeliad brown leaf tips are due to too dry air (low humidity. The plant requires a humid environment to thrive.
To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Blushing Bromeliad pale brown leaf patches are due to exposing the plant to direct sunlight. Though the bromeliad requires bright light, it cannot tolerate direct sunlight.
Neoregelia Bromeliad does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot away from direct sunlight.
Blushing Bromeliad dark, soft, drooping, long leaves are due to inadequate light (too low light) as it grows best in bright light away from direct sunlight.
Move the Neoregelia Bromeliad to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light but away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light.
Blushing Bromeliad pests; Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Check out this guide on how to identify and control houseplants pests.
Blushing Bromeliad dying is due to two possible reasons. One reason is, if the Bromeliad has not flowered, the cause of death is root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil due to poor drainage.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
Take the plant out of its pot and inspect the roots. Black or brown mushy roots indicate root-rot. Read more on how to deal with root-rot here.
The second reason is, if the Neoregelia Bromeliad 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 to create space for the new plants.
Blushing Bromeliads (Neoregelia Bromeliads) are non-toxic to humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. 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 this bromeliad to prevent injury.