The Plant: Long, strap-like green leaves grow in the form of a
rosette with an emerging central crimson star of bracts
resembling a flower. The Guzmania lingulata is one of many
species of epiphytic bromeliad.
Its needs: Strong light but not direct sun. The Scarlet Star requires a very free-draining potting mix which should be very open in structure with plenty of tree bark or charcoal. The Guzmania lingulata is extremely frost sensitive, and should be grown in warm humid conditions.
Care: As above, avoid temperature drops. Mist-spray in summer. The rosette of leaves forms a central reservoir or tank in the middle of the plant, this should be topped up with water regularly as well as the potting mix being kept moist throughout the growing season. Watch for scale pest and mealy bug. Sometimes new plantlets will grow alongside the parent plant. These can be removed and potted up once sufficiently well developed, (when the new plant is almost half the size of the original plant).
Good for: The Scarlet Star makes an unusual and striking feature, it should be grown on its own, and brought into a display position when the central Star is emerging from the leaves.
By David Hughes - firstname.lastname@example.org