The Many Species Of Neoregelia Bromeliad
The Neoregelia bromeliad is not a particularly difficult bromeliad to grow. This tropical plant, grown in this country exclusively as a house plant, is native to Brazil. Bromeliads grow in the form of strap-like leaves which encompass a central cup. There are many different hybrids and varieties, with one type seemingly more colorful than the next. The plant also comes in a variety of sizes, from small bromeliads a few inches across to varieties that can be two feet or more in diameter.
Using Pups For Propagation - The Neoregelia bromeliad does require some special care, the main thing to watch out for is to avoid getting water in the central cup when watering the plant, or rot my set in. One of the characteristics of these plants is as they grow, baby plants, called pups, will form along the outside edge. These can be removed for the purposes of propagation, and it’s advisable to do this as after time, and after so many pups have developed, the parent or central part of the plant will often start to die away.
Not all bromeliads have the shape mentioned above. Spanish moss is a type of bromeliad, and so for that matter is the pineapple, which before setting fruit does have leaves, strap like leaves for that matter, which surround a central core.
The Neoregelia bromeliad will quickly adapt to a house plant environment and will usually thrive in a loose and fast-draining soil, characteristic of many potting soils. Moisture can sometime collect in the central cup in the plants native environment, but in a household there is a chance that bacteria will collect or fungus may start to grow, with leaf rot following. Misting the plant usually does not cause a problem however if some care is taken.
The Neoregelia bromeliad can have blooms but it is grown primarily for its foliage, which is usually very colorful, and in some instances striking. If one does want the plant to bloom it usually must be forced to do so. This is done by enclosing the plant in a sealed plastic bag in which is placed a ripe apple, and kept there for up to two weeks. The apple gives off ethylene gas, a compound the plant needs in order to form a bloom. Most owners however are perfectly happy to enjoy the foliage.
Favorite Varieties - The Neoregelia bromeliad does best in indirect light or moderate shade. It can stand a little direct sunlight, but not too much. Some varieties, like the stunning Neoregelia "Tangerine" seem to make their own sunshine. The Tangerine variety is nearly two feet in diameter and features bright orange leaves. Another popular variety is the Neoregelia "Tricolor" which has variegated leaves surrounding a brilliant cherry-colored center.
Even more colorful may be the N. "Candy Stripes", whose leaves are white and bright green and encompass a pink center. N. "Jackie" is one variety that is often grown for its blooms. When it does bloom, its green leaves take on a cherry hue.
Probably the most common of the Neoregelias grown as house plants are varieties of the Neoregelia carolinae species. One variety, N. "Flandria" is another two-footer with rather broad leaves. This is another variety whose leaves turn a brilliant cherry color if the plant is persuaded to bloom.
Two more varieties worth mentioning are the N. "Volkert's Favorite" whose center can be a rich ruby red, or in some instances be a rich purple. The purple colored plant is somewhat of a rarity. The other variety is N. "Ying", a variegated plant featuring many shades of ruby, crimson, and a brilliant red in the center.
It's not hard to imagine that if one purchases one of these bromeliads for a house plant that person will very likely be tempted to look for additional varieties as time goes by, just as one looks for different varieties of orchids, or African violets. The Neoregelia bromeliad is truly an amazing plant.