Bromeliad - Painted Fingernail - Neoregelia Spectabilis - $15.00
20cm current size
Mature Height: 30cm
The olive green leaves of this hardy bromeliad are tipped with red/pink. Underside is maroon with white cross bands. The short, inconspicuous, blue flower head appears nestled within this rosette. Forming large clumps due to abundant offsets. Painted Fingernail is tough and well-suited to use as a groundcover.
Very hardy and beautiful, bromeliads handle life differently than other plants. Most are epiphytic, their roots are little more than supports or hold-fasts. Their leaves do most of the work. The leaves form a tank to collect and hold moisture. These tanks also catch the leaves discarded by the trees towering over them. As the detritus decays, the bromeliad leaves absorb the nutrients. Bromeliads are adapted to making do with few resources and they do it very well.
Likes a well-lit to part shade position, can handle full sun for part of the day. Tolerates diffused sunlight. Plant under trees so the fallen leaves landing in the vase of the bromeliad provide all the necessary nutrients. Prefers an Orchid potting mix or a porous mixture such as equal parts bark chips, humus, peat moss and sand. During the growing season it is advisable to keep water in the funnel at the centre of the rosette most of the time. Keep the soil barely moist - only water when the soil is dry to the touch. If the plant is growing well but does not flower, try wrapping it in a plastic bag with some ripe apples for a few days. The ethylene gas released by the apples should induce flowering.
INDOOR PLANTS:Feed in spring/summer by spraying with a weak seaweed emulsion (half the strength recommended on the lable).
Indoor pests to watch for include scale and thrips (take outdoors for a week, remove by hand). Yellow leaves may mean either too much direct sun or too cool temperatures.