Neoregelia carolinae f. tricolor
Common Name: blushing bromeliad
Type: Epiphyte
Family: Bromeliaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Violet to lavender
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. North of Zone 10, this bromeliad is grown in containers that must be overwintered indoors. This plant is an epiphyte (grows on other plants, but is not parasitic) that in the wild typically grows soilless, but as a houseplant is typically grown in containers filled with light, sharply-drained potting mix. Container plants are best placed in part-shade conditions with bright indirect light. Plants appreciate some morning or late afternoon sun, but will not tolerate direct mid-day sun in hot summer climates. Plants will survive in close to full shade. Plants should be regularly watered but not overwatered. Pour the water through the funnel of leaves rather than directly on the potting mix. Plants grow best with high humidity. Set container on a pebble tray in order to increase humidity.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Neoregelia carolinae, commonly called blushing bromeliad, is an epiphetic evergreen perennial that is native to tropical rain forests in southeastern Brazil. Narrow, leathery, shiny, spine-tipped, lance-shaped leaves (to 12" long and 1.5" wide) appear in funnel-shaped rosettes. Outer leaves are green except for red blushing near the base of the inner leaves. Inflorescences are violet to lavender and appear in the socket center of the leaf rosette. N. carolinae f. tricolor, sometimes commonly called striped blushing bromeliad, features variegated leaves with green edges and a longitudinal yellow-white center stripe covering the entire leaf length. Leaves are suffused rose-red.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids, thrips and scale. Rot may develop if soil is kept too moist.

Garden Uses

Houseplant for warm and humid areas.