Cryptanthus grow and care – leaf plant bromeliads of the genus Cryptanthus also known as Starfish Plant or Earth Star plant, Cryptanthus perennial evergreen used as ornamental plant, can grow in subtropics, mediterranean, tropic climate or indoor as houseplant and growing in hardiness zone 10b+ and can grow with overwinter care in hardiness zone 10a.
Leaves color can be: green, pink, red, orange, purple, white, yellow, can be more than one color, with darker line in the middle, leaf linear and sharp in the edge, leaves grow in rosette structure.
Better more than 3C prefer more than (15C 59F) can survive 0°C light frost but not recommend, well-drained soil, slightly acid soil, moist soil, warm climate, better to use purified water or rain water, soil should be something light and inert, because in the nature those plants are mostly air plants live on rocks or crock of tree or air roots in tropical forest with big amount of rains that keep the plants in humidity all time.
How to care: Fertilizer need to be few times a year and fertilize the plant in spray and in cold winter better not to put fertilizers
Fertilizer: Better to fertilize by spray on the roots and the leaves better in the rosette base where the water lay, that needed to be in spray because in the nature nutrient arrive from the organic material that the fall down from the trees.
What is the best way to start growing? Plant / Seed / Vegetative reproduction
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction? Yes to get the same cultivars
Difficulties or problems when growing: Spines
Planting season: Spring in hardiness zone 10a, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10b, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 11, all year in hardiness zone 12+
Pests and diseases: Mealy bugs
Pruning season: All year in hardiness zone 11b+, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10a, spring to autumn hardiness zone 10b-11a
How to prune: Dead leaves and flowers (bloom stems)
Size of the plant: 5-20 cm, 2-8 inches
Growth speed in optimal condition: Medium growing / Slow growing
Water requirement: Average amount of water, need to put water in the middle of the rosette leaves, need humidity and moist, but well ventilated and well-drained soil, like in the nature big amount of rains and the plant that lay down on trees and all the water go away.
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Shade (with light), a lot of light but without direct sun, because the sun will burn the leaves and the flowers and leave on the burning marks
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? Yes, mostly outside of the tropical it is easier to grow it as houseplants because it’s better to grow, no winds enough humidity and it’s easy to give the plant what it need, outside the soil in pot like in a nature that mostly its epiphyte
How to grow indoors Choose location with enough light and even with little sun, need to be aware that the plant need to be far away from ventilators, heater and air conditions, possible to grow it in the bathroom, be aware to that because of the high humidity need to use less water.
Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers: Yes, because it’s easy to maintain in container or even on cork disconnect from the soil, if you choose to grow on cork or bark as need to keep with higher humidity and moist on the roots, better to cover it with a bark or something that will keep the moist in the roots
Bloom season: Summer / Autumn
General information about the flower Green or white, the flowers grow in the inner part of the plant in crown structure