How to grow Cryptanthus zonatus

Cryptanthus zonatus growing leaf plant bromeliads of the genus Cryptanthus also known as Starfish Plant or Earth Star, Cryptanthus zonatus perennial evergreen used as ornamental plant, can grow in subtropics, mediterranean, tropic climate or as houseplant and growing in hardiness zone 10+.

Leaves color can be: green, pink, gray, brown, purple, white, black, can be more than one color with white stripes and darker line in the middle, leaf linear and sharp in the edge, leaves grow in rosette structure.

Cryptanthus zonatus flower

Flower color green or white, the flowers grow in the inner part of the plant in crown structure.

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Requirements for Cryptanthus zonatus growing and care:

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.

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:
Mosquitoes that grow inside the leaves, shape edge for the leaves

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

Planting season:
Spring / Summer / Autumn

Pests and diseases:
Mealy bugs, aphids, thrips, weevil, scale insect

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

Size of the plant:
5-20 cm (2-8 inches)

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Medium growing in the right condition but mostly as houseplant or outdoor it’s 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

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 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

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

Blooming information

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

Scientific name:

Cryptanthus zonatus

Blooming Seasons

Flower Colors


Leaf color

Ornamental parts

Plant growing speed

Plant life-form

Plant uses

Planting season

Plants sun exposure

Watering plants

Hardiness zone