How To Care For A Vriesea Plant (Flaming Sword)

With a reputation like “flaming sword plant,” you count on one thing fabulous. Nicely, Vriesea Splendens undoubtedly lives as much as its identify, with its hanging banded foliage and its flamboyant floral show.

How To Care For A Vriesea Plant (Flaming Sword) | The flaming sword plant belongs to the genus Vriesea (pronounced vree’ see ah), a group of bromeliads from South and Central America that make nice houseplants – not solely as a result of they liven issues up with their unique splendor, but in addition, because they’re really easy to care for.

how to care for a vriesea plant

Introduction To The Vriesea Flaming Sword Plant

The important thing to growing the vriesea flaming sword plant indoors is to acknowledge that it’s an epiphytic bromeliad, so it has sure options which are totally different from most other plants.

To begin with, these bromeliads don’t have a lot in the best way of roots. And what roots they do have are extra tailored to gripping and anchoring the plant to the floor of timber than to absorbing water and vitamins, like most root methods.

So as an alternative to drawing the weather they want from the soil, these plants are capable of soak up them from the air by way of tiny scales on their leaves often called “trichomes.”

Along with being very environment friendly at absorbing water and vitamins, trichomes are additionally liable for the enticing foliage patterns on many vriesea varieties, with the flaming sword plant’s lengthy arching leaves being notable for their deep purple crossbanding.

Bromeliad leaves usually develop in a spiral formation known as a “rosette,” and by tightly overlapping on the base, vriesea leaves type a central reservoir, often called a “tank,” that collects and shops water in addition to natural particles. The tank gives the plant a lot of the moisture and vitamins it wants.

So you have got this central reservoir or tank, and out of it, the flaming sword plant’s flower spike can rise as much as three feet (about 90 centimeters) excessive, showcasing the magnificent sword-shaped inflorescence that offers the plant its identify.

However, what looks like vivid purple overlapping flower petals aren’t what they appear. These aren’t flowers; they’re bracts – modified leaves on the base of the small, unremarkable yellow structure that’s the precise flower. These very long-lasting, brightly colored bracts entice pollinators to the plant.

Now, you need to know that these and most different bromeliads solely blossom as soon as earlier than slowly withering and dying away. However, don’t panic! You may grow new plants from the offshoots that seem because the plant declines.

It takes three to 5 years for vrieseas to bloom, and the flaming sword plant inflorescence lasts for a lot of months. Even when not in bloom, their good-looking foliage still makes vrieseas very interesting houseplants.

What Soil Does Vrieseas Want?

Because vriesea roots are tailored for the fixed cycles of moisture followed by intervals of dryness that happen in their tropical rainforest habitats, they’re extremely susceptible to rotting, so that you don’t need to use a potting combination that holds lots of moisture.

And since these roots are accustomed to being uncovered to the air of their pure setting, in addition, they want plenty of airflows. Due to this fact, the growing medium for vrieseas ought to encompass supplies that are lightweight, quick to dry out, and supply plenty of aeration. Use a business bromeliad or orchid potting combination, or make your individual combination with peat moss, coco coir, or pine bark blended with a little bit of perlite.

What Variety Of Container Should I Use For A Flaming Sword Plant?

Since they’ve such a meager root system, you need to provide the smallest size pot that may help the totally grown vriesea, as it will assist make sure that the potting combination on the middle of the pot doesn’t retain an excessive amount of moisture.

A 5-inch (13-centimeter)pot is an effective size for a flaming sword plant, which grows to a few feet (30 centimeters) vast. These plants normally mustn’t be repotted.

Think about using a clay or terracotta pot for any kind of vriesea, so you’ll be able to hold the roots proud of a smaller size pot that has the burden to carry the plant regularly when it grows bigger.

Most of these pots are additionally advantageous over plastic as a result of they permit the potting combination to dry out quicker. No matter what materials you select, it’s important for the pot to have drainage holes.

When potting a vriesea, place some gravel on the backside of the pot earlier than filling it with potting combination to make sure glorious drainage, and ensure the plant is held agency within the rising medium without packing it too tightly.

Vriesea Light Requirements

Generally, vrieseas are fairly tolerant of various lighting conditions, however, they may solely bloom if they’ve bright filtered sunlight. To get extra particular, vrieseas with softer inexperienced leaves want much less light, whereas varieties with sturdier patterned foliage favor stronger light – and actually, brighter light publicity will typically improve the color and patterns.

So the flaming sword plant will do properly close to a window with eastern or western publicity, so long as they don’t seem to be getting intense, direct sunlight, which may cause bleach spots or sunburn harm to the leaves.

What Temperatures Do Vriesea Flaming Sword Plants Need?

Fortunately, flaming sword plants and different vrieseas do very properly in temperatures which are typical of indoor environments – which is simply one of many reasons why these bromeliads make nice houseplants.

A median room temperature of above 65 F (18 C) is snug for us people in addition to for the flaming sword plant and its vriesea cousins.

How Much Humidity Does Vrieseas Need?

As for humidity for vrieseas, typical family levels won’t suffice, so that you’ll have to take measures to supply at least 50 % relative humidity on your flaming sword plant.

Excessive humidity is crucial to those plants as a result of they soak up most of their moisture by way of the trichomes on their foliage moderately than from their roots.

Using a humidifier is only one methodology for elevating the humidity level on your plant. One other method is to make use of a pebble tray. That is merely a shallow plate or tray stuffed with pebbles and water upon which you set your potted plant. The pebbles maintain the pot simply above the water degree in order that moderately than being absorbed into the potting combination, the water evaporates, offering a miniature humid microclimate for the plant.

Or, you could possibly additionally improve the local humidity for the plant by double potting it. You simply place the small bromeliad pot inside a barely bigger pot after which stuff sphagnum moss between the 2, which you retain moistened.

Additionally, grouping plants collectively – particularly those who favor higher humidity – will enable them to mutually profit from their very own natural transpiration. And you may all the time place the plant within the bathroom whereas showering to deal with the foliage to a pleasant dose of warm moisture.

It’s tremendous important, when you have got excessive humidity, that you just even have sufficient air circulation to forestall dangerous bacterial and fungal progress. So be certain the world the plant is in has good airflow and airflow, which can necessitate a gentle-blowing fan close by however not blowing immediately on the plant.

Simply be certain your vriesea is just not in a location the place will likely be affected by a cold draft, as it will cause shock to those tropical plants. Additionally, don’t place the plant near a hearth or a different warmth source that contributes to indoor dryness.

How Do You Water A Vriesea Flaming Sword Plant?

As you’ve undoubtedly seen from the care abstract and plant descriptions above, you don’t water a flaming sword plant in the identical manner as you water different houseplants.

There are mainly three parts to watering these and different vriesea houseplants: the central rosette tank, the potting combination, and the foliage. The concept is to provide moisture to totally different elements of the plant without overwatering, which is able to quickly result in rot and disease.

It’s a must to admit, the central reservoir is a fairly wonderful adaptation developed by “tank bromeliads,” as they’re typically called, for gathering water and nutrient sources from the environment around them rather than drawing these parts from the soil by way of their roots.

It appears so good! Too good, maybe, because the tendency is to simply fill this little built-in reservoir and hold it stuffed. However, this may result in stagnation and rotting. To keep away from this, flush out the plant’s tank as soon as every week by filling it with contemporary water after which dumping it out earlier than refilling to water the plant.

Alternatively, some vriesea growers favor pouring water into the tank to most of about one-quarter full and permit it to dry out between watering. In the event you use this technique, you need to nonetheless flush the tank each month or so to forestall salt buildup on the floor of the leaves.

For vrieseas grown as indoor houseplants, you must also dampen the potting combination. It must be saved simply barely moist by watering when it seems dry on the high.

Then there’s the foliage, which is roofed with these specialized trichome scales that soak up water and vitamins. Mist these leaves twice every week or so to assist them to keep healthy and vibrant.

Finally however definitely not least is the difficulty of water high quality. Bromeliads are very delicate to the mineral salts typically present in water sources, so if in case you have arduous water in your house, make sure to use purified or distilled water on your vriesea instead. Additionally, be certain the water is lukewarm to keep away from surprising the plant.

how to care for a vriesea plant

Do Flaming Sword Plants Want Fertilizer?

Whereas flaming sword plants and their cousins grown outside might not want to fertilize, vrieseas grown as indoor houseplants lack that wealthy environment of plant and bug particles and can benefit from occasional feeding.

Fertilizing the plant will assist it to grow bigger and mature quicker – which, if you consider it, actually solely finally ends up shortening the lifespan of the plant.

It’s greatest to spray a really light foliar fertilizer immediately onto the leaves. You may as well add a small quantity of diluted liquid fertilizer to the rosette tank, though you danger chemical burn from the salts if you happen to use an excessive amount. Simply make sure to restrict feedings to a few times a year in the spring and summer seasons only.

How Do You Propagate A Flaming Sword Plant?

As previously talked about, vrieseas only bloom as soon as throughout their lifecycles, which is typical of most bromeliads. When they’re completed blooming, which lasts for months on finish, these plants put all their vitality into self-replication, producing plantlets often called “offshoots” or “pups.”

These little pups seem within the middle of vrieseas and feed off the mom plant till they’ve developed enough to provide roots and survive on their very own. You may wait till the mom plant has started to show brown and die, or lower them away after they’ve grown at the least 5-6 inches (13-15 centimeters) tall.

To reap the pups, use a clean, sharp knife to chop away the flower spike and foliage, ensuring there are roots hooked up. Plant them in a lightweight potting combination. Since they are usually top-heavy, it’s possible you’ll want to make use of stakes to carry them up till their roots have matured enough to anchor the plant.

Vriesea Flaming Sword Plant FAQ

That is half the place we reply to questions on flaming sword plants, and vrieseas typically, that haven’t been addressed within the earlier sections. When you’ve got more questions, be happy to ask within the comment section!

First, a fast abstract of vriesea splendens (flaming sword plant) care.

Tips on how to look after a vriesea plant – Pot in well-draining bromeliad combine and place in bright filtered daylight. Not like different vegetation, you’ll want to provide water to the plant’s central reservoir, protecting the potting combination simply barely moist, and mist the foliage repeatedly. Present comfortably heat indoor temperatures and excessive humidity and airflow.

  • Soil: Light-weight well-draining bromeliad or orchid potting combination.
  • Container: Small pot with drainage holes; flaming sword plants don’t usually want to repot.
  • Light: Tolerates totally different lighting, however bright filtered sunlight is required for blooming.
  • Temperature: Common room temperatures above 65 °F (18 °C).
  • Humidity: Excessive humidity to supply moisture to the foliage balanced with good airflow.
  • Watering: Water by filling the central reservoir. Maintain the rising medium barely moistly, and mist the foliage a number of occasions per week. All the time use pure lukewarm water.
  • Fertilizing: Very little fertilizer wanted; apply foliar fertilizer a few times a year.
  • Propagation: Offsets could be propagated simply.

Vriesea care is a little bit totally different from other indoor potted plant care since most vrieseas are epiphytes, which grow on timber moderately than in soil. However, when you get to know these charismatic plants, you’ll shortly perceive why they’re so beloved by informal indoor gardeners and hardcore bromeliad collectors alike!

This article now will go over every facet of vriesea care in additional detail and cover a number of the frequent questions and issues that you just may need.

How Do You Get A Flaming Sword Plant To Bloom?

Greenhouses use ethylene gasoline to stimulate blooms as soon as a pup has grown to at the least three-fourths the scale of the dad or mum plant, and you are able to do the identical by inserting a chunk of banana or apple peel close to the bottom of your plant. Given loads of bright, filtered daylight and an increase in temperature to about 75 F (24 C), blooming ought to happen in six to 10 weeks.

What Are Some Different Varieties Of Vriesea That Are Simple Care Houseplants?

  • Vriesea carinata is a small, green-leaved selection that produces pretty purple bracts resembling a lobster claw
  • Vriesea fosterianais valued for its patterned foliage that’s much like the flaming sword plant however with cream-colored crossbanding towards a background that’s extra inexperienced on the decrease, extra mature leaves, and has a maroon tinge on the youthful higher leaves
  • Vriesea giganteais one other foliage plant that has vast leaves with cream and grayish inexperienced variegation and an interesting matte end.

What Pests Are Vrieseas Inclined To?

Vrieseas are usually fairly pest-free, though, like most houseplants, they’re vulnerable to mealybugs and scale, which you need to simply wipe away moderately than utilizing a pesticide or oil spray that may suffocate the plant. The easiest way to forestall bugs and fungus is to supply good airflow and keep away from over-watering.

Is Vrieseas Toxic For Pets?

Bromeliads together with the flaming sword plant and different viruses are thought-about non-toxic to each dog and cat.

Can I Grow A Flaming Sword Plant Below Artificial Light?

Sure, you need to use fluorescent lighting, so long as you present at the least 250-foot candles of full-spectrum gentle for no less than 12-14 hours a day.

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