PR Live plant. Vriesea saundersii (5.5cm pot)
Vrieseas are epiphytic bromeliads with an interesting leaf shape and pattern, ideally suited to use in forest set ups. They can be grown attached to rocks or branches, or in a well drained soil. Planting these plants in waterlogged conditions will cause them to quickly rot as their roots are used for attachment rather than collecting water or nutrients. Easily scorched by hot lights they need a fairly bright position, but out of direct light. They will also tolerate light shade. Most of the water and nutrients these plants require are absorbed by the leaves in the centre of the leaf whorl, where it forms a natural bowl. This central cup needs to be kept filled with water, which will happen naturally with spray systems. The occasional dead insect or frog dropping will decompose to provide nutrients, or you can use a weak foliar fertilizer. A mature plant will produce a stunning bright red flower stem (which is where they get their name “fire”) after which it will produce young plants, called pups, at the base and then the parent plant will die.
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