Neoregelia carolinae (Striped Blushing Bromeliad)

Living naturally on tree trunks and bark in Brazil, this bromeliad has basal, strap-shaped leaves. The center base is capable of storing water in noticeable quantities since the roots don’t absorb enough nutrients on their own. This member of the pineapple family also has a reddish tint at the center of the leaves.

Neoregelia carolinae (Striped Blushing Bromeliad)
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 10-11
Height: 22-45 centimeters (9-18 inches) tall
Diameter: 22-45 centimeters (9-18 inches) across
Growth Rate: moderate
Age: reaches maximum size between 5 to 10 years of age
Root System: much stronger on bark or wood, more adapted to soak up soil in traditional potting mixes
Family: Bromeliaceae
Subspecies: c. tricolor (variegated leaves with alternating green-white stripes), ampulaceae (red bands on leaves), carolinae (crimson-colored leaf bases), c. ‘Meyendorffii’ (crimson leaf bases), concentrica (purple leaf tips), c. var. plutonis (red foliage), eleutheropetala (purple basal leaves), ‘Fireball’, ‘Marcon’, melanodonta (red blotches), pineliana (gray and red foliage), princeps, spectabilis, ‘Vulcan’ (purple foliage)

Tolerates: full shade
Problems (major): no major issues
Problems (minor): aphids, thrips, scale, root rot, leaf spots, requires high humidity to thrive
Poisonous: non-toxic to cats and dogs

Soil requirements: prefers light, sharply-drained potting mix (loam if possible) with a neutral acidity indoors
Air Requirements: high humidity preferred
Watering requirement: prefers water in the funnel in the rosette instead of in the soil, water regularly
Sun requirement: part-shade (preferred) to full shade (tolerates)

Leaf shape: variegated leaves with green edges/longitudinal yellow-white center stripe, suffused rose-red at the center, toothed margins
Leaf size: leaves are leathery, narrow, shiny, spine-tipped, lance-shaped, to 12 inches long and 1.5 inches wide
Flower structure: violet to lavender blooms in a “raceme” inflorescence
Flowering frequency: blooms seasonally
Bulb/tuber: neither
Monocot/Dicot: monocot
Annual/Biennial/Perennial: perennial

Notable characteristics:
Epiphyte, funnel-shaped rosettes, noticeable red coloration at the center

Houseplant or outside ornamental where suitable

Sources used:

A bromeliad with somewhat short leaves and a neon pink center

 bromeliad in Seattle, WA with a bright pinkish-red center

Multiple bromeliads with water-filled centers at Missouri Botanical GardenImage
A close-up of the “cup” containing water and various other materials


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