Complete guide to scarlet star care
Flashy and fabulous, the scarlet star is the perfect way to add a splash of tropical colour to your collection.
The scarlet star plant, also known as guzmania amaretto, is a beautiful, low-maintenance tropical plant that’s perfect for brightening up any room. We call ours Lorenzo. With its bright red leaves, it’s sure to bring a splash of colour to its surroundings. In order to keep your scarlet star plant stays looking its best, here are some tips on how to care for it:
- Pour filtered water into central 'cup'
- Place your scarlet star in bright, indirect light
- Mist daily or pop it in a bright kitchen or bathroom
About scarlet star plants
Originally from South America, the guzmania amaretto is part of the bromeliad family and named after the Spanish naturalist, Anastatsio Guzman. This popular tropical plant is epiphytic (which means it grows on other plants) and can be found attaching themselves to trees in the jungle.
Although the top of the plant looks like a flower, it’s actually a collection of bright red leaves called a ‘bract’. The flowers themselves are white, and will grow in the colourful bract.
How often should I water my scarlet star plant?
When it comes to watering your scarlet star plant, it’s important to not over-water it. Instead of taking water up through their roots, guzmania plants collect rainwater in the crevices of their leaves and the central ‘cup’. You can make them feel right at home by watering them in the same way - even better if you’re using distilled water or collected rainwater.
How much light does my scarlet star plant need?
Your scarlet star plant needs plenty of indirect sunlight to stay looking vibrant and healthy. It’s best to place the plant somewhere that gets plenty of bright, indirect light, such as near a window or on a shelf. However, it’s important to not place it in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn and turn brown.
What's the best temperature for my scarlet star plant?
Your scarlet star plant will thrive in temperatures between 18-26°C. It’s important to make sure the plant isn't exposed to temperatures below 10°C. If the temperature does drop below this level, move the plant to a warmer spot.
Should I fertilise my scarlet star plant?
Your scarlet star plant will benefit from fertilising once a month during the growing season. It’s best to use a liquid fertiliser that is specifically designed for tropical plants. Just drop it straight into the cup - this is how they get their nutrients in the wild, but instead it's monkey droppings and decomposing leaves.
Do I need to prune my scarlet star plant?
Your scarlet star plant will need to be pruned every few months to keep it looking its best. To prune, simply remove any dead or dying leaves from the plant. You can also prune any stems that are turning brown and lifeless.
Bromeliads bloom only once. The plant then produces offsets (pups) and dies. Once the mother plant has bloomed and sent out offshoot pups, wait for the pups to develop small root systems of their own. Then, sever the pups carefully and repot them individually, making sure they've begun to form their own central cup. This shows they are ready to grow independently. Their root systems will grow about as wide as the foliage, so make sure the pot is large enough. Keep the young pups well-watered and they'll become a new plant in no time.
By following these tips, you should be able to keep your scarlet star plant looking vibrant and healthy. With its bright red leaves, it’s sure to bring a splash of colour to any room.
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