A striking plant with a bright red, spear-shaped flower spike, borne above attractively banded foliage. The spike lasts for several months, growing up to 60cm (24in) and eventually producing a succession of short¬lived, yellow flowers. Like other bromeliads, the Vriesia may flower at any time of year, depending on the individual plant and the conditions in which it is grown. After flowering, the plant dies but not before it has formed offsets at the base, which can be removed when they are large enough and potted on. Take care when positioning the Vriesia as, although it likes some direct sunlight, too much can scorch the leaves. It is best placed on a low table where the foliage and flower head can be seen to best effect.

Plant type : Flowering bromeliad with upright habit
Season of interest : Varies according to plant and situation
Size : 30-60cm (12 — 24in)
Flower : 2.5-5cm (1 —2in), yellow, borne on flattish, spear-shaped, 20-30cm (8-12in), red-bracted spike, produced at almost any time of year
Leaf : Broadly strap-shaped 20-40cm (8-16in), green with purplish horizontal bands, forming a central cup
Temperature : 16-22°C (61 -72°F)
Aspect/Light : Well-lit situation with some sunlight
Humidity : High
Watering : Keep central cup filled with water, changing every month or so
Feeding : Once a month with half strength houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Remove 10-15cm (4—6in) offsets in spring or early summer and pot in houseplant potting or bromeliad compost at 20“C (68°F)
Potting : Houseplant potting or bromeliad compost
Problems : Mealy bug, root mealy bug, aphid on flowers, leaf scorch
Availability : Commonly available throughout year
Uses indoors : Feature plant or as part of mixed grouping in lounge or dining room
Other varieties : V. psittacina -red and yellow flowers, V. saundersii- yellow flowers