Flower of Scarlet Star Plant - Guzmania Lingulata.

What You Need to Know About the Scarlet Star Plant – Guzmania Lingulata

Although its arching, 18 in. (45 cm) long leaves are attractive — shaded from rich dark brown at the base, to green, and sometimes striped with violet — the plant is usually grown for its flowers.

More accurately, since the flowers themselves are small and yellow, the attraction is the bracts that surround the flower and form a bright crimson star-shaped cup at the top of a 1 ft. (30 cm) stalk, hence the common name starlet star. Its home is the West Indies and Brazil.

Size: Height 1 ft. (30 cm), spread to 2 ft. (60 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Warm; above 65°F (18°C).

Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist at all times, including the central cup.

Feeding: Use half-strength liquid fer­tilizer once a month on the soil, the leaves, and into the cup.

Propagation: Take 3—4 in. (7—10 cm) offsets in spring, using a sharp knife. Rooting should take 3—4 months.

Special needs: High humidity is vital. Keep the plant on a tray of damp peb­bles and mist the foliage every day.