All cryptanthus species make good houseplants. They thrive in the sunniest places and if treated well are almost trouble-free^ In the wild, these ground-hugging star-shaped bromeliads (see pp. 48 49) are found growing mainly on rocks, on the moss-covered roots of trees, or in the debris on the floor of the rain forest.
Cryptanthus acaulis also called the starfish plant, spreads to 9in/23cm across and has medium green, tough leaves covered with gray scales, or ‘ scurf. The leaves are not easily spoiled by handling. The scales absorb water and nutrients from the air or from tropical downpours.
HEIGHT To 5in/13cm.
POTTING MIX Peat-moss-based or equal parts of peat moss and leaf mold, with a little fresh sphagnum moss to ensure good drainage.
REPOTTING When the rosettes need separating, probably only every 2 years or so.
PROPAGATION In spring, remove
KEEPING PLANTS In the right conditions, these are long-lived plants.
Cryptanthus Acaulis Bromeliaceae Green Earth Star PLANT CARE
- Direct or subdued sunlight.
- About 75°F/24°C for flowering; a minimum winter temperature of 60°F/16°C.
- Water sparingly; allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Mist the leaves with weak liquid fertilizer occasionally during the spring and summer.
- Lack of light will make the leaves appear dull; move the plant to brighter
- If the atmosphere position, Free drainage is essential; the plant will rot at the base if the soil is too wet.