Occasionally, in Spring and Summer, retail outlets will offer a range of unnamed Vriesea hybrids in bud: these are always worth buying, as most are much easier to grow than the named species, but like all Vriesea, after producing the flat spear-like bracts, the plant is discarded. The single offset that may be produced is difficult to pot and grow on, and new plants are usually grown from seed. The brightly-coloured bracts will open to reveal yellow flowers and last for over a month. This particular hybrid has glossy, rich green leaves, which join in the centre to form the typical ‘vase’ shape of the Bromeliad group.
Vriesea prefer a Winter minimum of 13°C (55°F), with a lowest daytime temperature of around 18°C (65°F). This tropical plant likes heat in Summer. Plants from seed will need 21-26°C (70-80°F); weangradually to the lower temperatures.
Vriesea hybrids grow well in bright, indirect light: protect the leaves of seedlings and young plants from intense sunlight.
Water thoroughly only when theis dry on the surface: then allow the surface to dry again before giving another thorough watering. During cool periods, reduce the amount given.
In dry air, the plant will benefit from an occasional light misting during Summer: do not mist in cold periods, as rot may follow. Feed established Vriesea with a half-strength, proprietary feed at every third watering.
Repot young plants regularly in a Bromeliad — compost. Alternatively, mix 2 parts (by volume) of moss peat, 1 part loam-based potting compost and 1 part sharp sand for a free-draining blend. To aid drainage, place a layer of horticultural grit in the bottom of the pot. Vriesea seed should be surface-sown on a ‘compost’ of horticultural sand and chopped fresh sphagnum moss; growth is always slow (10cm/4in in a year).
All Bromeliads have leaves arranged in a — ‘vase’: do not put water in this ‘vase’ unless the temperature is constantly above 10°C (50°F).
Cold conditions may cause the plant’s crown to rot: if the temperature is low, empty the ‘vase’ of water and keep the plant on the dry side.
Scale will congregate at the base of the closely-clasped rosette of leaves: remove them using methylated spirit on a cotton bud, or treat with a suitable insecticide.