The Neoregelia is a plant genus containing roughly 40 species of epiphytes, which is a plant that grows on another plant or on object. The genus was named in honour of Eduard August von Regel, who was director of St. Petersburg Botanic Gardens in Russia from 1815 to 1892.
Neoregelia plants range from large bromeliads to small and colourful landscape plants that are commonly seen in the tropics. It is characterised by its rosette of strap-like leaves, which are sometimes striped and have a pink or bright red centre. When grown indoors, they don’t have the towering bracts of flowers found in other bromeliads but the flowers stay closer to the central cup and the newer leaves flush in different colours, such as yellows and pinks.
The plants are natives of the Amazon and commonly found in Brazil, where there are around 90 species.
Neoregelia plants have a life span of between two and three years and will bloom when it becomes mature. It will spread by producing plantlets or offsets around the base of the mature plant. After this plant has flowered, it will slowly die back as the young plants take over.
The Neoregelia is part of the Bromeliad family and there are over 1,400 known species in existence. There are also hundreds of hybrids which offer a selection of colours, sizes and forms.
Water the plant moderately into the rosette and keep it well topped up and hydrated. Feed it with a weak food solution every fortnight in the spring, summer and autumn and just water sparingly during winter. The Neoregelia will need plenty of humidity, so keep it misted with softened water. Very bright light benefits its growth, but take care that the temperature doesn’t drop below 18°C. They are not difficult to grow.
To get the best colours in the leaves, make sure you situate your Neoregelia in plenty of strong light. The flowers tend to be white or blue and they will open for a long period. However, it’s the plant’s leaves which are the real draw, growing in silver, maroon, red or green and coming in spotted, marbled, striped or even banded varieties. These colours intensify when the plant comes into bloom.
Did You Know?
The Neoregelia forms part of the same botanical family (Bromeliad) as the pineapple.