The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Bromeliaceae.

Common name(s): Earth star, Starfish plant
Cryptanthus Genus of about 20 species of mostly stemless, evergreen, mainly dwarf, terrestrial perennials found in soil or on rocks in dry, forest regions in E. Brazil.

The Earth Stars are best kept in a glass container or terrarium. There is a wide range to choose from - plain, striped and banded in green, red, brown and yellow. Leaf sizes ranges from 4 in. to 15 in. The brightest (and most difficult to grow) is Cryptanthus bromelioides tricolor.

Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth (60F or 18C). Provide as much light as possible, but no full sun. Grow in terrestrial bromeliad potting mix. Never overwater, and ensure that there is good drainage. Use rainwater in hard water areas. Misting is necessary in summer. Offsets appear at the base of the plant. When the offset is several month old remove it with some roots attached and plant shallowly in Seed & Cutting Compost. Keep warm until establishment. Sow seed at 81 F (27 C) as soon as ripe.

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