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Neoregelia spectabilis AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Houseplant or Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Tufted

Resilience

Hardiness

H1a (heated greenhouse - tropical)

Colour

Flower

Blue and Purple in Summer

Foliage

Green and Red in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

painted fingernail

Family

Bromeliaceae


Neoregelia are evergreen, rosette-forming perennials with strap-shaped leaves, the inner ones often brightly coloured; small tubular flowers are borne in dense clusters with showy bracts, in the centre of the rosette in summer

N. spectabilis forms an evergreen rosette of leathery strap-shaped dull green leaves to 45cm in length, each tipped with red; inner leaves red. Blue flowers grow from purple-banded green bracts, in the centre of the rosette

Other common names

  • fingernail plant

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Under glass grow in epiphytic or terrestrial bromeliad compost in bright filtered light. Water freely with soft water when in growth and keep just moist in winter. Apply a low-nitrogen liquid fertiliser monthly when in growth. May be grown outdoors in gritty, leafy soil in an open site with partial shade or grow epiphytically in a tree

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Neutral
  • Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown at 27 °C as soon as ripe, or separate offsets in spring or summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

Sever spent rosettes at the bases

Pests

Scale insects may be a problem

Diseases

Generally disease free