Identify this Plant: Earth Star Plant

Is this an indoor or outdoor plant? How do I care for it indoors if it’s a houseplant? What is this plant called and how big does it grow?

Hi Leah,

800px-Earth_Star_(Cryptanthus_bivittatus)_2

Your plant is called an Earth Star Plant, Cryptanthus ‘Pink Star’. An Earth Star Plant is a type of Bromeliad Plant and can be an indoor or outdoor plant depending where you live. Here are some care instructions for an Earth Star Plant:

Light: bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.

Water: Keep the soil damp at all times.

Temperature: Between 60-85 degrees

Humidity: An Earth Star likes more humidity than other Bromeliads.

Pot Size: The roots of most Bromeliads are usually quite small but those of an Earth Star are much larger. Even with larger roots, a five – six inch pot that is wider than it is deep should work well.

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.: Cryptanthus Plants need to be fed in order to grow. Use a balanced fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. (10-10-10 or 14-14-14) diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength every time you water.