The Guzmania lingulata (also called scarlet star) is easy to grow ornamental indoor house plant that can also be grown outdoors as well. The leaves of the Scarlet Star are long, deep green and leathery. They grow in stacks one above the other and spread outwards from the central stalk of the plant. This plant produces a single beautiful flower. The flower heads are in the shape of a wide, deep cup with many bracts growing in layers. The blooms of the Scarlet Star are at first green and then turn into a faded yellow color. As the bracts peel away from the main cup of the flower, they turn into deep scarlet red or orange in color.
Scientific Name: Guzmania lingulata
Common Name: Droophead tufted airplant or scarlet star.
How to grow and maintain Guzmania lingulata:
scarlet star does best in bright locations but out of direct sunlight, which can burn foliage and blooms.
Grow scarlet star in a well-drained potting soil that contains organic matter. Use pots with bottom drainage holes so any excess water can drain quickly from the pot.
It requires average room temperatures between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water moderately and mist regularly in summer. Outside the flowering period, the rosette should be kept filled with water. Change water every 3 to 4 weeks to keep it from rotting. Use soft water. Never put water in the bracts or the flowering portion of the plant. It will shorten the life of the flower.
scarlet star grows better when fed regularly in the summer. Fertilize plants with a liquid, all-purpose (20-20-20) plant food diluted to half strength. Spray the plant food onto the leaves and dribble a small amount into the soil. Utilizing too much plant food can damage these plants.
Guzmania lingulata will occasionally have little shoots from near the base of the plant. These might be broken off at the root and propagated into new plants in separate containers once they reach three inches tall. This might be done even after the plant has bloomed.
Pests and diseases:
The main pest indoors is the mealybug which will have to be searched for in the rosette of leaves and within the flower bracts. Difficult to manage, but can be treated by painting the pests with a small brush dipped in an insecticide.