Flaming Sword Bromeliad is a common name for the Vriesea splendens in the Bromeliad family. This plant is native to Trinidad, eastern Venezuela, and the Guianas and is often found in offices and gardens worldwide. It is easily identifiable by its thin, long red and orange flowers that grow from tightly formed rosettes of leaves. As an epiphyte, this bromeliad will attach itself to trees to get closer to direct sunlight.
The Flaming Sword plant is cultivated worldwide for its striking appearance and low water requirements. They add a burst of color to any arrangement they’re a part of, making them a popular choice for indoor spaces. Coupled with their low-maintenance nature, you have a recipe for success.
Flaming Sword Bromeliad Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Flaming Sword Bromeliad, Vriesea|
|Botanical Name||Vriesea splendens|
|Synonyms||Lutheria splendens, Tillandsia splendens, Vriesea speciosa, Tillandsia speciosa, Tillandsia appuniana, Tillandsia picta|
|Native Range||Trinidad, eastern Venezuela, and the Guianas|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||10 to 12|
|Mature Size||Height: 2.5-3 feet; Spread: 1.5-2 feet|
|Propagation methods||by seeds, by offsets|
|Soil||Dry, Good Drainage|
Vriesea Splendens Care
Flaming Sword Bromeliad is a beautiful specimen and can flower every summer if adequately cared for. The plant produces rosettes (leaves attached to the base much like a rose) that branch off from each other at varying intervals. These rosettes have bright, yellow flowers surrounded by red bracts in the form of flat spikes that reach up to 45 cm long. This central inflorescence is referred to as the flowering spike or flower stalk of the plant.
Light and Location
Flaming Sword Bromeliads do not require much light. They can live fairly happily in an east or west window, but they will grow faster and flower more profusely if they receive a few hours of direct sunlight a day. Although flaming sword bromeliads do not need much light, the color of the leaves can change depending on how much light the plant receives. If the plant is receiving too much sunlight, it will usually display lighter leaves with purple veins. If the plant is not receiving enough sunlight, then it will display darker green leaves without as many or any purple veins.
Make sure you only water your flaming sword bromeliad when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. You want the soil to dry out pretty well between waterings, but you do not want it to become bone-dry. Flaming Sword Bromeliads do not need much water, but they should never be allowed to completely dry out.
This bromeliad needs to be watered enough that the central cup is filled each time it is watered. Watering should also be adjusted by the humidity of your area; if your home is not very humid, then you will want to water this plant more frequently.
Flaming Sword Bromeliads do well in average household temperatures. The ideal temperature range is between 65 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (18-25 Celsius). They cannot tolerate very hot or cold temperatures.
Although this plant does not require high humidity levels, it will be healthier and happier with higher humidity. Make sure you do not let the cup in the center of the leaves go bone dry, because it needs to stay humid inside or else your bromeliad could get sick. Misting once or twice a week will help increase humidity levels, but be careful not to over-water this plant.
Flaming sword bromeliads are not heavy feeders, but they can appreciate occasional feeding in summer. An all-purpose liquid plant fertilizer diluted to half-strength will do fine for this bromeliad. Spray the solution directly onto the cup in the center of the plant, on the leaves, and a small amount into the soil.
Propagating Vriesea splendens
It is a tropical plant that requires bright light and moist conditions to propagate. You can propagate the plant by planting an offset after it is sufficiently grown (about one-third the size of the parent). Then, remove it from the mother plant, plant it in moist soil, and wait for it to grow. It should begin to show roots in a few weeks.
You can also choose to propagate this plant by seeds, but this process takes a very long time, just like other bromeliads. Therefore, most gardeners prefer to stick to the offset method, as it’s quick, hassle-free, and produces better results.
Flaming sword bromeliads can be planted in a wide variety of potting conditions, including small plastic pots, clay pots, hanging baskets, standard decorative containers, and even driftwood. They are usually grown either mounted on bark or potted in regular potting soil with adequate drainage.
Repotting Vriesea Splendens
Never repot a bromeliad unless you have to. Repotting should only be done in the spring or summer, and this plant should not be repotted more than once a year.
You can pot flaming sword bromeliads in a 50:50 mixture of orchid bark and perlite. You want to make sure that this plant stays in a small enough container so that the roots will not clog up the drainage holes, but you also do not want to pot it in too large of a container because then it will not get enough nutrients to support itself. You can also use other types of potting mediums, but be sure that it drains well and has good aeration.
Flaming Sword Bromeliads like small pots because they do not need much water or soil. If you find that your bromeliad is not getting enough water, try repotting it in a smaller container.
You may need to water more frequently at first while the roots are adjusting to their new home.
The most common pests found on Flaming Sword Bromeliads are scale insects. You can identify them by their small size and the tiny bumps (scales) they leave behind on the leaves. These pests feed on the plant sap, which can cause damage and lead to reduced growth and flowering. Get rid of them by coating a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and cleaning the leaves gently.