The Painted Fingernail Bromeliad, botanical name Neoregelia spectabilis, is a tropical plant that is native to Brazil. It gets its name from the brightly-colored stripes on the ends of its leaves, which resemble painted fingernails. The plant is grown as a houseplant in many parts of the world. It’s prized for its colorful foliage.
This plant has leathery, strap-like leaves that are primarily dull green on the outside and get progressively more colorful the further inside you go. The leaves grow in a rosette around the base of the plant, and blue flowers emerge from the center. The Painted Fingernail Bromeliad is a popular houseplant because of its beautiful foliage and easy care requirements.
- Painted Fingernail Bromeliad Characteristics
- Painted Fingernail Bromeliad Care
- Propagating Painted Fingernail Bromeliad
- Potting and Repotting Painted Fingernail Bromeliad
- Common Pests
- The Best Way to Care for a Painted Fingernail Bromeliad (Neoregelia Spectabilis) (Video)
Painted Fingernail Bromeliad Characteristics
|Common Name||Painted Fingernail Plant, Fingernail Bromeliad, Fingernail Plant, Marbled Fingernail, Miniature Marble Plant, Painted Fingernail Bromeliad|
|Botanical Name||Neoregelia spectabilis|
|Synonyms||Aregelia spectabilis, Karatas spectabilis, Nidularium eximium, Nidularium spectabile, Regelia spectabilis|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9b to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 30 to 40 cm; Spread: 40 to 80 cm|
|Propagation methods||by seeds, by offsets|
Painted Fingernail Bromeliad Care
The Painted Fingernail Bromeliad is a fascinating plant. It belongs to the Bromeliaceae family. In general, this flower does not need much care, but if you want the best results from your plant, you might want to know how to take care of it properly.
Light and Location
You do not need to give the painted fingernail bromeliad a lot of light, but it is best if you can put it outside on days that are warm and sunny. Painted Fingernail Bromeliad prefers bright indirect light. The closer the plant is to a window facing outside, the better it will do.
Neoregelia spectabilis are water-loving plants so it is very important to keep them watered. The number of times you need to water the plant will depend on where you are keeping it and how hot or cold the temperature gets. Water when dry by thoroughly soaking the substrate. Keep in mind this plant does not store much water in the center of its rosette, so if you are growing N. spectabilis in small containers you will want to water more frequently.
It should not be allowed to dry out completely, but too much water can cause root rot, which is very bad for this plant.
Prefers intermediate to warm temperatures, between 70°F–85°F (21°C–29°C). It can tolerate lower temperatures but only if not kept in them for prolonged periods. Don’t let it fall below 50°F (10°C).
Growing Neoregelia spectabilis in the proper humidity is very important for this plant to grow and stay healthy. If there is not enough humidity, the leaves will become dry and turn brown and crispy. To increase the amount of humidity around your painted fingernail bromeliad you can use a humidifier, put it on a humidity tray, or put a plastic bag over the plant for a few days to trap moisture around it.
Fertilizing is necessary for this plant to grow and stay healthy. Use liquid fertilizer every week or month (depending on how often you water). Use an acidic fertilizer that is diluted at half strength. Too much of this material can cause root rot. Fertilizer should be applied in the areas where the leaves attach to the stem, leaves, and visible roots.
Propagating Painted Fingernail Bromeliad
As the plant becomes older, it will start to form offsets around the base. This species is particularly prolific in producing offsets, and you can find multiple attached to the base of a fully mature plant. If desired, separate large offsets during repotting. First, separate them from the mother plant. Then, treat them as mature plants. It’s that simple.
Although you can, technically, propagate via seeds, it’s not recommended. The process takes way too long to bear fruit, and specific conditions need to be met for the seeds to germinate. Generally, it’s easier, cheaper, and quicker to propagate using offsets.
Potting and Repotting Painted Fingernail Bromeliad
Painted fingernail bromeliad does best pot-bound, so keeping the plant in a small pot is recommended. But you can also grow this plant as an epiphyte and tie it to a support. Just be sure to wrap sphagnum moss around the roots. If grown in a pot, use bromeliad or orchid mix for the best results. But this plant isn’t picky and can thrive in many different composts provided they are well-drained. Allow the roots some room to breathe as well, as they like to have at least some degree of freedom.
Over time, its roots will fill the top of the soil, and its leaves will begin to curl. At this point, you should repot it in a container one size larger. Fill it up with the suitable compost and drill drainage holes around the sides and bottom. Plant the root ball in the pot gently and water thoroughly.
Neoregelia spectabilis is non-Toxic for pets.
The most common pests of the Painted Fingernail Bromeliad are scale insects. They are a type of tiny, soft-bodied insect that feeds on the sap of plants. They can be challenging to get rid of, as they excrete a waxy substance that protects them from predators and environmental stressors. However, there are several ways to get rid of scale insects, including horticultural oils, soaps, and insecticides.