Were a list containing plants highlighting its flower more to be published, Scarlet Star would probably take the first rank. Therefore, it challenges many plants regarding decoration. Scarlet Star is such a plant that it decorates mostly indoors, particularly the focal points. This houseplant is native to Central America. For that reason, it bears tropic characteristics. However, thanks to its cultivars, it grows practically everywhere apart from its nature. Also, it has many different names such as bromeliad (pineapple-like) scarlet star, drophead tufted airplane, and so forth. In addition to that, its scientific name is Guzmania lingulata.
1) General information for Scarlet Star Plant
Scarlet Star typically has tongue-shaped foliage and petals and, it also looks like a rosetta when observed from above. What makes this houseplant valuable and gorgeous is its inflorescence. Specifically, its vivid and bright color is worthy. It blooms warm colors such as maroon, red, orange, yellow, pink, and sometimes variegated at the end of four years and once a lifetime. Yes, this color exhibition is temporary for five months. Generally, this houseplant is a perennial evergreen like Peace Lily and Zz Plant. Above all, it isn’t harmful in case of any ingestion. For that reason, kids and pets are completely safe in the house.
2) How to Care for Scarlet Star (Guzmania lingulata) Plant
As always, Scarlet Star is vulnerable to direct sunlight exposure. A few hours of sunlight wouldn’t occur any problem. But putting it in covered spaces and semi-shade spots may be correct.
This houseplant needs weekly watering. But you should check if the soil is wet or not because the soggy soil could pose a risk to it. Although a long-lasting plant, it is sensitive to tap water. Also, the water mustn’t be too cold.
As I noted above, Scarlet Star is a tropical plant. For that reason, it likes high humidity. To ensure it, you may use electronic humidifiers, wet trays, and water sprays.
The optimal temperature range for Scarlet Star is 65°F – 80°F (18°C – 27°C). As long as it doesn’t take a deadly hit from warm and cold drafts, it keeps growing safely without any problem. According to the USDA plant hardiness map, it can grow comfortably outdoors in zones 10 and 11.
All-purpose potting mixes could work. What’s more, you can make your potting mixes by benefitting barks, composts, perlites, vermiculates, pumices, so on.
Scarlet Star has a relatively small root. For that reason, it could fit in small containers and medium planters.
For plants, there are a few fertilizers to apply. Here, they are granular, liquid, slow-release, quick-release fertilizers. For Scarlet Star, you may administer quarter-diluted water-soluble fertilizers. Notably, it shows its effects in the growing season of this houseplant. In these times, you should add it monthly.
Cut its offsets and share them per pot. Moreover, you may propagate it when it has a flower.
Until it reaches its mature state, you should change its pot. For this work, the spring season is appropriate. But yet you should be careful about its small root while repotting. It may experience a shock. To prevent this situation, you should water it the night before.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
The ordinary water coming from the common grid may bear harmful elements such as chloride, fluoride. Also, the ph value of the water is crucial.
Discoloration of leaves
Many factors could cause this problem. For example, less light, improper watering, nutrient deficiency, insufficient minerals can give rise to it. All in all, the foliage goes pale due to these factors.
There are some harmful pests to give damage to Scarlet Star. Here, they are aphids, scales, red spiders, whiteflies, and so on. They begin to destroy when dry conditions occur.
Suggestions for problems
Instead of tap water, you should use distilled water or bottled water. Or you may buy a water purifying device (reverse osmosis technology). To prevent discoloration of leaves, you should heal the conditions of plants. To exemplify it, we can count on getting it to take a sufficient amount of sunlight or sticking a watering routine. For pests, you may use alcohol-based wipes, neem oils, pesticides, and so on.
Suggestions for the beginners
There are a few mistakes to be made by newbies. One of them is frequently changing its spots. In this situation, the plant enters the stress and starts dropping its leaves. Also, overwatering is another common mistake. To avoid it, you should follow a watering routine.