Identification: need to know the name of a house plant

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by michele g, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. michele g

    michele g Member

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    Bought the plant as a gift with no tag. Need to know how to care for it. It is low to the pot, green waxy leaves that are red near the center. Any ideas or pictures?
    Thanks
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Try expanding your description. Leaf shape, size, etc.
     
  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    if you could post a pic of what you bought, that would be very helpful in making an id.
     
  4. michele g

    michele g Member

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    plant identification

    Thank you for such a quick reply. Th leaf is pretty flat adn smooth. They are longer at the bottom of the plant (6-8 in). The plant grows up from the center and the part of the leaf coming out of the center is red. It reminds me of the way the top of a pinapple grows. I hope this helps. Thanks.

    Michele
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  6. fernwood

    fernwood Member

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    hello there....if the leaves are stiff and glossy and radiate out like a star ....it could a bromeliad (neoregelia)
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Is it close to anything in this photo?
     

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  8. michele g

    michele g Member

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    Yes I believe that is what it is. How do I care for it? Also I have an alovera plant that is rotting at the base of the leaves. Any ideas? If the dirt is too high and the water is sitting on the leaf could that rot it?

    Thanks
    Michele
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Your plant is some sort of bromeliad as suggested by Fernwood. These are primarily epiphythic species and normally grow attached to a tree branch high in the rain forest canopy. Some species do grow lower in the forest but the majority commonly sold are Guzmania sp. and are most often found high in the trees. The do not need soil, but will grow in a loose soil mix. And I can almost guarantee your plant is in some sort of soil. I grow a large number of them attached to wood as you can see in the photo and that is their natural way to grow.

    The plant needs no water in the soil. The plant has no roots but instead "hold fasts". Those hold fasts are designed to attach it to a tree, not gather water. It gets all its moisture from rain water collected in the cone. Just keep fresh water in the cone and the plant will do fine. Every few days dump out the old water and add fresh, preferably with the chlorine removed. You can get rid of the chlorine by simply allowing a glass of water to sit on your counter over night. The plant will produce one inflorescence in its lifetime. In time the beautiful "flower" you are likely to have is going to dry up and die. Shortly after the plant will die. But do not panic! You should soon see some tiny new plants forming around the base of the mother plant. Even if the mother dies, once those are formed, they will grow into adult plants in one to two years. They too will eventually produce an infloresecnce and those often last for quite a few months.

    You can give the plant a bit of fertilizer every few weeks but make it diluted. Just add a very small amount of liquid fertilizer to your water. A good does is about 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water. There are various ways of forcing a young plant to produce an inflorescence including putting the plant in a sealed plastic bag with a slice of apple. The gas released by the apple can induce a new inflorescence to grow. I just wait and allow nature to do the trick.

    In the rainforest these plants serve as home to many animals. Tiny tree frogs often lay their eggs in the cone and the tadpoles grow large enough to morph before moving onto the tree. Birds use them as a place to find water as do small mammals, insects and other creatures. They are extremely fascinating plants and if you check the net you can find some descent articles about how they grow. Here is a good site: http://fcbs.org/
     

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