Neoregelia carolinae

Blushing Bromeliad

The blushing bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae) is part of a large genus of bromeliads and has an interesting way of turning red at it's center when it's about to flower, which is where the common name (blushing) is derived from.

The flowers are nothing to shout home about - it's the foliage and the center turning red that's the real attraction.


This native to Brazil bromeliad "from the neoreglia genus" is one of the most commonly grown species indoors from this genus, with the most popular variety being the tricolor. These are also grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 - 11.

Like other bromeliads, in its' natural rainforest habitat it grows on trees (epiphyte) or among other species on the forest floor collecting water within the center cup (vase). The small roots primary purpose is to attach itself to it's growing location to support itself, which is why they live among trees and can be grown indoors on a home made bromeliad tree.

Foliage: The blushing bromeliad has a rosette of narrow large strap like, lanced shaped and saw edged leaves. These leaves arch over (which grow to about 1ft long) and the whole rosette has a flattened effect. The carolinae tricolor has the most attractive leaves from this species, which have green and whitish colored stripes along the length of each leaf.

Flowering: As mentioned above the center of the plant will turn a very deep pinkish red color before flowers bloom. The cluster of small non-showy flowers which are violet in color, eventually make their way out of the small bracts that seems to happen at no specific time of the year.

After flowering: Once the plant has flowered you can expect it to begin to die off, which is normal. The parent plant is going through the process of producing pups which you will be able to propagate to create more than one new bromeliad.

Displaying: Display your plant in s bright location, preferably a south, east or west facing location. Conservatories are a great location because they're bright - or you could be adventurous and create a bromeliad tree.

Care level: The blushing bromeliad needs to be provided with warm temperatures, bright light and average to above average humidity levels. If you can supply these conditions your plant will be easy to care for and maintain.


Origin: South America.
Names: Blushing bromeliad (common). Neoregelia carolinae (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): Height 18 in/45 cm.
Poisionous for pets: Non toxic for cats, dogs

blushing bromeliad picture

Credit: Forest and Kim Starr - Plants of Hawaii

picture of plant

Blushing Bromeliad Care

Temperature: Average to just above average temperatures of 65 - 80ºF (18 - 27ºC) are best suited. Avoid lower than 55ºF (13ºC).
Light: A lover of bright light. A combination of some sun and shade provided throughout the day is advised or filtered sun.
Watering: Fill the center vase with water - using distilled or rain-sourced water and change it every four to six weeks. The soil needs to be kept slightly moist but not soaked.
Soil: A well draining and loose soil mixture is suitable. 1 part peat, 1 part bark and 1 part coarse sand or perlite is one mix which can be used.
Fertilizer: This bromeliad does not need a lot of feeding. Once a month you can add a diluted liquid fertilizer (half the recommended strength on the instructions) to your misting bottle. Over feeding can cause leaf color loss.
Re-Potting: You will only need to re-pot if the container used is no longer large enough. It's worth renewing the soil once a year, but if the soil mix has nutrients added to it - do not feed for the next month or two.
Humidity: Providing average to above average humidity is advisable. To improve levels during summer or when artificial heating is used, you can mist the leaves, or provide a humidity tray for the plant and it's container to sit on. If you notice the leaves turning brown and dry this could be caused by dry air (lack of humidity).
Propagation: Once the plant has flowered the mother plant will begin to die and produce pups - rather than grow it's leaves any further. These offsets are removed and used to create new plants by cutting them off as close to the main plant as possible, usually when they begin to grow roots or they're about a third of the size of the mother plant.

See the Bromeliads page for
other types »

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