Starfish Bromeliad Plant
Cryptanthus acaulis is a small bromeliad – ideal for a humid location
in the home.
Mature plants are 5 in/12.5 cm high and 6 in/15 cm across.
This bromeliad is primarily grown for its sharp-tipped wavy leaves.
The leaves arch backward forming a flat rosette, resembling the shape
of a star or starfish, the reason this plant is also known as the Earth
Star and Starfish Plant. The flowers are small and not
The course leaf scales (easily seen on most cultivars) absorb moisture
and nutrients. Mature plants flatten out before they bloom, and then
The starfish plant has a unique texture. Since it is a small plant,
this bromeliad is and ideal houseplant for your home. Consider grouping
this plant with other foliage plants with high humidity requirements,
such as ferns, for a dramatic display.
(Starfish Plant) Care Tips
Earth Star plants require bright light.
Consistently warm temperatures year round (60 - 80° F / 16 - 27° C).
In spring and summer, feed leaves and roots every two weeks with house
plant fertilizer diluted to ½ the normal strength. Feed
monthly in fall and winter.
In the spring and summer months, keep soil lightly moist. In fall and
winter, water less often; however, do not let roots dry out completely.
Use an orchid potting soil or regular potting soil amended with 1/3
part peat moss.
Trim back the leaves by ½ their length to speed up the growth of
emerging offsets. When the offsets are ½ the size of the parent, they
are ready to be repotted. Keep newly potted offsets in a warm
place, and enclosed in a loose plastic bag for approximately one month
to increase humidity.
Repot every two to three years in the spring. When handle the
plant gently. Avoid injuring the sparse, shallow roots.
Cryptanthus acaulis can last indefinately when propagated from offsets.
There are a variety of hybrids available. The leaves of some Earth
Stars are green in color; other species have pink, red and green
‘Areltey’ is pink, with grayish-green stripes down
the middle of each strap-like leaf. ‘Black Magic’ has leaves mottled
with dark zebra-like bands. C. sinuosus ‘Cascade’ produces pups on long
stolons, similar to a spider plant.
Uses and Display Tips
Display on a low windowsill or plant stand where plants can be viewed