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For a Favorite Bromeliad Try ‘Red Chestnut’ Vriesea


Gorgeous foliage makes 'Red Chestnut' vriesea a favorite bromeliad. As it ages, the red coloration will increase to cover the leaves.

Virtues: Vriesea ‘Red Chestnut’ is a favorite bromeliad for its ease-of-care, tolerance of low light levels and beautiful, striped leaves that take on a red cast as they mature.

Common name: ‘Red Chestnut’ vriesea

Botanical name:Vriesea fosteriana ’Red Chestnut’

Foliage: Glossy green leaves have creamy white stripes. As the plant ages, a rusty red cast covers the foliage. The leaves create a reservoir, or “tank,” that collects water. The plant draws nutrients and moisture from the tank, not through its roots, which are used instead for stability.

Habit: This favorite bromeliad can grow to one foot around, but it grows slowly. It is likely to remain smaller when it is grown as a houseplant.

Season: Year-round, for foliage.

Exposure: Outdoors, provide ‘Red Chestnut’ vriesea with filtered light or partial shade. Indoors, this bromeliad should get no direct sun. Place it near an eastern or western window.

How to grow ‘Red Chestnut’ vriesea: Plant this favorite bromeliad in the garden where it will receive filtered light all day, or shade for part of the day (preferably afternoon). If ‘Red Chestnut’ is grown as a houseplant, give it bright light but no direct sun. A spot near an east- or west-facing window works well. Pot this vriesea in a quick-draining potting mix labeled for orchids or bromeliads. The leaves make a reservoir for holding water; keep this filled, but do not allow the potting mix to remain wet. Flush the reservoir with fresh water weekly to prevent stagnation, odor and mosquitoes. Vriesea ‘Red Chestnut’ also grows well in a closed terrarium, where it can remain for several years thanks to its slow rate of growth.

More houseplants for low light

Image: public domain