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Cryptanthus Care & Propagation Guide

Written by Ivy

Nov 12 2021

Cryptanthus Care & Propagation Guide
Cryptanthus is in the family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideae and perennial evergreen herb. Cryptanthus is also a small species in the Bromeliaceae family, with a height of only 8 ~ 10 cm. The leaves are clustered and arranged in a rosette shape. The leaves extend laterally, with a diameter of about 20 cm. The leaves are hard, rolled back, with wavy edges, thorns, green, and silver white scales on the back. Cryptanthus has small white flowers, which are born in the center of the plant and extend out of the leaf surface when opening.

Cryptanthus Quick Info

Botanical/Scientific Name Cryptanthus
Common Name Earth Stars
Varieties Over 1,200 types of bromeliads within the Cryptanthus genus
Uses Most effective houseplants in air purification
Origin Brazil
Light Care Indirect light throughout the day
Soil Care Moist
Temperature Care Between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity Care Remains humid
Watering Summer frequently,winter sparingly
Pruning Care Remove yellow or dying leaves,
Fertilizer Care Balanced fertilizer
Propagation Cut the plant back to a height of a few inches
Toxic Non-toxic to both cats and dogs

Cryptanthus Care in Detail

Cryptanthus Care & Propagation Guide

Cryptanthus Watering

For this plant, you only need to water it properly. Pay attention to water control. Do not accumulate too much water in the soil, so as not to affect the normal growth of Cryptanthus. If the basin soil becomes dry, you can water it normally.
Cryptanthus has poor drought tolerance. When the soil is too dry, the leaves will curl and wither, and affect the growth and flowering of plants. Cryptanthus should also avoid waterlogging and waterlogging. When the basin soil is too wet, it is easy to cause plant root rot. We should master the principle of no drying, no watering and thorough watering. We should also keep the Cryptanthus basin soil moist but not dry and wet. During overwintering, water should be controlled and should not be watered too much, as long as the basin soil is slightly wet.
Read More:
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Cryptanthus Soil

Generally speaking, Cryptanthus can grow better in loose and breathable soil. In addition, you can leave a few small holes at the bottom of the changing basin of the Propagation Cryptanthus to help it breathe better. You can also mix the rotten soil containing rotten leaves, river sand and other sandy soil and Garden soil. You can also clean the leaves of Cryptanthus once every 2 years, cut off the excess old leaves and maintain the roots.
We should keep the plants breathable; Keep the soil slightly wet in winter; When the air is dry, pay attention to spraying water around to improve the air humidity.

Cryptanthus Light

Cryptanthus likes warmth, and the optimum temperature for growth is 22 ~ 30C. It is not cold resistant. Although it can endure a short time of 0C low temperature, the overwintering temperature should be above 5C. It is necessary to do a good job of cold prevention and warmth preservation in winter. Cryptanthus growth requires bright light. When the light is sufficient, the leaf color is bright and the color stripes on the leaf surface are gorgeous. Although it can grow in slightly dark places, it will lose luster and beautiful colors. Avoid direct sunlight during the growth of Cryptanthus. When the light is too strong, the leaves will become scorched yellow and lose their ornamental value. Shade from May to September, or you can place Cryptanthus in a place with sufficient scattered light. The rest of the time you should give Cryptanthus plenty of sunshine.

Cryptanthus Temperature

Cryptanthus likes to grow in a warmer environment. You can maintain the temperature in the house at about 30 ℃ and 12-20 ℃ in winter. Generally speaking, the loose and breathable soil Cryptanthus can grow better. You can change and loosen the soil properly every 2 years. You should also water appropriately. Remember not to apply more fertilizer. Apply Flower fertilizer appropriately and sprinkle an appropriate amount of water.

Cryptanthus Humidity

Cryptanthus likes humid environment. When the air is dry, Cryptanthus leaves will curl and wither yellow. During the growth of Cryptanthus, we should often spray water on the plant and around to improve the air relative humidity. It is best to keep the air relative humidity at 60% ~ 70%.
Cryptanthus requires the relative temperature of the air in the growth environment to be more than 65%. When the relative humidity of the air in the growth environment of Cryptanthus is too low (at this time, people's skin will feel dry and thirsty), for example, when placed in the indoor or air-conditioning environment where doors and windows are often closed, or on the cement balcony, the branches of Cryptanthus will fall soft and the leaves will bend down. Over time, the whole plant type of Cryptanthus will be damaged and lose its ornamental value, At the same time, Cryptanthus's growth will also be very weak. When the relative humidity of the air in its growing environment is too high (more than 85% for a long time. At this time, people will feel very humid or muggy), its leaves will temporarily stop transpiration and grow weak. Over time, it will lead to the occurrence of various diseases. Cryptanthus love the air relative humidity is 65%~ 75%. When the relative humidity of air is less than 60%, such as air-conditioned or ventilated indoor environment, you can adjust the leaf by spraying, or you can put a dish full of water under the flower plate.

Cryptanthus Fertilizer

You should remember not to apply more fertilizer to Cryptanthus, just apply flower fertilizer appropriately. It can be applied twice a month in combination with sprinkling clean water to prevent the growth of Cryptanthus from being affected by burns due to high concentration.
Due to the small plant and small growth of Cryptanthus, there are few requirements for fertilizer. Generally, thin liquid fertilizer can be applied 1 ~ 2 times a month in the growing season. Cryptanthus fertilizer should not be concentrated. It is better to dilute 1000 times of liquid fertilizer. It can be applied at the root or topdressing outside the root. When we apply fertilizer to Cryptanthus, we should pay attention to the combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to make the leaf color fresh. We can apply phosphorus and potassium fertilizer after autumn, which can improve the cold resistance. Fertilization should be stopped in winter.

Cryptanthus Pruning

Due to the short service life of the leaves of Cryptanthus jipineapple, the leaves will wither after 2 ~ 3 years, but new leaves can continue to grow on them. We should cut the withered old leaves in time to avoid affecting the viewing.

Cryptanthus Repotting

Cryptanthus culture soil can be prepared with peat soil, rotten leaf soil, bark, charcoal, volcanic stone and other materials. Because Cryptanthus is small and has shallow roots, small flowerpots with a diameter of 10 ~ 12cm can be selected for planting.

Cryptanthus Pest & Disease Control

Cryptanthus diseases and insect pests need to be controlled in time, usually such as medium leaf spot and gray mold. You can spray special pesticides, preferably diluted ones, to avoid burning Cryptanthus. You can apply them every half a month, about 3 times.
There are few diseases and pests. It is easy to Propagate scale insects and red spiders only in case of poor ventilation. Attention should be paid to prevention and control.
The insect pests of Cryptanthus are pink scale and scale insects. Mealybug is a small juice sucking insect with white sticky powder outside, which will harm crops, fruit trees, gardens, forests and pastures. Scale insects will absorb the juice of plants and cause the death of the whole plant in serious cases. Their secretions may also induce coal pollution disease, which is very harmful.

Cryptanthus Propagation

Cryptanthus Care & Propagation Guide

Cryptanthus Cutting Propagation

Cryptanthus cutting propagation can be carried out in rainy season. You can use a sharp knife to cut off the upper end of the plant for cutting, and take root about 2 weeks after cutting.
We can cut the leaf axis next to Cryptanthus mother plant from the base, retain the three leaflets at the tip, insert them into the sand bed, shade and maintain high humidity. At a temperature of about 30 ℃, Cryptanthus can take root in about 3 weeks and divide seedlings in 7 weeks.

Cryptanthus Division Propagation

Cryptanthus division propagation is carried out in spring in combination with basin turning. You can take the mother plants out of the pot, break the basal buds by hand or cut them off with a sharp knife, and then plant Cryptanthus directly in the pot. Cryptanthus germinated at 20 ~ 25C and germinated 10 ~ 12 days after sowing. Cryptanthus has to be artificially pollinated to bear fruit, and the seedlings grow slowly, so it needs to be cultivated for 3 ~ 4 years to blossom.
Before Cryptanthus cutting propagation, you can dip the incision with naphthylacetic acid, and then cut into the soil. The soil used for cutting is generally made of perlite, coarse sand, culture soil and other materials, which are evenly mixed in a reasonable proportion. In the process of curing, the soil humidity should be kept wet, and protective measures such as shading should be taken. Generally, new root tissues can grow in about two months. After the Cryptanthus root tissue is formed, it can enter the normal maintenance management. The volume of cuttings used for cutting should not be too small, otherwise it is difficult to take root and easy to rot. Too large volume will waste nutrients and reduce the survival rate.

Cryptanthus Propagation in Water

Cryptanthus is small in size and bright in color. It is a good product for desk furnishings. It usually adopts ramet propagation. It can use root budding for Cryptanthus propagation in water, or potted plants for root washing and hydroponic culture. First, we can cut or break off the lateral buds (root budding) from the mother plant. Secondly, flatten the base and peel off the leaves near the base and put them in a container to make them contact the water surface. Finally, put the container in shade and 20 ℃, and it can take root in 2-3 weeks. Then we can use root budding hydroponic culture to take root for a short time. The method of hydroponic culture after washing the roots of potted plants takes more than one month and less rooting. However, when using cryptotanthus propagation in water, we should pay attention to:
1. Hydroponics should be carried out after Cryptanthus blooms.
2. During hydroponic culture, the pH of nutrient solution is between ph4-5.
3. A series of principles of pollution-free and sterile (less bacteria) cultivation must be fully observed during hydroponic culture.

Cryptanthus Benefits

Cryptanthus has regular plant shape and gorgeous colors. It is suitable for ornamental decoration on desktop and windowsill. It is an excellent indoor foliage plant. Cryptanthus can also be used as a part of xerophytic bonsai and bottle plants. Cryptanthus can also be cultivated as hanging plants indoors, or planted on outdoor shelves and fake rocks. It is a good greening and beautifying material.
Cryptanthus needs more than three years to take root, germinate, grow, and bloom. In this process, Cryptanthus is focused and upward. Even where there is only an inch of land, it can survive by relying on its own characteristics. This spirit of pursuing perfection has always been with it, which is the flower language of Cryptanthus.

Cryptanthus Care FAQs

Is there green cryptanthus?

Why did green Cryptanthus turn green? The green Cryptanthus is due to insufficient light over time. This will not happen immediately, or it may happen when the light is low in winter. Placing it in brighter light (rather than direct sunlight) should restore its original color.

What does cryptanthus flower look like?

Cryptanthus flowers are usually aggregated, with sessile inflorescences and conical, rod-shaped or umbrella shaped flower heads. Because the growth rate of this plant is slow, it often takes 3-4 years to bloom if it is sown and propagated. However, cryptanthus flower is not only a flower watching plant, but also a leaf watching plant. The leaves have patterns and look very beautiful.