How to Grow Vriesea Christiane

by Jennifer Loucks

You can grow vriesea Christiane (Vriesea "Christiane"), a bromeliad plant, as a houseplant, or in your garden outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. This tropical plant has stiff, upright leaves and prefers to grow in a container instead of on a piece of wood like other plants in this family. Placing the vriesea Christiane in an environment similar to its native tropical region keeps it healthy so it will produce the attractive red flower stalks that make it so desirable.

1 Inspect the plant for the presence of pups, or plant offshoots, to transplant. Pups grow near the base of the flower stalk or main stem.

2 Cut off pups that you want to transplant with a clean, sharp knife once they are about one-half the size of the mother plant. Replant the pups in a pot filled with a well-draining bromeliad potting soil you can buy at a garden store. You can also make a bromeliad potting soil by mixing 2 parts cactus potting soil, 1 part organic mulch and 1 part peat moss if you wish.

3 Set the transplanted vriesea Christiane container in a deep tray. Pour distilled water over the soil to moisten. Water will run through and collect in the tray. Let the container sit in the tray of water for 10 minutes to let the roots soak in the water. This is the same watering method to use for a mature plant. Water a vriesea Christiane only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.

4 Set the vriesea Christiane in a sunny area with good air flow. The colors of the foliage and flower stem will fade when there is not enough sunlight. Vriesea Christiane grow best at temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring outdoor plants inside if the temperature drops below 55 degrees.

5 Mist the foliage each morning with distilled water to provide humidity for plant health and prevent the leaves from drying. Set the container on a tray filled with pebbles and water if the leaves still dry out with daily misting. Make sure the container is on top of pebbles and not in standing water, to prevent root rot.

6 Dilute a liquid houseplant fertilizer to half strength. Mist the vriesea Christiane foliage and soil once a month with the fertilizer to feed the plant.

7 Clip or pinch off dried leaves as they dry out and discard them. Dried leaves close to the soil surface can rot and damage the plant.

8 Transplant a mature vriesea Christiane into a container that is about 1 inch larger in diameter than the old container when the roots begin to grow through the bottom drainage holes. Remove the plant from the container and lightly shake the roots to remove the potting soil. Replant using a bromeliad potting soil and setting the plant at the same depth as it was previously growing.

Items you will need

  • Deep tray
  • Distilled water
  • Water mister
  • Pebbles
  • Tray
  • Pruning clipper
  • Sharp knife
  • Bromeliad potting mixture
  • Potting container with bottom drainage holes

Tips

  • Use distilled water instead of tap water on a vriesea Christiane to prevent the buildup of minerals or salt that might decrease plant health.
  • Removing most of the old potting soil at the time of transplanting improves the water draining properties of the soil, removes salt and mineral buildup and brings the pH back to a neutral level.