Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor Plant Care - Blushing Bromeliad

Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor: Plant Care & Growing Guide

One of the most well-known and often planted bromeliads is Neoregelia carolinae tricolor, commonly known as the Blushing bromeliad. This plant is typically grown in the UK as a houseplant. Even though it is an epiphyte, it can be grown in a pot. Blushing bromeliad has lovely leaves, and it is simple to grow new plants from the offshoots; however, it will take two to three years before they begin to “blush.”

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    Family Bromeliaceae
    Origin Central and South America
    Names Blushing bromeliad, Neoregelia carolinae and Cartwheel plant
    Max Growth 25 in (62.5 cm) wide and 12 in(30 cm) tall
    Toxicity Nontoxic for cats, dogs
    USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11

    Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor plant

    Source: HQ

    About Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor

    The Blushing Bromeliad, also known as Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor, gets its name from the phenomenon in which center leaves of the plant turn brilliant scarlet as it starts to flower.

    The flower itself is not particularly showy and remains tucked away in the crown. The colored vase, however, continues for a few months before the parent plant dies back and is replaced by three or more new offsets. Full-sized blushing bromeliads, commonly referred to as “neos,” grow into broad, flat-topped plants that are 25 in (62.5 cm) wide and 12 in (30 cm) tall.

    To grow well, they need to feel that they are in a forest. As a result, you should keep these plants in a humid place and exposed to sunlight. That is why this bromeliad is not suitable for everyone, but it is a wonderful option if you have a sunny room. 

    Blushing bromeliad plants

    Source: Forest and Kim Starr

    Blushing Bromeliads Flower

    The flowering stage of a Neoregelia Bromeliad may take 3-5 years, But the display time may last up to 6 months  [1].

    Neoregelia bromeliads have a rosette of leaves that begin to die after flowering and are replaced by offsets (pups) at the plant’s base that can be used to grow new plants.

    Blushing Bromeliads Varieties

    Neoregelia carolinae tricolor is the most popular variety that blushes at the center just before flowering. The leaves of this plant develop pink color with maturity [1].

    Neoregelia spectabilis (Fingernail Plant) is another Neoregelia Bromeliad that reddens at the tips of the leaves during flowering.

    Another common variety of Blushing Bromeliads is Neoregelia carolinae marechalii which exhibits stunning hues ranging from rosy red to vermilion to reddish purple and diminishing toward the tips at the blooming stage.

    Neoregelia spectabilis (Fingernail Plant)

    Neoregelia spectabilis (Fingernail Plant) – source: homeplantsguide

    Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor care

    Neoregelia carolinae Tricolor not only looks fantastic, but it also takes care of itself without much assistance from you! It will thrive indoors if you give the blushing bromeliad enough light and the proper temperature [2,3 ,4].


    This plant needs a half day of direct sun year-round. It can also be grown outdoors in a sunny yet humid place in summer.

    You can also use a grow light for this plant. To ensure the plant has light from all sides for consistent growth, turn the pot frequently.


    The temperature should not be below 50°F/10°C. The room temperatures ranging from average to warm (65-80°F/18-27°C) are suitable for this plant.


    Feed your plants once a month with a high-phosphorous (low-nitrogen) fertilizer that has been diluted by half. Feed the reservoir, roots, and leaves.


    Blushing bromeliads, like other bromeliads, collect water in their central “vases” or “urns” in their natural habitat. They do not grow deep roots, and the water they have stored in their urns takes care of their watering needs.

    You need to keep their vase filled with water. Every 10 days, empty and replenish the “vase” to avoid the growth of bacteria that could make the water stinky. Only use chlorine-free water as Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolors are delicate to chlorine and other chemicals that might be dissolved in water.

    In addition to watering from a central vase, it is better to keep the roots moist. This kind of bromeliad thrives in environments with high humidity levels of over 50%. 

    Blushing bromeliad flower

    Source: Forest and Kim


    It is best to use a loose soil mixture that drains properly. One such mixture is 1 part peat, 1 part bark, and 1 part coarse sand or perlite. African violet soil is also a good choice for this plant.


    These plants have a 3 to 4 years lifetime.

    Display tips 

    Neoregelia carolinae Tricolor demands a lot of space due to its broad, spreading shape.

    Common Pests

    blushing bromeliads prefer the same conditions as other bromeliads. Aphids, thrips, and scales might cause problems for your bromeliad. So, as soon as you spot any pests on your Blushing Bromeliad, use a typical insecticide to get rid of them. Consult a pest control expert if that does not work. 

    Neoregelia Carolinae in garden

    Source: Kim starr

    Propagating Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor

    The primary method of propagating blushing bromeliads is to take offsets from the side of the plant. Search for little pieces of the plant growing apart from the main stem since bromeliads frequently send out offsets around the plant base. 

    Usually, the mother plant will start to wilt and die after blooming, giving the puppies a chance to take their place. You can either remove a large enough offset to start a new plant early or let nature take its course.

    Waiting for the offset to increase in size is the challenging part of propagating Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor. It must either be a third the size of the mother plant or already be producing thin, wiry roots.

    Twist and pull the offsets away, plant the them in a new pot, and add a plastic bag to it to add humidity. In a few weeks, the plant should begin rooting in the soil.

    Using seeds for propagation is another option. However, this method could take a while to finish. It is typically much simpler and more effective to utilize offsets.

    Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor flower

    Source: Linda De Volder

    Repotting Blushing Bromeliad

    You should use a pot with drainage holes for potting. Since terracotta pots have the best drainage, they typically work the best. Use a bromeliad-specific soil blend, or create your own by mixing potting soil with perlite or sand. In either case, the soil mix must be well-draining in order to prevent the early onset of root rot, which will kill your plant before it has a chance to develop.

    Repotting is typically necessary for Neoregelia Carolinae Tricolor every year. Once the pot is 5 inches in diameter, you can stop worrying about repotting it. The roots of this plant can only spread as far as this throughout their lifespan. After repotting, give your plant enough water, and keep it near a bright light source until it becomes reestablished.

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