Bromeliad Cryptanthus Bivittatus AKA. Earth Star Plant / Starfish Plant / Red Star Bromeliad

Varying in colour, but always an attractive flat rosette of lush tropical foliage, the Earth Star is the perfect houseplant for beginners. They are relatively easy to care for and make lovely additions to terrariums as well to open planters. Available in pale green, deep green and red/purple varieties, the star of the show for this plant are the wavy and distinctively marked leaves which extend outwards in a wonderful star shape. 

pink earth star plant

Where Does It Come From?

The Earth Star (cryptanthus) is part of the enormous tropical bromeliad family and this particular type is native to the steamy forests of Brazil. Unlike many tropical South American bromeliads, that grow halfway up other jungle trees, this particular species of plant grow in soil on the forest floor in the little open patches where sunlight permeates the forest canopy. 

Why Should I Get One?

  • As they grow outwards rather than upwards generally, the Earth Star is perfect for creating ground cover in a large planter or a terrarium.
  • Offering its owners incredibly vibrant colours to choose from and being relatively easy to keep alive, this adaptable little bromeliad is also incredibly versatile.

How Big Can It Grow? 

Allowed to grow unrestricted in ideal indoor conditions in the UK, the Earth Star can still grow quite large. Whilst never growing very tall, if you manage to replicate the plant’s natural conditions well, you can expect an Earth Star to grow to around 2-feet across. Planting the Earth Star in a restricted terrarium will automatically stunt its growth and allow you to enjoy a pretty little miniature version of the plant. 

Where Should I Keep It? 

Comfortable at average UK room temperature, bright indirect sunlight near a window is best for this plant. You should avoid south-facing windows just in case the sustained direct sunlight gets a little too much and scorches the leaves. Being a tropical species, the plant appreciates warmth and humidity – if you have a greenhouse or conservatory, these environments would likely get the best out of your plants. If growing the Earth Star in a terrarium, the enclosed glass space helps to create the ideal humid conditions for this species to thrive. 

How Often Should I Water It? 

In its natural habitat, the Earth Star experiences extreme heat in-between serious bouts of torrential rainfall. Naturally as a child of the rainforest the Earth Star loves moisture and a fairly frequent watering schedule helps to keep the plant healthy. To help with recreating the jungle’s humidity, many choose to treat the plants to a daily misting if growing in a planter. During the winter, when temperatures fall in the UK and the plants enter a semi-dormant growth phase, you can afford to water it more sparingly. 

Top Tip: Never pour the water directly into the centre of the rosette as this can lead to moisture getting trapped in amongst the leaves – creating the perfect conditions for unhealthy mildews and fungal growths. 

Bringing a splash of the Brazilian rainforest to your living room, these spicy little bromeliads are a wonderful way to jazz up your living space and bring a hint of colour to your DIY terrariums. Visit our shop to get your hands on one! 


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