Another group of bromeliads well worth considering for the greenhouse is Cryptanthus. A genus of dwarf plants which will prosper even in adverse conditions given an orchid-type compost based on peat. To give of their best, though, they need warm, moist conditions. The rosettes of often wavy leaves, have a starfish-like appearance and attractive colouring.
A popular way to grow these plants is on pieces of bark. Moss is wrapped around the root ball and the whole plant firmly secured to the bark with wire. The water requirements of the plants are then met by watering the moss as necessary. Also, they can be used for bottle gardens and for decorating the front of the greenhouse staging. The most showy cryptanthus is C. fosterianus for it has red and grey variegations. C. tricolor is also handsome with cream and green striped leaves and an overall pinkish tinge which is particularly marked in the centre. Theof cryptanthuses are of no importance.
Cryptanthuses are increased by rooted offsets which are detached in March.