Flaming Sword Bromeliad (Vriesea spp.)

Are you looking to create a unique and eyecatching terrarium?

Look no further than the Flaming Sword Bromeliad!

With its bright, colorful foliage, this bold tropical air plant adds an impressive touch to any environment.

Not only does it make for a breathtaking display, but it is also incredibly easy to care for.

In this article, you‘ll learn the basics of caring for a Vriesea spp., from pruning and repotting to light and water requirements.

So if you‘re ready to add something special to your terrarium, read on for all the information you need to know about this fabulous tropical plant!

Quick Stats:
Scientific Name Vriesea spp.
Common Name Vriesea Bromeliad, Flaming Sword Bromeliad
Family Name Bromeliaceae
Habitat Tropical Rainforest, Savanna
Temperature 75°F to 85°F
Height 8 to 24 inches
pH 5.0 to 7.5
Lighting Moderate

What is a Flaming Sword Bromeliad?

Vriesea spp. is a bromeliad native to warm and tropical regions of the western hemisphere.

These plants can be found in a variety of climates ranging from tropical rainforests to dry savannas.

They typically grow in clusters along the bases of trees in their natural habitat.

This bromeliad is known for its long, brush-like petals that extend from its center in a bright array of colors.

It’s sometimes referred to as the “Flaming Sword Bromeliad ” due to its colorful petals resembling a flaming sword.

Flaming Sword Bromeliad "Vriesea spp" Plant Care Guide

Flaming Sword Bromeliad Facts

Vriesea spp. has a hard, waxy coating on the leaves to help keep it hydrated in a drier environment.

They have an active root system that utilizes roots to collect nutrients and water, but this plant also gets some of its nutrition through the interior of the plant, drawing in water and food through the open leaf bases.

This bromeliad also sports brightly colored petals in the center, each petal is unique to its species.


The Flaming Sword Bromeliad is a medium-sized bromeliad that can range from 8 to 24 inches tall.

The leaves are thick and usually green in color.

Variesea spp. has a bright center that is made up of petals.

The petals can be in various colors ranging from red, orange, and yellow to green, blue, and white.

The petals look like an array of paintbrush strokes. 


The Flaming Sword Bromeliad is native to hot and humid tropical regions of the Western hemisphere.

Specifically, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador are known for their populations of Vriesea spp.

In the wild, this bromeliad can be found growing in mass clusters in warm, humid climates of rainforests and savannas.

pH Preference

Vriesea spp. prefers a slightly acidic to a neutral environment.

An ideal pH range for this plant would be between 5.0 to 7.5 in your tank.

Taking time to maintain the pH of your tank and water will be key to the success of your Vriesea spp.

Vivarium Type

The Flaming Sword Bromeliad is quite an easy-going species.

With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when it comes to choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in.

It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this bromeliad with its basic needs.

The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant.

Be sure to choose setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

    • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.

    • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

Vriesea spp. is an epiphyte meaning it needs to be placed near the top of the tank, in a location where it can get plenty of airflows and natural light.

Placing your Flaming Sword Bromeliad at the base of hardscape or larger canopy plants will also help protect it from excessive direct sunlight.

Furthermore, it can also protect it from any potential overcrowding from taller plants like palm trees or ferns.


This bromeliad prefers a well-draining substrate in the vivarium.

While the substrate should be kept damp, it should also be firm and be able to release the excess water quickly.

You can use terrarium soil or gravel media for the substrate for this bromeliad.

Moss can also be used to help keep the roots of your Vriesea spp. moist and secure.


The lighting requirements of the Flaming Sword Bromeliad will depend heavily on where it is placed within the tank.

If you have your Vriesea spp. placed near the substrate, then you will not need high levels of lighting but rather a moderate level of brightness.

Stocking the vivarium with taller or large canopy plants can also help to block some of the light.

Terrarium lights should provide more of a cooler color presentation rather than bright and direct lights that would produce too much heat or UV.

Buy Flaming Sword

When it comes to buying a Flaming Sword Bromeliad, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Always make sure to buy from a reliable and honest establishment.

Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Flaming Sword Bromeliad Care and Propagation

Vriesea spp. will flower on its’ own in ideal conditions and can be propagated by division or cuttings.

Since these plants are epiphytes, foliage placement should achieve the triangle formation.

This will help improve air circulation around the plant and allow for maximum growth potential. 

How to Grow

You can propagate the Vriesea spp. by division or by cutting.

With division, you place two to four of the pre-developed plantlets into an individual cup filled with a supply of soil.

For cuttings, you will simply cut off a portion of the Vriesea spp.’s stem that holds at least one of the triangles from foliage clumps and place it into a cup with soil.

Proper water and lighting conditions should be established before, during, and after propagation. 


The Flaming Sword Bromeliad does not need to be watered every day but rather once a week or as needed for further growth and health.

This plant grows best in an environment that has a higher humidity with regular misting and moist, but not too much water.

In the wild, the flaming sword collects nutrients and moisture from the atmosphere and its soil. 

Plants Similar to Flaming Sword Bromeliad

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup.

Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find the Flaming Sword Bromeliad is hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant…

Here are other terrarium plants you might find will do well with or in the place of Vriesea spp.:

Tank Bromeliad "Neoregelia spp" Plant Care Guide
Queen's Tears "Billbergia spp." Plant Care Guide
Cryptanthus bivittatus "Earth Star Plant" | Bromeliad Care


In conclusion, I think Vriesea spp. is a great vivarium plant to have.

It prefers a warm humid environment and benefits greatly from regular misting and additional humidity.

Propagation can be done through division and cuttings.

Its unique foliage and bright petal display make it a plant that stands out among many.

With the right amount of care, the Vriesea spp. could be a showpiece in any vivarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

To care for a bromeliad flaming sword plant:

1. Place it in bright, indirect sunlight.
2. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
3. Water it only when the soil is dry.
4. Fertilize with liquid plant food every two months during the growing season. (BONUS)
5. Prune away dead foliage as needed.
6. Repot it every two to three years to give it more space, using a potting mix specifically designed for bromeliads.

Once a week, although in warm and dry weather, more frequent watering may be necessary. In cold weather, less frequent watering may be necessary.

There are several potential causes for a dying flaming sword plant, including over or underwatering, too little or too much light, and pest infestations. Improper fertilization, temperature fluctuations, and poor drainage can also cause the plant to die.

Most bromeliads prefer bright, indirect sunlight or some light shade. They can burn if exposed to too much direct sunlight, so direct afternoon sun should be avoided when possible.

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