You can plant a star on your windowsill or living room, quite literally. Follow this guide on How to Grow Earth Star Plant!
It won’t twinkle like one, but it definitely looks like a star. The Earth Star Plant is a typical, colorful houseplant that’s easy to grow, especially if you are a new plant parent.
Earth Star Plant Information
The Earth Star plant is a sub-tropical perennial broadleaf evergreen plant with showy leaves originating from Brazil. This herbaceous plant can grow up to 6 inches – 1 foot and spread about 1.5 feet wide. The enduring leaves make it a gorgeous houseplant that blooms pink or white flowers before fading off.
The leaves come in various patterns flaunting vivid brown, copper, pink, red, or burgundy shades. If you are looking for a low-maintenance specimen to liven up your boring work desk, this is the plant to grow!
Botanical Name: Cryptanthus bivittatus
USDA Zones: 8 – 12
Ideal Pot Size
You can grow this gorgeous rosette of colorful foliage in a 6-8 inches pot. Its compact growth habit makes it a flexible choice for terrariums or dish gardens as well. You can also hang it in a moss ball planter or simply flaunt its lovely foliage on the center table for a vivid display!
Propagating Earth Star Plant
Stem-cutting propagation is the easiest method for growing Cryptanthus bivittatus indoors. After the plant has flowered once, it begins to die and shoots out its offsets – pups. When the pups grow to a well-enough size, separate them from the mother plant and put them in another pot with a well-draining coarse soil mix. Water immediately and keep it in indirect sunlight.
Requirements for Growing Earth Star Plant
All plants of this species grow best in bright indirect light. Keep it in a spot that receives dappled sunlight for 2-6 hours. Sufficient light helps in developing the colors of the leaves. However, direct light for a prolonged duration is a sure shot way to bleach its vibrant foliage.
Soil requirements vary for the different plants of the genus, but generally, well-drained soil with high organic content works great. A choice can be made between loamy or sandy soil. Besides being well-drained, it must be moist and occasionally wet with an acidic pH of less than 6.0. A coarse yet water-retaining blend of peat moss, sand, and garden soil would work perfectly fine for the Earth Star Plant.
Since this plant grows in a tropical or sub-tropical environment, it is somewhat resistant to drought. However, the Cryptanthus bivittatus loves a moderately damp medium. Water it well during hot months and restrain it during cold months for the best growth. During summers, keep an eye on the stop soil and do not let it dry out completely.
Almost all the varying varieties of plants form a cup at the top. Water it from the roots instead of the top so that the cups don’t accumulate standing water which might rot the plant or attract pests.
Temperature and Humidity
Ideally, Cryptanthus bivittatus thrive in a temperature range of 60 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit/15 – 30 degrees Celsius. They also tolerate warm temperatures like 100 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius.
If grown in slightly warmer temperatures, the room-level humidity will be sufficient. If grown in hot temperatures, additional humidity will be appreciated by room humidifiers or manual misting. They grow best in a relative humidity of 60%.
Earth Star Plant Care
Fertilize the plant when it is in the growing stage with a balanced and diluted water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 would work best apart from mixes of perlite, cocopeat, vermiculite, clay aggregate, and cow dung manure. Restrain from fertilizing during colder months.
Alternatively, using a slow-release fertilizer will help the houseplant thrive well.
Pests and Diseases
These plants are usually not attacked by insects or diseases but might suffer from rust, powdery mildew, mealybugs, or scales. Spray the foliage with insecticidal or organic neem oil solution to bar these nasty pests.
Overwatering may also lead to diseases and will rot the roots and leaves.