Neoregelia 'Fireball' (Neo)

Neo / Hybrid Neo / Skotak Neo

Neoregelia 'Fireball'

Neoregelia are a genus of strikingly coloured epiphytic Bromeliads, and the ‘Fireball’ cultivar is every bit as bold as it sounds. In the wild, you’d typically find these bright red rosettes growing on trees and rocks in South America, but their compact size makes them an ideal fit for terrariums. The Neoregelia family has a huge variety of cultivars and hybrids (enough to match anyone’s particular tastes) but if red is your colour, then the ‘Fireball’ is for you!

At a Glance

  • Epiphyte
  • Bright, indirect light
  • 60-72°F (15-22°C)
  • Regular, even moisture
  • 4-6 inches
  • High humidity (60-90%)

Where to Buy Neoregelia 'Fireball'

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Terrarium Plant Guide

Neoregelia 'Fireball' Care & Growth

Lighting

Neoregelia would typically be found under a tree canopy, so they’re typically not great under direct sunlight. However, ‘Fireball’ is probably one of the cultivars that can handle the most sun. Plus, the intensity of their colour is dependent on the amount of light they receive, so the brightest, indirect light possible would be best.

Watering

As a tropical plant, Neoregelia ‘Fireball’ does like a moist environment, but it actually doesn’t like to have water on the leaves. It’s a good practice to flush out the central “cup” with clean water once a week, so use that as your sole watering opportunity and allow to dry between watering instances.

Substrate

Though they typically grow epiphytically, Neoregelia ‘Fireball’ can be grown in substrate as long as it has excellent drainage and aeration. Seeing as Neoregelia tend to absorb water and nutrients primarily through their “cup” rather than their roots, they don’t need nutrient rich soil either. A more sandy, gritty or bark based substrate supplemented with sphagnum moss is a common choice.

Temperature & Humidity

Neoregelia thrive in hot and humid terrarium conditions. They can be quite sensitive to both, so it’s important to keep both temperature and humidity at a constant level to keep the plants happy.

Growth

Neoregelia ‘Fireball’ is a relatively slow grower, and they won’t get any bigger than 6 inches wide or tall in a terrarium. They can bloom with a purple flower under the right conditions but they typically don’t last long.

Propagation

Neoregelia ‘Fireball’ propagation isn’t like most other plants. Young plants known as “pup” grow from the mother plant, and will naturally root and grow themselves without intervention. Once they’ve matured and formed their own roots, they’re safe to separate (usually when they’re about 2/3 the full size).

Varieties & Similar Plants

Neoregelia are prized for their huge amount of variations and colour. There’s a seemingly endless amount of new cultivars popping up, and they’re often used as an example of how to effectively hybridise plants. The ‘Fireball’ cultivar has several hybridisations of its own, including the ‘Superball’ and the ‘Sunball’.

Common Problems

Having constant water on the leaves is the biggest risk to Neoregelia as they’re prone to rot if they can’t dry off between watering instances. Like other Bromeliads, a bit of air circulation can go a long way. If they’re in a closed terrarium, regular ventilation can help to keep them happy, or just take care to let them dry as much as possible between watering.