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NEOREGELIA 'Fireball'

Image of Neoregelia 'Fireball'

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Bromeliaceae

Botanical Name

NEOREGELIA 'Fireball'

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Neoregelia

General Description

Rapid growth, lots of plantlets and deep burgundy-red leaves are the main features of the hybrid bromeliad, 'Fireball'. It's among the most reliable bromeliads for full sun tropical gardens. This semi-epiphytic perennial has unknown genetic origins, and was sent from Brazil to American bromeliad enthusiasts in 1960. It thrives in areas that are moist, humid and warm. New plantlets arise on stolons from the central "mother" plant and replace it as the central plant slowly dies after blooming. A stemmed matrix of plants arises, almost like a net.

The small rosette of this bromeliad comprises a radial bouquet of concave, sword-like leaves without spines. In the center of the rosette is a water-holding cup. In spring or early summer, mature specimens form pincushion-like flower structures in the center that are partially submerged with water in the rosette cup. Tiny white to lavender blossoms reach just above the water line.

Grow 'Fireball' in a sandy or gritty soil supplemented with sphagnum moss. It can also be mounted onto a tree branch or grown in a container filled with bark nuggets or coarse compost. Keep leaf bases filled with water, especially if plants are exposed to direct sun rays. Specimens look best placed in full sun beneath tall trees with high humidity. Summer heat and direct sun rays intensify the red pigmentation of the leaves. Shade causes leaves to remain a mundane green. Avoid exposure to freezing temperatures. It makes a nice low edging or accent in the tropical border or sprawling mass in a hanging basket or urn. It can even be massed as a groundcover.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Width

    5"-8" / 12.7cm - 20.3cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Red, Dark Red

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No