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With a name like Heart of Flame, expect nothing less than spectacular from this tropical plant! Gardens will be exploding with vibrant color and tantalizing textures! Heart of Flame is a flowering plant native to forests and fields of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It is a terrestrial bromeliad. This large, tropical plant is cultivated for its attractive dark green pineapple-like leaves and its spectacular inflorescences. The inner leaves will turn a fiery red during the blooming period. Small, fragrant white and burgundy flowers will also appear in the center from late spring to early summer. The leaves have long, sharp thorns on the margins. The plants form large, mound-like colonies. It is used as an impenetrable border plant in the landscape and near houses. After it blooms, orange, edible fruits develop on the flowering stalk. The fruits are aromatic and edible and have a taste that is reminiscent of apricots, pineapple and loquats. They are eaten fresh and are used to make a refreshing fruit juice. The long leaves have tough fibers that are extracted to make thread.
Heart of Flame is an easy-to-grow, extremely hardy garden plant that doesn't require much care. It can even withstand extended droughts and frosts! This evergreen plant will grow to be about 2 feet in height, and can spread up to 5 feet across! It does best in cool, moist, partially shaded areas in soil with good drainage. They would be ideal as ground covers, borders, and accent plants. For the best visual effect, plant in masses. Heart of Flame can also be grown as an indoor plant. Hardy in zones 9-11.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. The seeds take 2-4 weeks to germinate.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.