Pitcairnia angustifolia is a deciduous perennial shrub that can grow up to 5 ft in height.
This small shrub prefers a sunny or semi-shaded position and prefers a medium to regular watering. It is hardy only to USDA zone 9-11 and may need to be protected from frost during cold winters. It is well adapted to a pot culture and may be treated as an annual in colder regions.
The plant's brilliant red, crimson or vinous colored flowers appear in late spring, occasionally year-round. The leaves are blue-green, broad and elliptic with a soft, velvety texture. Their long petioles are lined up along each other in a densely packed, flattened rosette that looks like a large hoof when not in bloom.
In warmer areas, Pitcairnia angustifolia prefers to be planted in a sunny spot, it will still tolerate some light shade. It typically needs to be watered frequently during its active growth; a soil-less medium with good drainage is recommended as it is sensitive to excess moisture. Feed the plant with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer at ¼ strength occurring every two weeks.
For those trying to cultivate this plant in colder regions, such as North America, you will want to grow it in a container indoors. This ensures the best temperature conditions for survival. Keep the pot in a sunny spot and water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Utilize a soil-less medium with good drainage, as this plant is sensitive to over watering. Further, maintain humidity levels by regular misting or keeping the plant in a terrarium.
Pitcairnia angustifolia is a great ornamental addition to a garden or bright window sill for those looking for something exceptional in flower color. Providing ample sun, well-drained soil, regular water and maintenance of humidity conditions, Pitcairnia angustifolia will continually bring a flowering sensation to your home.