Orthophytumis a genus of small evergreen plants usually with 2-5 ft tall and 3 ft wide. It is grown in USDA Zone 9-11 and never withstand frosty temperatures. It should be planted in a semi-shady spot and needs moderate watering. It is an excellent ornamental foliage for container gardens, due to its thorny or spiny foliage.
Although Orthophytum looks quite robust and drought tolerant, it needs adequate care to maintain an attractive and healthy plant. Remember to water it regularly, especially when the weather is hot, and provide some fertilizer in spring when temperatures are warmer and the growth period begins.
In cold regions or areas where frost is possible, Orthophytum should be grown in a pot so that it can be moved indoors or to a protected spot prior to temperatures drop below freezing. Make sure to use a well-draining potting mix and avoid subjecting the plant to strong winds and drafts. Also, avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as it can cause the foliage to discolor and fade.
All the species of this bromeliad genus are endemic to the Atlantic Forest biome, located in southeast Brazil. Orthophytum gurkenii thick leaves are chocolate-brown with broken silver-white zig-zag banding. Orthophytum navioides is a stemless bromeliad that spreads by runners to form clustered rosettes of narrowly of lance shaped, finally toothed, sparsely scaly, thin-leaved red foliage.