Bromeliads forum→Spreading brown tips: Vriesea Hieroglyphica

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Jan 24, 2021 6:38 PM CST
Hi all,

Looking for advice regarding spreading brown tips on my bromeliad - a beautiful variagated Vriesea Hieroglyphica.

The plant has been happy and healthy indoors for 3-4 months since purchasing from a garden centre in Sydney, Australia. It receives good indirect/shaded sunlight across the day from a north-facing window. We keep the central well topped up with clean water, which we drain and replace about once a month. The plant sits in a regular draining plastic pot, which then sits on top of 3-4 cms of large pebbles inside a ceramic "outer" pot. We have not fertilised or repotted the plant at all.

Recently (we think after some hot and dry weather here in Syd) several of the leaf tips began to turn brown and "die off". The brown has been slowly spreading down the leaf toward the centre of the plant, with these leaves looking like they're basically dying off. In some of the photos you can see we have marked the location of the "rot" to monitor its progress down the leaf. The plant otherwise looks very healthy, with the rest of the leaves bright, shiny and colourful, with new bract growth in the central well, and with no pup growth yet.

We assumed underwatering (because the brown started at the tips, not at the centre, and because the leaf tips are dry and crispy rather than mushy). We have given the pot a good soaking, allowing it to dry thoroughly first.

If the leaves can't be saved and it keeps spreading, what should we do? Should we cut off the dying leaves at the centre with a sterilised blade to stop it from spreading to the centre of the plant?

Any advice very much appreciated! Thank You!

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Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
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Jan 25, 2021 6:14 PM CST
Welcome! @alexeij
I would not be overly concerned at this point. (My experience comes with growing them only in outside conditions.)
Remember it is a epiphytic in its natural environment taking in water and nutrients through the central tank. The roots role in its natural environment is to merely anchor the plant.
Lean towards the dry side when growing in soil mixture conditions while keeping the water in the central cup. Misting the leaves thoroughly in dry air conditions will also be beneficial to its overall health.
Here are a couple of examples of the look of natural die off on lower leaves on my Vreisea for comparison.
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This Vreisea is growing in pot on the Lani and I just cut the lower leaves off as they pass their prime
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I feed my Vreisea's by misting twice monthly with a liquid acidic fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength and flush the central tank weekly with fresh water.
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
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Jan 31, 2021 7:41 AM CST
@alexeij Welcome to

First I'll say your Vriesea doesn't seem to be V. hieroglyphica, which has thicker leaves with dark horizontal banding patterns, just thought I'd mention that.
I just wanted to add to the good advise Scott has given, use distilled or rain water for watering and misting.

If the brown is moving quickly up the leaves it could be root rot, normal dying leaves is a much slower process, and usually have a yellow halo like Scott's photos. I've lost these thin leaved Vrieseas to root rot and the brown moved fast, and by the time I took action the plants died on me. You say the leaves aren't mushy and the inside leaves are healthy, so that's good. Hopefully the plant was just too dry, and you won't see further browning to the core.

If the watering doesn't help and you see the browning moving faster, I'd remove the plant from the potting soil, wash it really good, let it dry out for a few days, remove the brown leaves, you can even use a fungicide on the roots. Replant in clean pot and new well draining potting soil.

Maybe Scott can chime in here, since I lost these types of Vrieseas and he's had better luck.

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