Flaming Sword Vriesea splendens

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
flaming sword


The plant known as the flaming sword boasts a striking appearance with its vibrant foliage and showy inflorescence. The leaves are glossy with a deep green color and feature lovely horizontal banding patterns in shades of lighter green or even white. Its texture is smooth and somewhat leathery, forming a rosette shape that elegantly gathers rain and dew down into the base of the plant. The most captivating feature of the flaming sword is its bright red or orange inflorescence that rises boldly from the center of the rosette. Resembling a blade, this colorful bract holds small flowers that can vary in color, often yellow or lavender, adding to the visual spectacle. After the plant blooms, the eye-catching bract remains colorful for quite some time before it slowly fades and the plant eventually directs its energy into producing offsets, also known as "pups". Overall, the flaming sword is a stunning decorative plant with its lush foliage and dramatic flowering bract, making it a popular choice for indoor plant enthusiasts and collectors of striking botanical specimens.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Flaming Sword, Painter's Palette, Scarlet Star

    • Common names

      Tillandsia splendens, Vriesea brachystachys, Vriesea erythrodactylon, Vriesea psittacina, Vriesea splendens var. major, Vriesea splendens var. minor.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Flaming Sword plant is not known to be toxic to humans. Therefore, ingesting parts of this plant is not expected to cause poisoning or adverse health effects.

    • To pets

      The Flaming Sword plant is also not considered to be toxic to pets. As such, ingestion of this plant should not lead to poisoning or serious health issues in animals like cats and dogs.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Vriesea splendens, commonly known as Flaming Sword, boasts striking foliage and a distinctive bright red or yellow flower spike, adding vibrant color and exotic flair to indoor and outdoor spaces.
    • Easy to Care: Flaming Swords are low-maintenance, requiring minimal watering and no soil, as they can absorb nutrients and water through their leaves.
    • Long-Lasting Blooms: The plant's flower spike lasts for an extended period compared to many other blooming plants, providing a long-term decorative feature.
    • Adaptable to Environments: It adapts well to a variety of indoor environments and can thrive in low light conditions often found in homes and offices.
    • Enhances Humidity: By releasing water vapor during transpiration, it helps to slightly increase the humidity in its immediate area, which can be beneficial in dry indoor climates.
    • Non-Toxic: The Flaming Sword is non-toxic, making it safe to keep around pets and children.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Vriesea splendens, commonly known as Flaming Sword, can be used as a unique educational tool to provide students with hands-on experience in botany and ecology, particularly in understanding the epiphytic life cycle.
    • It can serve as a natural art piece, inspiring artists and photographers with its vibrant colors and distinctive shape, especially when featured in botanical drawings or photographic compositions.
    • As a collector's item, Flaming Sword is sought after by plant enthusiasts who appreciate its rarity and cultivate it as part of specialized bromeliad collections.
    • Flaming Sword can be used in terrariums to create a miniature tropical ecosystem, where it adds vertical interest and color contrast to miniature landscapes.
    • It makes for an interesting conversation starter when used in interior design, particularly in modern and contemporary decor, because of its striking appearance.
    • In sustainable landscaping practices, Flaming Sword may be used as a plant that requires little soil, reducing the need for land modification and preserving natural soil composition.
    • It can be a component in vertical gardens or living walls, providing both aesthetic value and space-saving greenery in urban environments.
    • Flaming Sword's long-lasting bloom makes it an ideal choice for extended displays at events and exhibitions where other flowers may wilt.
    • The plant can be used for creating themed garden displays, especially suitable for tropical or jungle-themed gardens where its exotic look enhances the overall ambiance.
    • Used in the study of mutualistic relationships, as Flaming Sword often hosts a water reservoir that can house aquatic organisms, providing a microhabitat and demonstrating symbiotic interactions.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Flaming Sword plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Flaming Sword plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Exotic Beauty: Vriesea splendens, commonly known as Flaming Sword, boasts striking foliage and a distinct bright red or pink inflorescence resembling a blade, symbolizing exotic beauty and an eye-catching presence.
    • Uniqueness: Flaming Sword is unique in its appearance, therefore representing individuality and standing out in a crowd.
    • Warmth: The warm colors of the Flaming Sword plant symbolize hospitality, welcoming energy, and the essence of home warmth.
    • Balance: Its well-structured growth and form signify balance and order within the space it occupies.
    • Evergreen Structure: As an evergreen plant, Flaming Sword is often associated with enduring life and timeless nature.

Every two weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Flaming Sword should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This typically equates to watering approximately once a week, but this can vary depending on the humidity and temperature conditions of your home. When watering, aim to use about 8-10 ounces of water, ensuring you moisten the soil evenly without leaving the plant standing in water. During the growing season, it may require slightly more frequent watering. However, in the winter months, reduce watering to once every other week or when the soil is noticeably dry.

  • sunLight

    The Flaming Sword prefers bright, indirect light. A spot near an east or west-facing window is ideal, where it can get a few hours of gentle morning or late afternoon sun. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves. If the light is too low, the plant may become leggy and its vibrant color may fade.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Flaming Sword thrives in temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, keep the plant away from cold drafts and sudden temperature changes to maintain a consistent environment for optimal growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Flaming Sword is generally not necessary, but you can remove dead or yellowing leaves as needed to keep the plant looking tidy. After the flower spike fades, cut it off at the base to encourage new growth. The best time for pruning is typically after the flowering season when the plant is less active.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Flaming Sword plant thrives in well-draining, airy orchid potting mix with a slight acidity to neutral pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.0. A mixture of bark, perlite, and peat moss can provide the ideal conditions for root health.

  • plantRepotting

    The Flaming Sword should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when the potting mix begins to break down, as this can impede the drainage and aeration around the roots.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Flaming Sword prefers high humidity levels, ideally between 60% and 80%, for optimal growth and health.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Flaming Sword in bright, indirect light with high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Grow Flaming Sword in dappled shade, protect from cold.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-12 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Flaming Sword (Vriesea splendens) begins its life cycle when seeds are dispersed and germinate, typically in the canopy of trees as an epiphyte. The seedlings develop into juvenile plants with a rosette of leaves that collect water and debris for nutrition. As the plant matures, it produces a striking inflorescence, which gives it the common name Flaming Sword, featuring a bright red or yellow bract from which small flowers emerge. After flowering, which can take several years, the plant gradually enters a reproductive phase where it produces seeds and offsets, known as pups, at the base of the plant. The parent plant slowly dies after seeding and the pups then grow, establishing themselves as independent plants to continue the cycle. This process from germination to the death of the parent plant can take several years, depending on environmental conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Propogation: The Flaming Sword, scientifically known as Vriesea splendens, is best propagated during the spring or early summer when growth is most active. The most popular method of propagation for this bromeliad is through its offsets or "pups" that develop around the base of the mother plant. As the pups grow to about one-third of the size of the parent plant, usually a few inches in height, they are ready to be removed. To propagate, gently separate the pups from the mother plant using a clean, sharp knife, ensuring each pup has some roots attached. Plant the pups into small pots filled with well-draining soil mix and keep the humidity high and the soil lightly moist to encourage root development. Within a few months, the pups will establish their own root systems and can be treated as individual plants.