These plants grow anywhere from three inches to three feet tall and have foliage in red, pink, yellow, orange, bronze, silver, and green. The leaves can be serrated or smooth and may have banding, stripes, zig-zag patterns, or patches of differing colors.
Most of the plants in this species are exposed to dappled sunlight in their native environment, and you should seek to recreate that in your home.
Choose a container that is about as wide as the foliage. As terrestrial plants, Cryptanthus bromeliads grow more extensive root systems than epiphyte types, so they need a larger container. The pot can be half as deep as it is wide since the roots tend to be wide and shallow.
Plants in this genus need loose, loamy, water-retentive, well-draining potting soil. Look for potting soil that contains a combination of sand, moss, perlite, vermiculite, and loam.
There are dozens of species and hundreds of hybrids within the Cryptanthus genus. The popular bivattatus species has bi-colored striped leaves. Less popular but equally as decorative is the marginatus species, with light or dark leaf margins. Zonatus plants have small bands of silver on dark green leaves.
They must be watered at the soil level while taking care not to overwater. Only add water when the top two inches of soil have dried out.