Orange Star

longstockingApril 2, 2011

Without doing proper research I ran in to Lowe's for supplies to start a garden. I also grabbed a few houseplants because I've been wanting some for years.

One of the plants that grabbed my attention was an Orange Star. Tall stalks with bright orange flowers.

I can't find much about this plant. I think it comes from a family of plants that are all poisonous. I'm debating if this is going to work in my home where I have toddlers who might nibble.

While I decide can anyone shed some light on how to care for this pretty plant?

If it is poisonous is it even safe to have in a home. I mean, safe for the air, etc?

I really wanted a pretty flowering plant. Maybe you have a better suggestion that's not toxic?

If all parts of

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Orange star is a guzmania species of bromeliad. Personally, I don't mess with bromeliads, because they need high humidity, which isn't practical in most homes. They'll do good until heating season in winter, when things get really dry. The humidity in my house gets into the 25-30% range in winter, which is rough on plants, and it can get rough in summer when my A/C is on. But, some people I'm sure love them, and do well with them, so we'll wait for them to chime in.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Orange Star usually refers to a bromeliad but the way this was described makes me think it was actually an Ornithogalum dubium which are apparently, as the OP surmised, pretty poisonous.

Bromeliad generally aren't toxic, as far a I know, although some of them can have sharp edges and also contain Bromelaise, which is... used as a meat tenderize and not something you want to be coming in contact with a lot although I don't think it'll really hurt you.

"Personally, I don't mess with bromeliads, because they need high humidity"

While I have a really hard time with Guzmanias as well, the succulent and terrestrial bromeliads, as far as I know, don't really need high humidity to do well. I'm under the impression they'll need more supplemental watering but would otherwise be okay. Pineapples in particular seem to be pretty tolerant of drought and low humidity although you wouldn't want one around a toddler because they are incredibly sharp and also prone to having serrated edges (which, thanks to the bromelaise, feel really odd if you scratch yourself with them a lot).

I also have a pair of tillies that are putting up with the 25-30% RH in my apartment although I thought they were on the higher end of needing humidity, so that's probably atypical.

I think the other big problem with bromeliads is that they tend to die after flowering, and most of the ones you see in stores are A) Flowering. B) Devoid of offsets.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 5:18PM
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MojaveLove(5 - IL)

amccour I have a tilly at my desk that has been growing like a weed since I got it a few weeks ago. It is about a foot or so under a fluorescent light and I'm assuming the humidity is the same as in a house. It is a hybrid though which may make it "tougher".

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:07PM
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