Vivid colors last for months

KATHLEEN N. BRENZEL,  – November 29, 2005

Even among all the pineapple’s flamboyant cousins, Guzmania is especially vibrant. Like all bromeliads, it gets its vivid color not from flowers but from bracts (leaves) that shoot up and hold their brilliance for months. To water, just pour purified water directly into the center “tank” (a cup where leaves come together) until it begins to overflow onto the soil around it, then let the plant dry between waterings. Plants are available at nurseries and supermarkets.

Guzmania thrives in bright indirect light. Orange pot from Sprout Home ($36; 312/226-5950).