• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Neoregelia spectabilis

painted fingernail

painted fingernail

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names painted fingernail
    fingernail plant

  • Family Bromeliaceae

  • Genus Neoregelia are evergreen, rosette-forming perennials with strap-shaped leaves, the inner ones often brightly coloured; small tubular flowers are borne in dense clusters with showy bracts, in the centre of the rosette in summer

  • Details N. spectabilis forms an evergreen rosette of leathery strap-shaped dull green leaves to 45cm in length, each tipped with red; inner leaves red. Blue flowers grow from purple-banded green bracts, in the centre of the rosette

  • Plant range Brazil


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Tufted

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Loam


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam

  • pHNeutral


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Under glass grow in epiphytic or terrestrial bromeliad compost in bright filtered light. Water freely with soft water when in growth and keep just moist in winter. Apply a low-nitrogen liquid fertiliser monthly when in growth. May be grown outdoors in gritty, leafy soil in an open site with partial shade or grow epiphytically in a tree

Propagation Propagate by seed sown at 27 °C as soon as ripe, or separate offsets in spring or summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning Sever spent rosettes at the bases

Pests Scale insects may be a problem

Diseases Generally disease free

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