The Mikado plant comes from the family Eriocaulaceae. An unusual looking plant, the Mikado is bred and sold by the Corn growing company, and is distributed by the Dutch companies Bak Bromeliaceae B.V. and Anthura. Mikado comes originally from swamps and requires special care to ensure proper growth.
The Mikado grows in a confined space, producing a green rosette that shoots out long, spiky leaves. Central stems rise up form the rosette, growing small, golden flower buds at the ends. When mature, the buds open to reveal small pinhead flowers.
Acclimate the Mikado to a new environment when you unpack before transplanting it to a pot. Place it in a shaded area, with a regulated temperature before moving it to an area with direct sunlight. A consistent heat in the growing area prevents a shock to the Mikado plant's system as it adjusts from the greenhouse environment to its new growing habitat. Transplant the Mikado, along with its dirt plug, in an upright position in the center of a pot that is 4 to 5 inches in diameterr. The plant has a small diameter, so little potting material is needed for planting success. The roots require a good soil covering with the rosette free of soil. Planting too deep makes the Mikado more susceptible to disease.
The Mikado is a tropical plant and requires warm temperatures. According to Anthura, one of two world-wide distributors of the Mikado plant (the other is Corn. Bak Bromeliaceae B.V.), the plant requires a growing area that is no colder than 52 degrees F and no warmer than 86 degrees F. An average temperature of 66 to 72 degrees is best.
Air humidity is important to the Mikado plant. Humidity that is too high causes fungus to appear on the plant, while too low will cause it to wilt. Humidity of around 60 to 80 percent is best. In some areas, this will require the use of an air moisturizing system. If you are setting the Mikado plant outside, use a plastic screen to keep rain from damaging the delicate leaves and flowers of the plant.
The Mikado requires sun to partial sun during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its hottest, as the flowers and leaves can easily burn and dry out. When the plant is in a tropical region, it requires a shade net, a small roll of sunblocking mesh, that blocks up to 75 percent of direct sunlight. Shade nets come in different thicknesses graded by the percentage of sunlight they block. Anthura recommends using two screens, one graded at 40 percent and another at 60 percent, so that the screens can be interchanged during dry, sunny periods and in the middle of the day.