Different Cryptanthus varieties need different levels of light. But the best place to plant or place bromeliads within this genus will generally be in some sort of spot with indirect sunlight or light shade—remember, they naturally grow under the cover of trees in rainforests. Direct sunlight could potentially bleach the bromeliad’s foliage, or make it appear leathery.
Avoid regular potting soil for terrestrially-grown bromeliads. Commercial potting soil based on peat moss works well for Cryptanthus bromeliads, as it has the necessary acidity. There are also potting mixes designed expressly for bromeliads. Some gardeners grow these plants in a mixture of sand and soil mix, as well—but no matter what the soil, they must be kept damp and the soil must retain water fairly well for best results.
Cryptanthus thrive in tropical conditions, and you should make efforts to keep them moist. Make sure, however, not to rest them in standing water. A moderately damp environment is moisture enough for these plants. But bromeliads are surprisingly tolerant of short periods of drought. If the plant is watered excessively at low temperatures, rot may occur.