With the exotic touch the Bromeliad plant brings home, it will feel like the tropics. So add some sun-kissed climates to your living space today.
One thing is sure these plants are unique and added to your other houseplant collection adds exotic colors. You can find foliage in varieties, and it is reasonably easy to grow.
However, caring for it is different compared to other houseplants. Yes, the care is not difficult, just different. The good news is that you will learn how to care for this beautiful plant here.
What is the Bromeliad Plant?
The one thing the Bromeliad plant has is an unusual appearance. You find them decorating homes, retail establishments, to offices. Now do not let the appearance fool you, thinking you need magical skills to make it grow into a natural rosette.
The fact is the growth is simple, with unique care needed.
Bromeliad, also known as Bromeliaceae, is part of hundreds of species found in the plant family. This plant is epiphytic (a great thing to know). So you are not restricted to planting it only in a pot. Instead, you can grow it on rocks, other plants, or trees similar to orchids.
The fantastic news is that the care for Bromeliads is similar to the orchid and get their nutrients from the air and rainwater while attaching their root to a host. Sadly it is a slow grower, and unfortunately, they only bloom once and have a short-lived life after flowering and die. But there is good news!
They do have loads of pups before they die, leaving you with more plants to care for.
BOTANICAL NAME: Bromeliaceae
COMMON NAME: Bromeliad
PLANT TYPE: Epiphyte and Terrestrial
BLOOM TYPE: Spring and Summer
FLOWER COLOR: A variety of colors
MATURE SIZE: Varies on species
NATIVE AREAS: Subtropical and Tropical Americas
SUN EXPOSURE: Bright Indirect Light
SOIL TYPE: Fast Draining
SOIL pH: 5.0 to 6.0 Acidic
TOXICITY: Non-Toxic Some Cause Allergies
Care for Bromeliad Plants
Caring for your Bromeliad is similar to taking care of your Pothos and Philodendron plants. However, the plant needs a specific condition to bloom, and varies from one genus to another. Furthermore, humidity, day length, water, temperature, and feeding are affected by the bloom cycles.
Therefore, the best is to find out which Bromeliad you have to determine what works best for your plant. And believe us, there are many of them.
Bromeliad Temperature and Humidity Tips
One fantastic thing about this species is its high tolerance to temperature variations. However, as it is a tropical plant, it needs warmer conditions with more humidity. So if you want your plant to thrive, make sure it is in temperatures between 55° to 80°F.
Another exceptional thing is your plant grows easily indoors with a humidity level ranging from 40% to 60%. Therefore, during the summer months, you can move your plant outdoors.
In the Bromeliad family, some species are tolerant to light differently. Some can grow outside in direct sunlight, while others scorch when placed in much light. The general rule of thumb is if you have a plant with hard stiff leaves, it is best to grow it in bright indirect light.
Furthermore, if your plant leaves turn yellowish, it receives too much sunlight, while the opposite, if the leaves turn dark green or become elongated, might be the cause of too little bright light.
Bromeliad Best Potting Mix
To grow Bromeliads, you do not need to grow in the ground as they do not get nutrients through their roots from the soil. Instead, you can place the Bromeliad plant on rocks, logs, or wood or in a pot. You can buy Bromeliad soil mix or use an orchid soil mix. Alternatively, you can make your potting soil mix with ⅔ peat-based soil with ⅓ sand.
On the other hand, you can mix orchids with charcoal or a soilless potting mix. Some Bromeliad plants you can grow as air plants on a piece of wood in your home.However, if grown as an indoor plant in a pot, make sure to keep the soil dry to prevent root rot.
Next and an essential part of Bromeliad care is the watering process. The water of the plant is different compared to most other indoor plants. You do not want to nurture it with water in the soil but through the center of the plant.
It would be best if you watered Bromeliads through the center cup while the soil remains dry. While the cups are filled with water, make sure to replace the stagnant water. We recommend using filtered or rainwater.
You will love your Bromeliad plant care because it is not a heavy feeder, yeah. When the plant is growing in spring and summer, you can provide it with diluted liquid fertilizer. The strength should be either a ⅛ or ¼ applied every four weeks.
Yet, if you use a slow-release pellet fertilizer, only apply one pellet each season when you water the central cup. Now do not go and feed your plant during the winter months or when blooming. It’s a big no-no. Your plant is dormant at this time, and you get bleached, colored leaves preventing it from blooming.
When you grow Bromeliads, depending on your variety, it does not have a huge root system. Therefore, you normally grow it as one plant and need no repotting. However, if you grow it as a houseplant indoors and need repotting, make sure to buy the correct sized pot with good drainage.
In addition, you can prune your Bromeliad plant from time to time to improve its growth. What you can do is snip the foliage of the mother plant when you see the pups appear at the base of the plant. The pups indicate where a new plant will grow.
The propagation for the Bromeliad is a simple process (even for beginner gardeners) as the plant multiplies with new plants. During the growth cycle, the mother plant sends up flower spikes, as seen above. The spikes include a small flower surrounded by bracts and are long-lasting for months.
When it gets a flower, the plant eventually begins to die, but the mother plant sends you several offsets you can carefully cut. However, make sure to use a sterile shear, and the same applies to potting them individually in containers. Yet, only do this when the pups have a few roots and form their own central cup.
To replicate the correct period for the Bromeliad to bloom is difficult as it can happen in any growing season. Nevertheless, it is possible to force it to flower by exposing the plant to ethylene gas. To spike your plant, follow these steps:
- Place a clear plastic bag tightly sealed around the plant with a ripe apple inside for up to 10 days.
- The apple gives off the ethylene gas once it becomes decomposed.
- The water also needs to be drained well from the central cup before attempting this.
The plant is not considered toxic, but some humans and pets who are latex sensitive can experience skin irritation if in contact with the plant’s sap.
Bromeliad Plants Hardiness Zones
Do you live in the USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11? Then you’re in luck as the plant grows well as a houseplant in these areas. Check out this helpful map to guide you.
Common pests are aphids, scale, and mealybugs. Most of the time, your Bromeliad plant is free of disease and pests. Yet, the plant is prone to the following issues:
The improper container is a big concern, as the Bromeliads do not have a huge root system. So if you want to place them indoors, choose a small yet well-drained pot to prevent root rot.
Hard water is another problem as your tap water has a high mineral content that causes spots at the plant base or in the center cup. Preferably, use demineralized water.
Overwatering happens a lot when over-saturating the ground. The best way to water Bromeliads is through the central cup filled with water.
Bromeliad Varieties and Similar Plants
While you can plant the Bromeliad in a blended potting mix, you find epiphytic species as well.
Comprises of G. Lingulata, G. Zahnii, G. Guzmania, and G. Monostachia. These plants have glossy long flat green leaves, with some having bright red bracts, but it depends on the species. Some even have pink, purple, yellow, or orange flowers that last up to four months.
Is a diverse Bromeliad genus with colorful bracts from deep purple to pink. The rosette forms short and flat. While others do not reach more than an inch across the leaf while others spread out to 40 inches wide.
The Ananas Comosus Champaca
Is a plant that grows an ornamental pineapple with spidery leaves with miniature ones on the top of the flower spike.
This features a tropical feather bloom with variegated foliage that looks like fireworks.
To remove a spent bloom, use a sharp, sterilized blade and cut the bloom stalk. Make a clean cut as close to the remaining plant as possible without harming it. Once you've removed the bloom, you can toss it in the trash or compost. Don't neglect your bromeliad just because it finished blooming.What do you do with a bromeliad flower after it dies? ›
To remove a spent bloom, use a sharp, sterilized blade and cut the bloom stalk. Make a clean cut as close to the remaining plant as possible without harming it. Once you've removed the bloom, you can toss it in the trash or compost. Don't neglect your bromeliad just because it finished blooming.How long do potted bromeliads last? ›
Bromeliads live for two to five years. They're one of those plants that blooms once when it hits maturity, and then slowly dies off as it puts all its energy into producing new plants, called pups. Bromeliad blooms last up to six months, so you get a long-lived bloom for the plant's lone flower show.Do bromeliads only flower once? ›
With rare exceptions, bromeliads only flower a single time. Once the plant stops producing leaves and produces its flower, it will not start making leaves again. It will, however, vegetatively produce new plantlets called "offsets" or "pups".How often do you water bromeliads? ›
Due to attributes like the aforementioned trichomes, many bromeliads are among the more drought-tolerant houseplants and dislike being over-watered. You can keep them healthy by watering the soil every one to two weeks in the warmer months, and every two to three weeks in the colder months.How do you get a bromeliad to bloom again? ›
Empty the depression in the plant and encase it in a large plastic bag accompanied by a slice of apple, kiwi or banana. These fruits give off ethylene gas, which will help force the plant into bloom. Keep the plant in the bag for 10 days and then remove the covering.What happens if you leave pups on bromeliad? ›
The longer the pups are left attached to the mother plant, the faster they will reach their own maturity. By leaving these offsets attached, they are able to take in nourishment from their mother, expediting their growth.How do you get bromeliad pups? ›
The easiest way to propagate a bromeliad is by taking cuttings of offshoots, or pups, from the base of your mother plant during spring. Before your bromeliad starts to bloom, it should begin growing pups. By the time the blooms fade, the bromeliad can put out as many as 10 pups.Can you keep a bromeliad in the bathroom? ›
Growing bromeliads is easy in the right environment. Unique and exotic, this tropical houseplant needs filtered light, and prefers a warm, moist location such as the bathroom. Bromeliads have thick, variegated foliage surrounding a colorful, long-lasting flower with spikey petals.How do you care for a bromeliad indoors? ›
Provide a warm, humid indoor environment. Water only when the surface of the substrate begins to feel dry to the touch. Flush tank bromeliads well if they've been outdoors to avoid bringing pests into the home and be sure to keep the tanks filled with water. Diffused indoor light is best for most species.
The pups should be separated from the mother plant after they have developed a small rosette or circle of leaves similar to the mother plant.How many pups will a bromeliad produce? ›
A healthy mother plant will generally produce multiple pups, sometimes as many as three or four, before the plant completely fails. This kind of propagation is known as asexual reproduction; it's a form of cloning.What month do bromeliads flower? ›
Bromeliads grow and bloom year round. It's always bromeliad season!Can you water bromeliad with tap water? ›
It is best to water your bromeliad with rainwater or distilled water. The chemicals that are present in some tap water can be damaging to these sensitive plants.What does an overwatered bromeliad look like? ›
The main sign of an overwatered bromeliad is browning or yellowing. Root or heart rot can cause soft, mushy leaves that drop from the plant. A rotting smell may develop in the cup as well.How do I make my bromeliad happy? ›
When it comes to light, bromeliads aren't super fussy, and they make great low light indoor plants. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, but some bromeliads grown indoors can suffer it they're not getting enough light too. For best results, put your bromeliad in a spot where it gets medium to bright light.How long do bromeliad pups take to flower? ›
Once the pup is well-rooted, provide it with more light. Adequate light is critical to get the plant that grows from the pup to eventually bloom. Blooming, with good care, generally will occur one to three years after separation from the parent plant.When should you repot a bromeliad? ›
A young bromeliad can benefit from a repotting if they are outgrowing their container. This is best done in the spring. Most full sized bromeliads will not require a planter pot larger than 6 inches. Using a larger plant container than needed can lead to over-watering issues.Can a bromeliad be an indoor plant? ›
Bromeliads make great indoor plants, though those lucky Floridians, Californians, and others living in frost-free areas can grow them outdoors year-round, too. Here's what you need to know to grow bromeliads.Are coffee grounds good for bromeliads? ›
A few suggested brown materials are leaves, straw, chipped branches and tree trimmings, paper and sawdust. These are generally slower to decompose. Green materials include plant-based kitchen scraps (no bones, fat or meat leftovers), grass clippings, manures, coffee grinds, eggshells and green leaves, among others.
Clay or plastic pots are equally satisfactory as long as they have drainage holes. Clay pots are more stable due to their weight and may be better for plants that tend to be top heavy. A layer of pea gravel in the bottom of the pot can also add weight and stability (this does not help drainage).Do bromeliads grow better in pots or in the ground? ›
They also grow happily in the ground or in pots, as long as they have good drainage. When growing bromeliads in pots, be sure to use well-draining potting mix like those made specifically for orchids and succulents. Ensure your pot also has enough drainage holes for its size.How do you take care of a bromeliad for beginners? ›
One of the best parts of this indoor plant for beginners is it's easy to maintain. Set it in bright light (in an east or west window) but not direct sun or its shiny leaves will burn. Water every month in the summer and 4-5 weeks in the winter. Bromeliads indoors are planted in moss or bark so they drain well.Where do you put bromeliads in your house? ›
Most bromeliads will thrive on a table or countertop a few feet away from a window. Do not place your bromeliad directly in a south facing window. The leaves are likely to scorch with too much direct sunlight. There are some bromeliads that will grow well in drier conditions.Is A bromeliad A Succulent? ›
Bromeliads are a type of succulent plants that can be found in tropical climates. The four main genera include Guzmania, Neoregelia, Vriesea, and Ananas comosus 'Champaca. ' All of these genera are succulents, but they have different features that make them distinct.How do you know when a bromeliad needs water? ›
Feel the soil: the top layer (about 1 inch) should be dry before giving your Bromeliad plant more water. You should also check the rosette/center of the plant, it should always have at least a little water in it. If the soil is wet - snooze this action, we will remind you again in 2 days.How long can bromeliads go without water? ›
There are varying opinions regarding watering bromeliads. Some camps say to keep the urn full of water, some say to keep it dry, others say to water the medium every 1-2 weeks and others say every 1-2 months.How do you plant a baby bromeliad? ›
Bromeliad Pup Planting
Cut the pup away from the parent, taking a small amount of the parent along with the offset. Use a good, moist peat mixture for planting bromeliad pups. The container should be twice as big as the base of the pup. If the pup has no roots, you can tie it to a cork board or even a branch.
Once the unique flower is spent, you should remove it so the plant can spend its energy on forming pups. Bromeliad care after flowering is much the same while it was in flower.How long does it take bromeliad pups to root? ›
It takes a couple of weeks for the root systems to grow and become established, so support the plant with small stakes if necessary. Although the pups are old enough to live on their own, they won't be mature enough to bloom until they are at least a year old -- some don't bloom until age 3 or later.
Feed blushing bromeliads weekly with low-nitrogen 5-59-10 ratio fertilizer diluted to one-eighth strength, or use general purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to one-sixteenth strength monthly. Decrease or withhold feeding if your blushing bromeliad begins to lose foliage color or if it becomes large and misshapen.Should you remove old bromeliad flowers? ›
Once the flower finishes blooming, you'll want to remove them. This tells the bromeliad to begin focusing more energy on its pups. My Aechmea below had finished blooming come late October, but I hadn't removed its flowers until December. Still, there are new pups being produced by the bromeliad.Can you regrow a bromeliad flower? ›
With the flower removed, your bromeliad will eventually begin producing “pup” plants. Your new plant offspring can stay on the parent plant until they are about one-third of the size of the parent. At this point, you can remove the pups and replant them — and you guessed it: the pups will then bloom on their own.Do bromeliad flowers grow back? ›
Aechmea fasciata is a beautiful flowering bromeliad with very long lasting flowers. It is no wonder that you are concerned. The answer to your question about making it bloom again is yes, but.Should bromeliads be repotted? ›
Bromeliads have very small root systems and these plants will not need to be repotted during their lifetime in your home. However, if you purchase a very small bromeliad that has not yet produced a bloom you will need to repot it.How long do bromeliad pups take to grow? ›
You can also use a clean, sharp knife to cut the pup away. By the way, your bromeliad pups won't flower for 3 to 6 years so don't expect it to happen soon after the transplanting. Some Of Our General Houseplant Guides For Your Reference: Guide To Watering Indoor Plants.Where do you cut a bromeliad flower? ›
You can either trim the blossom away at the bottom of its brown stalk or just below the green foliage where the flower is still attached. Discard the spent blossom. Continue caring for your bromeliad until its foliage begins to turn brown. Remove and repot the mother plant's pups.Why do bromeliads bloom once? ›
As bromeliads age, they add new leaves from the center. The addition of these new leaves makes it impossible for bromeliads that produce flower stalks from their center to continue producing them. They simply run out of room. Instead, bromeliads that have bloomed will begin to form offsets or pups.