The showy bromeliad may look difficult to grow, but it can easily adapt to average home conditions with its astonishing array of colors and textures. Although many do have very splashy flower displays, bromeliads are just as popular as beautiful foliage plants, with leaves in red, green, purple, orange, and yellow colors and with bands, stripes, spots, and other features. Bromeliads are relatively slow-growing plants that take one to three years to mature into flowering plants.
With the right care, these charming and charismatic bromeliads can give a long-lasting flower display.
Simply follow our top tips to ensure they stay healthy for as long as possible...
Consider the lighting
Bromeliads prefer medium light. Bromeliads live naturally and survive best in tropical conditions.
Direct light can burn the leaves of the plant so it is best to error on the side of too little than too much light.
If you begin to see burning, move the plant away further from the direct light.
Tips & Tricks
Plants that are yellowish might be receiving too much light, while plants that are dark green or elongated might be receiving too little light. Increasing light exposure can help the plant bloom, provided the other conditions are appropriate.
Be wise about watering
It is best to water your bromeliad once a week but if it begins to show symptoms of underwatering, it is ok to water twice a week.
Check the soil for moisture before deciding to water.
You can spray or mist your plant with water but it is not required. When watering, you can also refill the “tank” which is the space between the leaves toward the center of the plant that acts as a cup. Simply just pour a little water over the top of the plant.
Tips & Tricks
In the winter period bromeliads usually need less water than in the summer period. Always check if there is water left in the chalice after 10 days and remove it if needed.
Find the right environment
Bromeliads are originally growing under warm and humid climate conditions.
Normal room temperatures of 64-77 °F fit best for the bromeliad.
During summer time the plant can even stay outside at a half-shady spot, without direct sunlight. During warm days you can refresh the plant by spraying the leaves with water. Water the plant in its “leaf calyx” – from there the bromeliad will take the humidity itself.
Bromeliads are sturdy plants with a flowering period of several months.
Most varieties flower at least three months.
The bromeliad cannot flower once again, so after the flowering period it is time for a new plant. Often some types of bromeliads are building a new “mini-bromeliad” when they are close to the end of their flowering period. You can remove this little new bromeliad when it’s about 25-27 inch heigh and pot it in soil. Keep the soil constantly dry during the first weeks. If you are lucky, the little bromeliad will get roots and start to grow.
Surviving without plant food
We advise against fertilizing your bromeliad as the risk of harming your plant is higher than helping it.
If you do wish to fertilizer your bromeliad, try using osmocote or another slow release fertilizer.
Follow the instructions on the package carefully. If you wish to use an organic fertilizer, there are many recipes you can find online.
Bromeliads bloom only once
The colorful “bract” in the center of the plant is often confused as the flower.
The blooms will last several months, along with the bract.
Pups, or offsets, also form over time. These pups can be removed and planted into individual pots.
Tips & Tricks
Some types build a new mini-bromelia when they are close to the end of the flowering period, e.g. Guzmania's. By this the plant tries to keep up a next generation. You can remove this little new bromeliad when it's about 25-27 inch heigh and pot it in soil. Keep the soil constantly dry in the first weeks and with a bit of luck the little bromeliad will get new roots. Growing up bromeliads till flowering takes at least one year....
Identifing the pests
Bromeliads are very resistant to diseases and pests.
To keep your plant free of disease, make sure that your plant is not being overwatered and never sitting in water.
We recommend treating for pest and diseases in very simple ways. If you begin to see scale, aphids, mealy bug, or other type of pests on your succulents, trying washing your bromeliad with alcohol wipes.