How To Care For Bromeliad Houseplant

-Purple flowers with red bracts

The majority of bromeliads only blossom once in their lifetime. Bracts, a leaf-like structure from which an inflorescence may arise, are the vibrantly colored leaves that are frequently mistaken for flowers. A bromeliad expands by adding fresh leaves to its center. The core will eventually fill up, making it impossible for new leaves to grow. The bromeliad will now concentrate its attention on creating pups, often referred to as offsets. A bromeliad’s bloom and vibrant bracts can both linger for several months. Once the blossom starts to seem unattractive, you can trim it back. Cut the spike as far as you can without harming the rest of the plant using a sharp, sterile implement. The mother plant will sadly finally pass away. Hopefully not before having descendants to carry on its legacy. Check out our free Beginner’s Guide to Bromeliad Pups to learn more about puppies.

You can continue to enjoy bromeliads both inside and outside for multiple seasons by following a few easy instructions.

  • Luminous illumination without exposure to the sun
  • uphold ideal humidity
  • Maintain airflow around the plants.
  • Make that the plants are kept moist but not drenched.
  • Drainage has to be addressed
  • sparingly fertilize

Always read the instructions that come with your specific type of bromeliad. The needs for caring for bromeliads might vary, and you might need to make some adjustments for best growth, such as how much light they receive or how often they are watered.

How frequently should I water a bromeliad?

Overwatering is more likely to harm your bromeliad than underwatering. Even though their roots enjoy moisture, they cannot be allowed to be wet. Your plant may get root or crown rot if the water in your potting medium does not drain properly. Once a week of watering is frequently enough for your bromeliad.

Most bromeliads in the wild collect water in their central tanks, or reservoirs. The leaves and roots only absorb a small portion of the moisture from natural rainfall. As a result, you should make sure that the water in the bromeliad’s tank is always full. Regular tank flushing is necessary since standing water in this location can also cause rotting damage.

Tillandsia is one example of a bromeliad that is not grown in potting soil. It is recommended to sprinkle these air plants several times per week. To help the plant rehydrate, you can also immerse it in water for a short while. Tillandsias are difficult to overwater since they can’t absorb more water than they require to survive. If you want to water your air plants using the “dunk method, make sure to remove all extra water from between the leaves to prevent rot.

It is recommended to use distilled water or rainfall to water your bromeliad. These delicate plants may suffer harm from the toxins found in some tap water. Hard water usage is frequently indicated by slow growth or browning of the leaf tips.

What should a bromeliad be used for after it blooms?

Cut the bloom stem with a clean, sharp blade to remove a wasted flower. Cleanly trim the remaining plant as closely as you can without damaging it. After removing the bloom, you can dispose of it in the garbage or compost. Just because your bromeliad’s blooming is over, don’t disregard it. The exciting part will now start when it starts to produce pups. Check out our free Guide to Bromeliad Puppies or our post A Beginner’s Guide to Bromeliad Pups for more details on how to recognize bromeliad pups, remove them from the mother plant, pot them properly, and take care of them.

Do bromeliads just produce one bloom?

You should get rid of them after the flower has finished blossoming. This instructs the bromeliad to start directing more energy toward its young. Late in October, my Aechmea down below finished blooming, but I didn’t take the blooms off until December. Even so, the bromeliad continues to generate more pups. The bromeliad still needs to be watered, same as before. I fill its core cup with filtered water and then place water along the edges in the soil. My plant is just a little bit set back from a south-facing window, but it looks to be growing well. I’ve discovered that bromeliads with thicker, more rigid leaves require brighter lighting, whilst those with softer leaves can withstand some degree of mottled lighting.

You should be able to see several pups by now, which resemble tiny replicas of your original plant. I’ll continue to raise my puppies on the parent plant until either they are 1/3 to 1/2 as big as the original plant or the bromeliad begins to wither. Actually, I’m not sure when my bromeliad will start to fully die back, but I’d guess it will take at least two years, possibly up to four. I will update you!

Where in my home should I place bromeliads?

Numerous bromeliad species thrive in bathrooms. The humidity in bathrooms is typically higher than in the rest of a home or business. The fact that restrooms frequently have very limited access to natural light presents a dilemma, though. If your bathroom doesn’t have any windows, make sure the plant is exposed to a florescent light that is always on or install a grow light close to the plant that will remain on even when the other lights are turned out. Low light conditions are ideal for Cryptanthus, a terrestrial bromeliad that is frequently discovered on forest floors. Numerous species in the genera Aechmea and Vriesea can withstand low light levels.

In comparison to other rooms in the house, kitchens have higher humidity levels. Kitchens have more light available than bathrooms, which is a benefit. On a table or countertop a few feet away from a window, the majority of bromeliads will grow. Keep your bromeliad away from windows that face south. With too much direct sunlight, the leaves are probably going to sear.

Some types of bromeliads can thrive in dry environments. The deserts of Texas and Mexico are examples of bright, arid conditions to which species in the genera Dyckia and Hechtia have adapted. You don’t have to worry about humidity with these bromeliads. They will, however, thrive when exposed to lots of direct sunshine. These bromeliads can be put in a south-facing window without risk. These bromeliads typically have very sharp spines surrounding the leaf margins, so use caution when handling them. Keep them away from curious dogs or young children.

You can try increasing the humidity a little bit only around the plant if you have a bright place with lots of indirect light but low humidity. Directly beneath the plant, place a water-resistant tray packed with small river rocks or pebbles. A few inches of water should be placed in the tray. Do not let the plant container sit in the water; instead, place it on top of the tray. It will absorb the water into the soil and cause root damage if it is left in the water. Slow evaporation of the water in the tray will increase the relative humidity around the plant. Keep in mind that you will occasionally need to refill the water tray.

Being epiphytes, many bromeliads can be mounted, hung, or planted in a container. Tillandsias are particularly popular as air plants and create stunning mounts. Even hanging them at a window using suction cups, they can be grown stuck to them. They look stunning when placed inside of little glass globes that may be suspended from window frames. The majority of the species in this genus need indirect light, thus avoid placing them in a window with too harsh light because they will quickly dry out. These plants need be periodically misted because they do not absorb water via their roots but rather through scales on their leaves.

What does a bromeliad look like when it is overwatered?

Your bromeliad can signal various problems when its leaves darken or even lighten up, just as browning foliage may suggest underwatering. According to the Royal Horticultural Society, sunburn can be detected when a bromeliad’s leaves are bleached, washed-out, or appear burned. If this happens, bromeliads should be put in indirect sunlight. The University of Florida IFAS Extension notes that leaves that droop, become floppy, or take on colors of dark green may be an indication of insufficient light on the other end of the spectrum.

Despite how confusing it may seem, browning bromeliad leaves

Browning even at the tips may also mean there is too much water present. The distinction is that overwatered leaves typically feel soft and mushy, whereas browning leaves brought on by underwatering feel dry and crisp. Browning in this situation—along with graying or, occasionally, outright blackening—is frequently an indication of rot. To cut a long tale short, brown leaves are bad and necessitate a change in watering practices.

Where should a bromeliad be watered?

Bromeliads may grow in a variety of environments. Water a bromeliad well when caring for it. A tank or cup is the term for a bromeliad’s center. This specific plant’s tank will be able to store water. Don’t let the middle tank get empty; instead, fill it up.

Avoid letting the water rest for an extended period of time as this could cause it to stagnate and harm the plant. Additionally, salt accumulates, so flushing it out is ideal. Additionally, you will need to replace the water frequently—roughly one every week.

Before you decide to water the plant again, let the surplus water drain on a drain pan or plate and let the plant to dry out.

How can I determine the health of my bromeliad?

Guzmanias are very well-liked for their tall, spectacular blossoms. Here is how that appears when mine is dying. I didn’t capture a before photo, but this was snapped after the leaves had been lopped off in half.

You have now brought your lovely bromeliad home from the shop or garden center and located the ideal location for it. After a few months, the flower begins to turn brown before dying entirely and being cut off. You eventually realize that the plant is also gradually going brown. The leaves of aechmeas frequently slant and droop a little.

You shouldn’t be concerned if the tips of your bromeliad plants’ leaves start to turn brown. These lovely creatures are native to the tropics and subtropics, so their behavior is simply a response to the dry air inside our houses.

Checking the pups is one way to confirm that your bromeliad is drying out and becoming brown. The plant is about to die if they are healthy and attractive. The bottom leaves will eventually become brown and mushy if the growing media is kept too damp.

What you can do:

You can remove the unattractive leaves one at a time, cut back the mother plant as soon as it begins to change, or wait until it is entirely brown before cutting it back. When my guzmania’s leaves were half gone, I cut the mother plant back to the ground (you can see this in the video up there). The puppies are given more light and space to grow as a result.

Either remove the bromeliad puppies and pot them up like I typically do, or leave the pups attached to the mother plant’s base and let them grow that way. To ensure that the roots are properly formed, I wait until they are a good size, at least 5 or 1/3 the size of the mother, before removing them.

Therefore, if your bromeliad is fading away like mine is in the photo and the video, don’t worry. Although it’s only a natural part of their life cycle, the pups continue the tradition. Just wait patiently for them to bloom once more. A bromeliad pup matures after 25 years of growth under ideal conditions.

I decided not to save and pot up each of my bromeliad pups for this reason. I always have at least 1 bromeliad in bloom that I recently bought for the quick burst of color.

Neoregelias are my favorite flower because of this. This mother plant, one of the five species of bromeliads I covered in the series eight months ago, is still doing well and maintaining its excellent appearance.

What is the lifespan of a bromeliad?

There are about 3,000 species of bromeliads, which are divided into about 75 genera. They are available in a wide range of hues and textures. They are indigenous to Southeast Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Many bromeliads are epiphytic, which means that their tiny root systems are only used to secure them to rocks or trees and allow them to absorb nutrition from their leaves. Others are terrestrial and develop in the ground. They belong to the same family as pineapples and Spanish moss.

Guzmania Bromeliad

With a tropical bromeliad like this guzmania bromeliad, which blooms in clusters of eye-catching red, orange, yellow, purple, and white flowers, you can add a splash of caribbean color to any room in your house.

Living from two to five years, bromeliads. They are one of those mature plants that only blooms once before putting all of its energy into growing pups, which are new plants. You receive a long-lasting bloom for the plant’s only flower show because bromeliad blossoms can last up to six months. Additionally, you’ll get fresh, baby bromeliads after the bloom dies down.

How can bromeliads be made to bloom again?

Reblooming an adult bromeliad is not conceivable, however following a few pointers will hasten the blooming of those young offsets.

  • Once a month, add some dissolved Epsom salts to the cup to promote the growth of flowers and chlorophyll.
  • A suitable habitat is also needed to make a bromeliad bloom. Fill the plant’s depression with dirt, then place it in a large plastic bag with a slice of apple, kiwi, or banana. The ethylene gas that these fruits release will aid in forcing the plant into bloom.
  • Ten days after placing the plant in the bag, remove the covering. With a little luck, the plant should blossom in six to ten weeks.

Should I remove my bromeliad’s dead flower?

If you don’t want to raise puppies, you don’t need to remove the dead flower. You can let the plant wither naturally as a whole by leaving it attached. This isn’t the most appetizing choice, though, and if you want to promote the development of bromeliad puppies, you should remove the dead bloom entirely to ensure that none of the nutrients you provide to the plant are diverted from the healthy foliage. If you do decide to remove the dead bloom, make sure to do so at the stem’s base where it connects to the parent plant. (Also, be sure to use sterile pruning shears or a sharp knife to avoid contaminating the bromeliad.)