How To Care For Bromeliads Houseplants

-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 a bromeliad be watered?

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.

Where should indoor bromeliads be placed?

There are several varieties of bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) that make beautiful houseplants. There are more than 3,000 species related to the pineapple that are native to subtropical North America, Central America, and South America and are divided into around 75 genera. In addition to numerous native species, countless cultivars have been produced for market.

Many bromeliads are epiphytic plants, or “air plants,” which cling to tree trunks or logs and take nutrients and moisture from the atmosphere. They can be planted in a growing medium made primarily of bark chips and peat moss or mounted on pieces of bark when grown as houseplants. Terrestrial kinds of bromeliad houseplants are also very popular and may be grown in regular potting soil. Others are more similar to desert succulents and need a sand-based, porous potting soil, like cactus potting soil.

Low-light-tolerant bromeliads can be irrigated from above into their core cups, have decorative leaves, and occasionally produce lovely blooms. Even though they are beautiful, most plants are surprisingly simple to grow. Although many bromeliads prefer shaded settings in their natural habitats, most demand reasonably bright locations when cultivated inside, such as near windows. Most also require moderate humidity, which can be difficult to provide indoors during the dry winter months. The pot can be kept in a saucer of continually wet gravel.

Gardening Tip

After the bloom is over, many people throw away bromeliads, but with a little practice, one bromeliad may easily grow into an entire garden of these wonderful tropical plants. You can grow as many bromeliads as you like by replanting little “pups” of the parent plant.

How long do bromeliads grow indoors?

Lifespan of a Typical Bromeliad Even with the best care, the majority of bromeliad kinds normally only live for two to five years, but they do continue to develop from new sprouts produced after flowering. Bromeliads prefer bright, indirect light, and those that are grown in harsh lighting will deteriorate more quickly than those with the optimum illumination.

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 tell if my bromeliad is in trouble?

In the case of bromeliads, the mother plant is dying if the leaves are browning and/or drooping. A bromeliad’s lifecycle includes a stage in which the mother plant perishes and the pups, or kids as they are known in the plant world, continue to grow. Typically, these pups arrive before the mother even begins to disappear.

You might have missed it in the midst of all the care instructions, but I’ve previously discussed this fact in all the posts and videos I’ve made on bromeliads. This, together with the fact that my guzmania was fading, led me to write a piece specifically about it.

How do I induce blooming in my bromeliad?

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.

Do bromeliads like shade or the sun?

specifications for the plant All thrive in bright shade, and some can tolerate light exposure, even in the full sun, which can bring out their natural color. Zone 10 is the greatest for bromeliads. They do, however, grow well in containers, so in Zone 9B they can be planted in pots and brought indoors during the winter.

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 you remove the dead blooms from bromeliads?

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.)

Does my bromeliad require repotting?

A bromeliad will usually be in bloom when you buy it from a florist or garden center and won’t grow any more. Because of their tiny root systems, bromeliads won’t require repotting while they’re living in your house. You will need to repot a very small bromeliad, though, if you buy one that hasn’t bloomed yet. You must transfer your small bromeliad to a larger pot once it has outgrown the previous one once it has grown. It’s time to repot if your pot is not holding any water. The largest container your bromeliad will likely require is one that is six inches in diameter. Ensure the cleanliness of your container. If it has previously been used, carefully clean it after each wash with mild soap and water. The container can also be cleaned with a bleach solution that has been heavily diluted. Before repotting your bromeliad, let the container to completely dry. When your container is prepared, fill it with your specific bromeliad potting mix until it is barely submerged. After that, put the bromeliad inside the pot and compact extra potting soil around it. Make sure that every leaf is elevated above the potting soil. The health of the plant depends on airflow around these lower leaves. You might need to anchor your plant if its top is too hefty until its roots have a good foundation.

You might want to try a new potting mix if you observe that the soil surrounding your bromeliad is continually wet and you are not overwatering. Rotting roots can cause significant damage to bromeliads that remain damp. Remove the plant with care, carefully shaking off as much of the old soil as you can. The existing medium should be replaced with one that has more perlite or sand to improve drainage, and the old container should be thoroughly cleaned. The bromeliad should be planted as previously described, making sure that all of its leaves are above the ground.

Similarly, bromeliad puppies can be separated from the mother plant and potted. You may need to repot once during the bromeliad’s lifetime, increasing the size from the little pot you started with. A bloom will appear on the new bromeliad in about two years. Our free Beginner’s Guide to Bromeliad Pups will teach you more about bromeliad puppies.