Bromeliads are unique houseplants, grown for their brightly colored foliage that is sometimes mistakenly referred to as flowers. While Bromeliads do bloom, it is difficult to do inside the average home.
Light – Bright, indirect light. Do not expose them to direct sunlight, which can cause leaf scorch. Moderate and low light will result in the loss of their vibrant coloring.
Water – There are two main methods of watering Bromeliads. The first method is to allow the soil to fully dry out between waterings before saturating it. The second method is to fill up the cup made by their leaves at the base of the plant with water and allow the plant to slowly water itself. If you chose the second method, routinely rinse out the cup to prevent salt buildup. Don’t use both methods at the same time as it will be too much water and will cause root rot.
Soil – There are 2 types of Bromeliads; varieties that grow in soil and varieties that grow similar to orchids, referred to as epiphytes. Soil grown Bromeliads do best in faster draining soils like Espoma Cactus Soil. Epiphyte Bromeliads should be planted in a bark mixture, like Espoma Orchid Soil.
Temperature – Bromeliads do best in temperatures between 55° and 85° and should not be exposed to temperatures below 40°.
Humidity – The humidity needs of Bromeliads is tied to the temperature. Higher temperatures require higher humidity. A nearby humidifier, regular misting or a tray of pebbles and water are easy ways to increase the humidity.
Fertilization – Bromeliads are not heavy feeders so dilute a balanced fertilizer, like Bonide Liquid Houseplant, to 1/8 strength and fertilize monthly spring through fall. There is no need to fertilize in winter.
Size – Size varies depending on variety, with some only getting 6 inches tall and others reaching up to 3 feet.
Repotting – Due to their small root systems, Bromeliads do better in smaller pots and most will never need to be repotted. In the event that you need or want to repot your bromeliad, select a container with good drainage and no more than 1 size larger than its current container. Bromeliads watered with the cup method should be planted into a heavy container (ceramic, terra cotta or cement) as they tend to be top heavy.
Propagation – Bromeliads propagate via the creation of “pups.” These pups are new plants produced by the main plant and can be planted on their own once they’ve developed their own root system. The production of pups is a sign that the main plant is nearing the end of its life.
Toxicity – Considered non-toxic to people and pets.