6 Basic Steps to Care for Bromeliads

Published on
January 17, 2023 9:41:52 AM PST January 17, 2023 9:41:52 AM PSTth, January 17, 2023 9:41:52 AM PST

Bromeliads are durable, tropical-type houseplants that are known for their ability to thrive indoors. Each unique variety provides long-lasting color and interesting texture and shape.

Bromeliads are like air plants, they are both epiphytes. Bromeliads can even be glued to objects like air plants, getting their nutrients from the air around them and water provided by you. They also do well in shallow pots and can grow in low soil mediums such as orchid mix, a blend of bark, sphagnum moss and other organic additives.

Setting the bromeliad pot in a saucer of gravel filled partially with water will help to keep the humidity around the plant high and provide a moist atmosphere. Just make sure the roots themselves are not sitting directly in the water.

Bromeliads are relatively slow-growing plants that take one to three years to mature into flowering plants. Here are a few quick care tips:

  • Provide bright light without direct sun exposure. Plants with soft, flexible leaves prefer low light and those with stiff, hard leaves prefer higher light.

  • Maintain optimal humidity vs water. In nature, Bromeliads are used to bouts of intense rain and then drought, so little watering is best. These plants drink through their leaves vs their roots, so water on the top of the leaves.

  • Flowers in many cases are bright colored leaves called bracts. These can last several months. Cut the flower back once it becomes unsightly.

  • Provide adequate drainage. Soil should be dry between waterings and not soggy. Light and very-well drained soil is required for proper health.

  • Fertilize sparingly with an orchid food. Use a water-soluble solution and dilute to half strength.

  • It’s often best to keep the plant’s roots confined in a small pot, as long as the base is stable enough to hold the plant upright. Repot in the spring, as needed.