Bromeliad Care Guide

Bromeliads come mostly from South America but can be found as North as Virginia. They are relatives of the Pineapple. Bromeliads are very hardy plants and easy to care for. They make wonderful flowering house plants. If you live in a climate that never sees below freezing temperatures, you can grow Bromeliads outdoors.

Light: Bromeliads like bright light but prolonged periods of direct sunlight can damage the plants. Ideally, you want to place your Bromeliad in a spot where it gets medium to bright light. 

Watering: Bromeliads have a unique "cup" at the center that can hold water. You should keep the center cup filled with water. Bromeliads do not need to be watered through the soil as long as the cup has water in it. It is important to keep the water in the cup fresh because you don't want stagnant water sitting in the cup. You should dump out the water and refresh it about every week.

Using tap water on Bromeliads can damage it. Rainwater or filtered water are the best types of water to use on Bromeliads. 

Temperature: Bromeliads can tolerate a large range of temperatures. The can survive temps as low as 40 F to as high as 90 F. Humidity is a more important factor. If your home is very dry you should mist your plant every few days.

Fertilizing: Bromeliads do not require much fertilizing. You may want to use an occasional water-soluble fertilizer. If you choose a liquid fertilizer, dilute it to 1/4 strength. Never place a fertilizer in the Bromeliads central cup but rather fertilize it around the base. Do not overuse as Bromeliads can lose their vibrant colors when receiving too much fertilizer.

Flowering: Most Bromeliads flower once in their lifetime. They produce brightly colored leaves that are often mistaken for flowers but they are actually bracts. Bracts are leaf-like structures where inflorescence may grow. A Bromeliad grows by adding new flowers at the center of the plant. When the center of the plant becomes too crowded and the new leaves have no room, the plant will focus its energy on producing pups. The bloom can last several months and the colorful bracts can last even longer.

Care Tips:

  • Provide bright light but avoid direct sun exposure
  • Maintain humidity
  • Keep plants moist but not soggy
  • Provide adequate drainage
  • Fertilize lightly
  • Keep air flowing around the plants