Bromeliad Plant Care
How’s it going, Brochacho?
Not too bad, Bromeliad.
One might say we’ve got a bit of a bromance going on with our bromeliads—they’re easily one of our favorite plants to care for, and they’ve got pretty radical style. It’s rare to encounter a houseplant with colorful blooms that last long-term, but the bromeliad is one of those rare gems with brightly colored leaf bracts that resemble a giant flower sitting atop its green foliage.
Want Wicked Color That Lasts? Learn the Basics of Bromeliad Care.
Bromeliads are actually a family of 2700+ plants, including the reigning supreme champion of all fruits, the pineapple! But the most popular bromeliad for indoor care is the Guzmania lingulata, with vibrant bracts that last for up to four months, in electrifying shades like candy apple red, neon yellow, atomic orange, and the brightest fuchsia you’ve ever seen! Other varieties like Cryptanthus “Hot Pink” have extraordinarily bright foliage—quite different from the typical leafy greenery you’d see at a garden center!
The bracts and leaves are stiff and curved like spouts, all meeting in the center to form a cup-shaped reservoir. This comes into play when learning bromeliad care! It’s a bit different from typical houseplant care, but don’t worry—keeping your bromeliad happy is easy!
Watering Your Bromeliad
You’re probably used to watering the soil of your plants instead of directly overhead onto the foliage, which is recommended for most houseplants. However, this particular plant has adapted to soak in water through its center cup reservoir by collecting rainfall in its native homeland of the Amazon rainforest.
Fill the inner cup with water—enough so that it starts to overflow into the soil—and then replace after one week. If you use distilled water, you can let it sit for longer, but tap water should be regularly replaced to avoid salt and mineral build-up.
Bromeliads also prefer more humid environments, so the occasional spritz of water will help its leaves stay healthy and hydrated. A plug-in humidifier can also help, or you can place your plant on top of a pebble tray filled with an inch of water.
Light and Environment
Bright, direct sunlight is too harsh for the leaves of this jungle plant. Avoid placing your bromeliad somewhere where direct light beams will hit it, or it’ll get scorched. Instead, place it somewhere that gets lots of bright indirect sunlight, or near a window with sheer curtains to filter the sunlight.
Bromeliads are also accustomed to pretty warm rainforest temperatures, so a cold draft will be a shock to their system. Take care in keeping your plant away from any cold drafts, and try not to let the temperature in the room drop below 65°F.
The best soil for bromeliads should be chunky and loose with fast moisture drainage. Something with shredded bark and lots of peat should work well. A potting mix formulated for orchids, or a soilless potting mix will work great.
Getting Your Bromeliad to Rebloom
Here’s the catch with bromeliads: they only produce those colorful bracts once. When their color fades, they won’t come back. However, little pups will start to sprout out from the side of your plant! Let those little guys grow bigger, and once they’ve reached about ⅓ of the size of the mother plant, remove them and replant them. In two years, they’ll be full-sized and ready to bloom!
To encourage your plant to bloom, put it in a plastic bag with a chopped-up apple, and let it sit for a week. The apple pieces will release ethylene gas, which will jumpstart a fresh set of blooms! It’s well worth the wait, and you can repeat the process over and over again.
Our California greenhouse is packed with healthy, vibrant bromeliads ready to be shipped to your door! Browse our full catalog to see all the incredible plant varieties available at Plant Decor Shop.