Houseplant Spotlight: Bromeliads

Bromeliads flower

To add a tropical flair to your house, include some low maintenance bromeliads and savor their exoticism and rich beauty.

Light:

In general, bright sunny space is all your bromeliad needs. Direct sunlight is not good since it can burn the plants' leaves. Indirect light is best. Out in the wild, bromeliads grow under canopies of other plants and receive lots of light but no direct sun.

Because there is such a wide variety of bromeliad types, not all require the same amount of light. Make sure you read up on your particular variety to ensure you are providing your plant with the best opportunities. There are some shade-loving bromeliads out there who will appreciate a darker space.

Water:

Only water your bromeliad when the top two inches of soil are dry. This can mean watering every couple of weeks or even waiting up to a month in-between watering.  Too much water can cause that horrible root rot; be sure the plant is never sitting in water. When you water, soak the soil completely until water runs out of the drainage holes.

An interesting feature of many bromeliads is that they have a reservoir, a place where the leaves meet and form a cup that can collect water.  If your bromeliad has this, fill the reservoir with water and flush it regularly to prevent the water from stagnating. These type of bromeliads are quite susceptible to salt damage so only fill the reservoir with distilled water. Tap water can have high salt and mineral contents that are not good.

Metal and bromeliads are not friends, so when you are watering do not use a metal container.

Fertilizing:

There is nothing wrong with being a slow grower and this plant proves it. You may be tempted to make it grow faster by adding bunches of fertilizer, however, all that will do is diminish the plants' beautiful colors and make it grow tall and funny. Resist the temptation to fertilize too much and let your bromeliad grow at its own pace. You won't regret it.

Fertilizing once or twice a year is sufficient. Use a water-soluble fertilizer and add it around the base of the plant and into the soil, never pour it on top of the plant.

Potting Mix:

There are potting mixes specifically designed for bromeliads that have the correct amount of drainage properties. Use these for the best results. A potting mix with excellent drainage is of utmost importance since root rot is such a threat.

Original Habitat:

Most bromeliads are from tropical climates. They are accustomed to growing in humid, shady forests and commonly grow attached to trees or rocks. They grow in the wild from the southern United States down through the bottom of South America. Lots of light but no direct sun and sufficient humidity will keep your plants very happy.

Repotting and Reblooming:

Being slow growers with small root systems, bromeliads don't need to be re-potted that often. Every 4-5 years, you can re-pot them into a pot that is 1 or 2 sizes bigger.

Takeaway:

If you're looking for a plant that is extremely easy to care for and looks beautiful, search no further. There are numerous types to choose from and they are all brilliant and add a gorgeous aspect to any indoor garden.

 3 kinds of bromeliadsblooming bromeliads

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