How to Care for a Bromeliad Plant

Overview

Bromeliads are showy tropical plants that come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Pineapples belong to this group, as does Spanish moss. All are easy to grow, according to Clemson University Home & Garden Information Center, making bromeliads highly desirable with home gardeners who want low-maintenance plants. Some bromeliads do not grow in soil, but instead cling to a host plant and receive nutrients from the humid air. Others have "cups" that hold water and store it for long periods of time. While specific care needs vary by species, bromeliads as a group require the same basic culture.

Step 1

Place or plant your bromeliad in a location where it will receive bright but indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight can sometimes scorch the leaves of the plant. Dappled shade works to filter light as long as it is not too heavy. A curtained window will also work.

Step 2

Water your bromeliads well but allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. Bromeliads (Tillandsia species) that are not planted in soil should be submerged in lukewarm water each week for about 30 minutes, according to Clemson University Home & Garden Information Center. If your bromeliad has a leaf cup, fill it with water as well. Do not let the leaf cup dry out.

Step 3

Provide plenty of humidity for your bromeliads. Mist them several times a day, or run a humidifier next to them for an hour or so each day. Alternately, place the plants on a tray filled with pebbles and water. The water will evaporate and provide humidity.

Step 4

Mist the leaves of the bromeliad with diluted bromeliad fertilizer. Use a half-strength or less for best results, according to Clemson University Home & Garden Information Center. Do this once per month in the summer.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not overwater this plant. Overwatering is a common problem in bromeliads and leads to root rot, according to the University of Florida.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Spray bottle, humidifier or tray filled with pebbles
  • Bromeliad fertilizer
  • Bark and peat moss (optional)

References

  • Clemson University: Bromeliads
  • University of Florida: Bromeliads at a Glance
  • Bromeliad Society International: What Are Bromeliads?
Keywords: care of bromeliads, growing bromeliad, low maintenance plants, bromiliads

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.