Bromeliad plants, a name the Bromeliad Society International says comes from Swedish botanist Loofa Bromelius, produce spiky foliage and strikingly colorful blossoms. They're sometimes grown as landscape plants but are most often raised as houseplants. Gardeners prize bromeliads for their very low-maintenance nature, but several care practices can ensure a healthy and lush plant.
Water bromeliads whenever the soil surface around the plants feel dry, according to the University of Florida. Apply water at the base of the plant instead of filling up the plant's natural reservoir in the center of its leaves. If you choose to fill the water reservoir, flush it out with fresh water every couple of weeks to keep it from becoming stagnant.
Fertilize the bromeliad once a month, according to the University of Nebraska. The university recommends using any all-purpose fertilizer at half the strength listed on its label. Follow the label carefully, as potency varies widely by product.
Provide the bromeliads with lots of air circulation, which helps to dispel the moisture that naturally exists around the plant due to its water reservoir. Bromeliads that are not given circulation are more susceptible to rotting and insect pests, says the University of Florida. For houseplant bromeliads, the university recommends aiming a fan at the plant all day. For landscape bromeliads, prune back surrounding vegetation to increase exposure to breezes.
Keep the bromeliads warm. The plants are tropical and need to be kept at a daily temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and an evening temperature of 60 degrees, according to the University of Nebraska. If your outdoor weather isn't warm enough, you have no choice but to grow bromeliads as houseplants.
Defend the bromeliads from insects like mealybugs and spider mites, all common insect pests for this plant, according to the University of Florida. An all-purpose insecticide spray formulated with carbaryl will eradicate these bugs.