Care for a Bromeliad Plant

Overview

Bromeliads are one of the most diverse plant groups on earth, according to information published by the University of Florida. These plants are part of the pineapple family and native to tropical America. Many are epiphytes, plants that obtain water and nutrients from the air rather than the soil. Some have special leaves that hold and store water. Many have showy blooms, while others are valued for their foliage. They are a good choice for indoor plants, according to the University of Florida. Although diverse in form, the basic care needs of bromeliads are the same.

Step 1

Provide the correct planting medium for your bromeliad. These plants do best in a loose medium, such as tree-fern bark, according to the University of Florida. Plastic or clay pots work equally well, as long as they have drainage holes. Some bromeliads can be mounted onto a large piece of bark with string, or you can choose to grow your bromeliad in an orchid basket.

Step 2

Place your bromeliad in a location where it will be exposed to bright but not direct sunlight, such as a south-facing window. Remember that plants can vary in their light needs, but in general, plants that develop yellowish or pale green leaves are not receiving enough sunlight.

Step 3

Water your plant until the water drains freely from the bottom of the container, but wait until the planting medium is completely dry before watering again. Epiphytic bromeliads should be completely immersed in water once a week for about 30 minutes, according to information published by Clemson University.

Step 4

Keep the temperatures around your bromeliad consistently warm. Never expose it to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Such low temperatures will kill the plant. While some bromeliads can withstand very hot temperatures, according to information published by the University of Florida, they grow best in temperatures in the low 70s, with a drop of between 10 and 15 degrees at night.

Step 5

Provide humidity for your bromeliad. Place it on a humidity tray (a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water), or mist the plant several times a day with lukewarm water.

Things You'll Need

  • Porous organic medium (e.g., tree-fern bark, cork-oak bark, pieces of wood)
  • Large piece of bark and string (optional)
  • Orchid basket (optional)
  • Watering tool
  • Spray bottle

References

  • University of Florida: Bromeliads
  • Clemson University: Bromeliads
Keywords: bromeliad care, caring for bromeliads, growing bromeliad plants

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.