How to Properly Care for Bromiled Plants

Overview

Bromeliads, otherwise known as 'air plants,' are unique in that they grow in trees and take nourishment from the air. Bromeliads are adaptable, long-living plants that are easily grown indoors. Many bromeliads have large, leathery leaves, but others have narrow, wiry leaves. Often, bromeliads will produce large, showy blooms that last several months.

Step 1

Plant the bromeliad in a container filled with commercial potting soil or a mixture of half commercial potting soil and half orchid potting soil. Use a sturdy container as many bromeliads can be top heavy at maturity. Be sure the container has at least one hole in the bottom, as bromeliads require good drainage.

Step 2

Place the plant in bright sunlight. If necessary, supplement low light using a grow light.

Step 3

Water bromeliads by filling the cup-shaped reservoir in the center of the rosettes. Check the cup twice every week, and keep the cup fairly full. If your bromeliad is a variety that has no cup, water the potting soil when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Water bromeliads with bottled water as a build-up of salts in tap water can eventually damage the plants.

Step 4

Place the bromeliad on a humidity tray to increase the humidity around the plant. To make a humidity tray, fill a tray with about an inch of wet pebbles. Place the bromeliad's pot on the gravel. Keep the pebbles constantly wet; however, do not allow the water level to become high enough to touch the bottom of the pot. The plant will also benefit from an occasional misting during warm, dry weather.

Step 5

Keep bromeliads in a warm room with daytime temperatures of approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures roughly 10 to 15 degrees cooler.

Step 6

Fertilize bromeliads every three to four weeks, using a water-soluble fertilizer for indoor plants. Mix a weak solution, or half the suggested strength listed on the package, then pour the solution directly into the bromeliad's cup-shaped reservoir.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy container with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting soil and orchid potting soil
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Bottled water
  • Water-soluble fertilizer for indoor plants

References

  • Shackelfords: The Care & Handling of Bromeliads
  • Clemson University: Bromeliads
  • My Home Ideas: Growing Bromeliads at Home
Keywords: care for bromeliads, bromeliad plants, water bromeliads

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.

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