How to Plant Bromeliads

Overview

Bromeliads are fascinating plants with brightly colored leaves and extravagant flowers. There are over 2700 species growing in deserts, mountains and rain forests throughout the world. They are often called "air plants" for their ability to grow without soil. Bromeliads thrive on rocky cliffs, tree branches and have even been known to grow on telephone poles. They are easy to care for and add welcome color to any garden. Most bromeliads should be kept out of direct sun as their leaves will burn easily.

Step 1

Find the perfect spot in your yard. Bromeliads do best in indirect light areas with well-draining soil.

Step 2

Prepare the soil. Use a rototiller to break up any clumps. For poor-draining soil, add orchid soil mix to ensure proper drainage.

Step 3

Dig a hole. Use your shovel to dig a hole as deep as the container and twice as wide. Place your bromeliad in the center of the hole and cover the roots with 1-2 inches of soil.

Step 4

Spread mulch around the base of the plant. A 1- to 2-inch layer of bark mulch will retain soil moisture and keep weeds away.

Step 5

Water immediately. Full drench the soil and plant with a hose. Continue to fully soak your bromeliad 4 to 5 times a week, less with frequent rain. Be sure to wet the entire plant as well as the soil.

Step 6

Use a bromeliad fertilizer twice a month. Try 17-8-22 to aid in blooming and reproduction.

Tips and Warnings

  • Protect your bromeliad from frost by bringing it indoors or wrapping the plant with old blankets. Never plant a bromeliad in direct sunlight as they are very sensitive and will burn easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rototiller
  • Orchid soil mix
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Growing a Bromeliad Plant
  • How to Grow a Bromeliad
  • Bromeliad Info
Keywords: plant bromeliad, grow bromeliad, air plant

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. She is a featured poet on NYC public radio, is the winner of the San Jacinto & Alethean Literary Societies' Poetry Award, and has authored three collections of poetry including "cold days," "bastante" and "short poems." She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Southwestern University.