Bromeliads have beautiful rosettes of tough, strap-like foliage and bold, colorful bracts and tiny flowers rising on a tall stalk from the cup-like center, giving them an exotic look and making them wonderful focal points in any room. Although the small flowers are short-lived, the showy displays of bracts and colorful foliage may last for several months. Caring for bromeliads is not difficult. The trick is to come as close as possible to their natural growing conditions.
The cup-like center is actually a reservoir from which the plant receives its moisture, and this is where it should be watered. Keep this cup-like center filled. Water compost only when it dries out, keeping it moist, but not soggy. Take care not to overwater, as bromeliads have tiny, shallow root systems and are easily drowned.
Bromeliads are native to American rainforests. They grow with orchids, on the forest floor and in the trees. Heavy loam is not required, as they do better in the lighter peat-based compost (equal parts of peat moss and compost does nicely). Repotting is rarely necessary. Small pots with good drainage holes are best.
Place bromeliads in a warm location. Bromeliads require temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit to flower. They do not withstand temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Regular summer misting provides a humid environment bromeliads are accustomed to. A tray beneath the pot filled with pebbles increases humidity, as well.
Place bromeliads in a bright location out of direct sunlight, as they naturally grow where forest trees and foliage protect them from strong sunlight.
Mist with compost tea occasionally, as bromeliads get their nutrition through their leaves.
Once the flower head fades and leaves begin to die, offsets will appear at the base of the original plant. When the offset is several months old, it can be carefully removed with roots attached and transplanted shallowly into a pot of its own. Keep the new plant warm until it becomes established.