Indoor & Outdoor Bromeliad Plant Care: How to 

Adorning your garden with various plant species adds character and vibrancy to your house. But with each different type comes a separate handbook on how to take care of them properly. For example, some plants are required to be planted in direct sunlight. In comparison, others benefit from the shade. Similarly, some thrive in wetlands. But others may prefer the desert’s heat. 

Taking care of plants is a complicated science. From succulents to garden roses, there’s a lot you need to learn before you plant an unfamiliar seed. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to belong to the arctic or the Sahara desert to have specific requirements. 

beautiful Bromeliads

For instance, the bromeliad family is a distinguished choice amongst homeowners. It can be grown indoors and outdoors. Additionally, there are over 3000 members in the family. So you’re likely to find something interesting without ever branching out. The most common one in the family include pineapple and Spanish moss. That should give you an idea of how varied and diverse the bromeliad family is.         

But with each different type, there comes a slight alteration in the proper way to take care. As the plants move further away in biology, their requirements change. But you don’t have to read through thick encyclopedias to figure that out. We’ve curated a guide to help you care for any bromeliad type.  

Bromeliad types & varieties

Bromeliad  in a brown pot

Before choosing the right way to treat a bromeliad species, let’s know the different family members. Here are the 5 most popular Bromeliad choices amongst gardeners:

Sapphire Tower Bromeliad

The sapphire tower is a vision from a science-fiction film with its brightly colored blue blossoms and striking red anthers. The plant is native to central Chile. But in the right climatic conditions, it can survive in any backyard. Even if the outdoor temperature gets as low as 15°F or as high as 70°F, it will flourish. It blossoms for about two months and reaches a maximum height of 4 ft.     

Pineapple Bromeliad

The most distinguished member of the Bromeliad family is the pineapple. You’re probably already aware of the sweet-tangy fruit. The pineapple plant isn’t grown for a gardening project but to harvest pineapples. However, it remains a popular choice amongst many gardeners. 

Generally, it is low maintenance. But it may not grow in northern climates. It thrives in high humidity and up to 95°F. With a balanced diet of fertilizers, you can harvest the tropical fruit about six months after the bloom.   

Billbergia Bromeliad 

There are about 50 different species within the Billbergia genus, and each has a distinct characteristic. But generally, they’re well suited for an average indoor temperature of 70°F and reach up to 8 to 36 inches in height. Typically, most of them are non-toxic to pets and people. In addition, they’re pretty easy to maintain and grow. All they require is indirect sunlight with a slightly acidic potting mixture.     

Tufted Air Plants (Guzmania)

The Guzmania is a genus distinguished for vibrant colors and low-maintenance plants. There are over 120 species, ranging in color from purple and pink to red and yellow. Most of them prefer partial shade, high humidity, and a temperature not lower than 55°F. If properly taken care of, they can grow up to 2 ft tall. You should see signs of a vibrant flower bloom within fourteen weeks of planting.  

Aechmea

The genus name is an ode to the spear-shaped leaves and a bulging flowerhead. With over 250 species, the consensus is that these plants are easy to grow and low maintenance. You only need to feed them with a liquid fertilizer diet once during the growing season. Allow them to reach maturity at 2 feet tall. They grow best under moderate humidity and partial shade. 

Bromeliad fertilizer

Bromeliad plants side by side

The professional bromeliad fertilizer by Leaves and Soul offers premium quality liquid fertilizer concentrate guaranteed to improve the growth. It is ideal for indoor plants. All you need to do is add a few drops of the concentrate to the water and spray the mixture into the soil. For 8 cups of water, about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the concentrate are sufficient. 

The formula contains a blend of Potassium, Phosphate, and Nitrogen ions. The ingredients are carefully researched to promote healthy-looking plants. As a result of the fertilizer spray, the leaves and flowers will appear more vibrant. As for the roots and stems, the entire structure strengthens when essential nutrients are provided. 

Bromeliad potting soil

Creating the perfect blend of different nutrients and minerals to add to the potting mix can be a hectic job. Any mistake on your part could result in slow growth or a wilting plant. 

The indoor potting mix by Miracle-Gro contains the ideal mixture of all nutrients required to promote the growth. The 2.8-pound bag will likely last you over six months. In addition, the ingredients in the potting mix hold the right amount of water. Thus, preventing any damage to the plant due to overwatering or saturation of the soil. The formula also discourages gnat infestation, which runs rampant in most house plants. 

Where to buy Bromeliads

Flaming Torch Bromeliads Billbergia Pyramidalis

Getting hands on a tropical plant can be a tough job. However, relying on an unknown seller for the quality of the product is a much more demanding task. Therefore, we have gathered a few Bromeliad sellers that are well trusted and reviewed it in the community:

Costa Farms

The seller specifies the plant’s requirements and lists the maintenance level so you can better manage the care. In addition, the Costa farms employ experts to look over the environmental conditions required in the initial stages of the growth. Then, the plants are shipped directly from the farm to your house and come with a complimentary ceramic board.

Plants and Blooms

Under expert supervision, the plants are grown to support high-quality and low-maintenance characteristics. The store lists the proper method to take care of the plant. Thus, reducing the risk of damage. In addition, plants and Blooms guarantee safe shipping from their greenhouse to your home. You can place an order directly to your house or send it as a gift to a loved one through their store. 

Bromeliad plant benefits

The Bromeliad family contains thousands of different types of plants. However, there are specific characteristics that make them stand out from other families. For instance, the vibrant colors of the Bromeliad flowers and the spikey leaves are staple qualities. But the question remains, why is it a popular choice amongst homeowners? 

Here are a few benefits that make bromeliad the ideal planting choice:  

Better air quality

Indoor plants became a modern house staple when people realized the numerous benefits it contributes to improving the overall lifestyle. For example, most indoor options purify the air by taking up carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen during the day. 

But what sets the bromeliad apart from others is that they tend to clean the air at night. In addition, scientific research shows that the plant also removes any pollutants or toxic chemicals in the air.

Low maintenance

Maintaining a healthy living environment to allow your plants to flourish can affect your well-being. From frequent soil changes to spending hundreds on artificial fertilizers, plants cost time and effort. Therefore, you’re bound to feel impressed when such low maintenance and striking plant comes along. 

The Bromeliad family may be vast, but they all tend to be low maintenance and easy to grow. You seldom have to change their soil or provide special conditions to ensure survival. Most of them can even withstand sub-zero temperatures and high humidity.   

Drought-resistant

With the water table lowering each year, drought and water shortages are becoming a near reality. The deficiency affects all life forms, Which is why investing in drought-tolerant crops and plants is crucial. 

The Bromeliad require very little water to grow. Overwatering leads to rotten roots. If you live in a drought-prone area, Bromeliad is ideal for you. 

Promote a relaxed sleep 

Relying on medication to doze off every night may provide a temporary fix. But in the long run, the problem still stands. Additionally, artificial methods to induce sleep do more harm than good. 

Scientific research and experiments have shown Bromeliad plants significantly enhance sleep quality. As they remove toxins from the air and promote a reduced stress level, you get a much more peaceful sleep. As a result, your productivity levels increase. You’re well-rested throughout the day. 

How to care for bromeliad plants and get beautiful flowers

Since Bromeliad plants are low-maintenance, you don’t have to follow each piece of advice to the dot. They thrive in high humidity and partial shade conditions. So they will survive even if you forget to take them out during the day or do not water them enough.

However, it helps to know the ideal condition in which a Bromeliad thrives. Besides, it only blooms once during its lifetime. So you must make sure to witness that glory.

Here are a few steps you can practice to give your bromeliad the life it deserves: 

Maintain a scarce water supply

As a drought-resistant species, most members of the family require little watering. It roots prefer to be in moist conditions but despise soggy soil. Therefore, only watering them once a week is more than sufficient.

Keep the humidity high.

Since most vans thrive under high humidity conditions, you must adapt practices that elevate the indoor humidity levels. Such as, spraying a mist of water around the plant helps keep the humidity high. You can also consider growing it under a glass container to trap moisture. 

Keep the blinds closed.

The Bromeliad plant family detests direct exposure to the sun. Therefore, making arrangements to allow only partial light into the room improves the growing period. You can install blinds or provide artificial light to control the exposure to the plants better. 

Fend off against house pests 

Bugs and pests can be a massive nuisance regarding house plants. Therefore, you must control their population from the starting point. You can frequently spray it with organic insecticide or use a mild soap solution to clean the leaves. 

Bromeliad colors

One of the Bromeliad family’s most different factors is the vibrant colors of the blooms. You’ll likely find flowers in all shades of orange, red, pink, and yellow. The bold colors make them a highly regarded choice for an indoor house plant. In addition, they add a pop of color to an otherwise plain green plant. 

The plants that are most celebrated for their vibrant colors include: 

Neoregelia 
  • Guzmania – featuring orange, yellow, and purple flowers
  • Neoregelia – adorning a pink, purple, or orange foliage. 
  • Pink quill – featuring a hot pink center, surrounded by muddy-green blades.
  • Urn – starring a pink flower cluster with individual blue and purple flowers.
  • Vriesea – featuring a tall, feather-like bloom in bright red, orange or pink.

Bromeliad propagation

pink Bromeliad

The bromeliad family guarantees to add an exquisite, eye-catching collection to your houseplants. It showcases blooms of the last 3 to 6 months. However, each one only blooms once during its lifetime. Therefore, making the entire experience quite rare and precious. To prolong the Bromeliad experience, you can propagate the plants.

Propagation is the process by which new plans are created. You can either use seeds or pups to develop new plants.

Seed propagation 

Using the seed method is ideal if you can dedicate significant time to propagating plants. You can begin by sowing seeds during springtime. But since Bromeliads aren’t self-pollinators, you’ll have to lend a helping hand. You can either pollinate the plants using a brush or allow the pollinators to do their job. 

You can begin the sowing process by introducing your plant into a container with a two-part moss and one-part coarse sand mixture. Place the container under a plastic bag and mist the soil to create ideal humidity conditions. 

After a week has passed, readjust a plastic bag to allow moisture to drop in. Also, let indirect light seep into the soil. When the seeds develop into young plants with a few leaves, it’s time to relocate them into a bigger pot. 

Pup propagation 

During springtime, cut off the base of the plants to retrieve the pups. Once cleanly removed from the parent plant, leave them on a potting mix. Ensure direct sunlight and plenty of water never let the soil dry. Additionally, maintain the temperature at 55°F and frequently spray the soil with a fertilizer mixture to promote growth.

Bromeliad outdoor tips

selection of Neoregelia 

The Bromeliad Family consists of plants that are native to tropical climates. Therefore, you need to make sure that the outdoor conditions are ideal for promoting growth. 

Here are a few tips on how to make the outdoor conditions more suitable for a Bromeliad: 

Partial shade

Direct exposure to sunlight can cause severe damage to the leaves. Therefore, you must closely monitor the amount and intensity of the sun on the plant. Avoid direct exposure or install a shade above where the plant is potted.

Moist air

Certain members of the family are better equipped to handle drier climates. However, most of them prefer a more humid atmosphere. If you live in an area that offers high humidity, you don’t need to make an additional effort. But if you live in an arid climate, you will frequently need to mist the air around the plant with water

striped Bromeliad

Away from cold

Growing a bromeliad might be slightly more challenging if you live in a colder region. However, you can install a greenhouse setup to control the temperature settings around the plant.

Bromeliad indoor tips

Introducing them into a home has proven to improve air quality drastically. But a bromeliad offers additional value with striking and vibrant colors. 

However, taking care of an indoor plant can get quite tricky. So here are a few tips to help you keep your vibrant bromeliad in good health: 

Hospitable soil

A drought-resistant option detests a saturated soil mixture. However, its growth will be affected if your soil doesn’t have a proper drainage system. Therefore, conduct regular checkups to ensure the soil isn’t soggy. 

Pest-free environment 

Insects and pests are a natural part of the ecosystem surrounding your plant. However, they can cause severe damage to different regions and affect its growth. Make sure to use organic insecticide and a mild liquid detergent mixture to regularly clean the leaves. 

Healthy, vibrant leaves

The health of an indoor plant becomes evident by looking at the condition of its leaves. A struggling one will support a browning or wilted leaf. Additionally, keep an eye out for any brown spots or yellowing. 

Bromeliad light requirements

two Neoregelia 

Each plant has a different light requirement. However, most family members thrive under indirect exposure or partial shade conditions. Since they are native to tropical climates where the light varies with each forest level, exposure is limited from 6 to 8 hours daily.  

There are specific ways to assess if your client is receiving too much sunlight. For instance, brown spots on the leaves and wilting or yellowing of the plant suggest overexposure to the natural light.

Similarly, your plant will inform you if it isn’t receiving enough light. Underexposure leads to longer and floppier leaves. Additionally, the bright colors of the bromeliad bloom will fall dull, and the leaves will grow darker. 

How often should you water bromeliads?

Vriesea Bromeliads

The nature of these plants is more susceptible to overwatering than underwatering. The drought-resistant plants detest wet or saturated soil mixture. If the potting mix doesn’t drain regularly, the roots will begin to develop rot. 

Therefore, you must be careful not to let water saturate the soil mixture. Resultantly, watering the plant once a week should be more than sufficient.

The Bromeliad leaves are turning brown.

Browning leaves indicate that the current atmospheric conditions are far from ideal. 

Here are a few common reasons for the leaves turning brown: 

Too much or too little water

The leaf color is thrown off if the soil mixture contains too little or too much water. Additional symptoms like wilting or drying leaves indicate underwatering. At the same time, a rot development might suggest the soil is oversaturated with water. 

Lack of light

As a result of two little exposure to the sunlight, the leaves grow darker and lose their vibrancy.

Pests

Certain insects and pests like spider mites attack the plant and remove any moisture. A lack of water results in a yellowish or brown leaf. 

Wrong humidity level

Since they are native to areas with high humidity, they will begin losing their color if exposed to a low humidity atmosphere for extended periods. 

Bromeliad repotting

Bromeliads lack a widely spread out root system. The shallow roots are best-suited to a compact pot. If they are housed in a large pot, it may lead to overwatering issues. A young one with a few leaves comfortably resides in a 4-inch container. 

However, you need to relocate it to a bigger pot if you feel they’re outgrowing their current container. Even as a fully grown one, they don’t require too large a pot. They can comfortably reside in a 6 to 8-inch container. 

Bromeliad life cycle

With over 3000 species in the Bromeliad family, The life cycle stretches from a few weeks to a few decades. However, you can obtain a general understanding by dividing the plant into either of the two following types:

Epiphytic

The plants that grow devoid of independence are known as epiphytic plants. They grow attached to a hard surface and obtain the nutrients, oxygen, and water from the air around them. Instead of reproducing traditionally, they spread out their shoots to cover their inhabited surface. Each shoot eventually develops into a mature plant. Once these shoots detach from the parent, it dies.

Terrestrial

The plants you are familiar with as the vibrant species that add character to your house fall under the terrestrial category. They reproduce in a more conventional sense through pups and seeds. Once these pups are removed from the parent plant, they can be allowed to develop into independent and mature plants. Similarly, the seeds are sown to mature into a vibrant terrestrial Bromeliad. The life of a parent plant comes to an end once the pups are carefully removed.

Bromeliad bloom stages

Bromeliad species are long-lived and slow-growing plants. They bloom only once during their lifetime. After they have flowered, they begin the process of dying. Different species reach maturity at different stages. However, the earliest a plant can mature is about a year from independence. It may also take some of them up to 3 years to reach maturity.

After a plant has matured, it begins the process of booming. The boom lasts anywhere from 6 to 8 months. During the blooming stage, it also produces multiple pups. But after it ends, the parent plant begins a two-year-long journey into a final demise. 

How to care for bromeliads after they flower

Once it blooms, you may be reminded of its inevitable end. However, your gear doesn’t end with the blooming stage. Even after it flowers, it has a few good years. Additionally, they propagate through pups which are crucial for growing your houseplant collection. 

Step 1: Redirect ample sunlight

If you’ve put the bromeliad indoors, it is encouraged to introduce a blind or sheer curtain to control the exposure to light. If you’ve kept it outdoors, you may have to place the plant under a shed. Essentially, ensure the plant is exposed to indirect sunlight and partial shade.

Step 2: Water to an adequate level

For a growing plant, the water requirement must be carefully monitored. Since it prefers moist soil, remember to water it once weekly. You may risk its growth if you overwater it.

Step 3: Introduce a liquid fertilizer 

To provide a helping hand, add liquid fertilizer to the soil. 

Step 4: Prepare the ground for a separate plant.

Once it grows new pups, you can think of branching them out into separate parts. 

FAQs:

Do bromeliads only flower once?

The striking colors of a bromeliad bloom only occur once during its lifespan. However, the flower may last up to 6 months if the growing conditions are ideal.

Is bromeliad an indoor plant?

The Bromeliad family offers multiple species, each accustomed to growing in different climates and soil conditions. This makes the plant adaptable to other living conditions. Most bromeliads are well-suited to outdoor and indoor life, whether in pots or loose soil. 

Do bromeliads need sun or shade?

The requirements vary depending on the genus and species of the bromeliad plant. However, the Bromeliad family is typically not too fond of direct sunlight. Most of them thrive under martial shade or indirect sunlight exposure. 

Are Bromeliad plants toxic or safe for cats?

Bromeliads are ideal for anyone with pets. Most indoor species are non-toxic to pets and people. All types of bromeliad plants are safe to be put around your cat. It advances no threat to them.