Common Name: Bromeliad
Botanical Name: Neoregelia Species
Bromeliads are as easy to care for as houseplants can get. These low maintenance indoor plants are mostly native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas. They definitely prefer high temperatures and humidity, but they are also very adaptable and can thrive in most home environments.
Adding a Bromeliad to your space is a great way to bring in a tropical feel along with lots of color and texture. The trademark of Bromeliad plants is their long, sword-shaped leaves that grow in a dazzling array of colors. New leaves develop in the center of the plant in a rosette formation and grow out. The wide leaves can feature patches of intensely saturated colors or patterns. The brilliant hues of the Bromeliad Magali or the Bromeliad Cotton Candy are centerpiece worthy. While the striped and colorful leaves of the Bromeliad Fancy are more subdued but still command attention.
Bromeliads flower once during their lifetime, and they generally decline a few months after they begin to flower. However, after the plant flowers, it will focus its energy on propagating new plants.
Bromeliads can flourish in low, medium, or bright light, just as long as it is indirect. These indoor plants are known for their stunningly colorful leaves, so increase the amount of sunlight to draw out the intensity of the colors. Cut back on the amount of light your Bromeliad receives for a more subdued look.
Water when the soil is dry. Bromeliads grow around a central cup. In nature, this cup works like a reservoir that collects rainwater that is then absorbed into the plant. When growing a Bromeliad as a houseplant, it can be watered through the cup or through the soil.
If watering a Bromeliad through the cup make sure to fill it no more than halfway. Do not leave the cup full for extended periods of time as this can promote rot. It is important to routinely rinse and flush the cup to remove any buildup of salts or minerals from the water.
As a tropical plant, Bromeliads prefer warmer temperatures, although they are tolerant and can handle most home environments. The ideal temperature for a Bromeliad is 55-80°F.
Bromeliads naturally grow in the tropics and subtropics, so they like higher humidity. These plants are adaptable and can do very well in average humidity. Keep in mind that as the temperature rises these indoor plants will need more humidity.
During the growing season, fertilize with ½-strength complete liquid fertilizer or use a slow-release fertilizer in the spring.
- Towards the end of their lifecycle Bromeliad plants send up a flower spike, but it’s the colorful bracts or leaves that surround the flower spike that is the attention grabber. The flowers will typically last for several months.
- Bromeliads propagate by sending out pups or offsets. The small plants can be removed from the parent plant when they have a few roots and be planted on their own.
- In nature, Bromeliad plants are epiphytic which means they latch on to trees, other plants, and even rocks and they pull all of the moisture and nutrients they need from the air. For this reason, Bromeliads can be grown mounted to a board.