The following tips on growing bromeliads are mostly for indoor plants. Even though pineapple plants are also bromeliads, most people don’t have those growing indoors. Some people will plant the tops of pineapples after eating the fruit, but it takes two years for fruit to be produced from this plant.
Even though many bromeliads will grow without soil, you can still use fast-draining soil for yours. Cactus mixtures work well or you can make your own with one-third sand and two-thirds soil with a high peat-moss base.
If you end up using potting soil, you won’t have to water the bromeliads quite as much. Plants mounted to logs and boards need a lot more water, but will grow just as well as the soil-bound varieties. Thankfully, bromeliads have a high tolerance to drought. The center of the bromeliad creates a type of cup that should be filled with water at all times. This is sometimes known as the Water Cup.
Drastic temperature variations don’t seem to bother bromeliads, but they shouldn’t be subjected to temps below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range is between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep the humidity high during the hotter temperatures.
The amount of light your bromeliad desires will depend on the type of plant you have. Some will burn in the hot sun while others seem to thrive in it. As long as you have an area of the house that is well-lit and doesn’t receive direct sunlight, your bromeliad should do fine. Try placing your plant in a south or southwest window. If it begins to turn yellow, then it might be getting too much light.
These plants don’t require a lot of fertilizer, since they aren’t heavy feeders. If you wish to fertilize your bromeliad, then use a slow-release granulated fertilizer. Place a single pellet of fertilizer in the water cup and that is all the plant will need for the entire season. Dilute liquid fertilizers to one-half or one-fourth the regular strength.
The largest bromeliad is around 10 feet tall with a flower that is close to 30 feet tall. The smallest bromeliad is Spanish moss. What types of bromeliads do you have or have you owned in the past? What do you like best about these hardy monocots?
Top Photo Credit: Rana Pipiens
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