Bromeliad is a tropical epiphyte plant which grows on the ground (not pots) and naturally grown on rainforest trees, logs, rocks and other plants. It has a lifespan of about 2-3 years and is also known as a ‘striking houseplant.’ It has broad leaves with colorful foliage flowering once in a lifetime and lasting for 3-6 months. It also produces pups after a bloom which gives an impression of healthy secondary growth.
|Aechmea||Bright pink bracts topping on the Thick, broad leaves|
|Aechmea Fasciata/Silver Vase (Urn) Bromeliad||Silver-green leaves with blue flowers in a pink cluster on the top|
|Aechmea Primera||Broad foliage with purple and red leaves|
|Alcantara Divine Plum||Deep-red foliage with red flowers|
|Billbergia||Veined foliage with pink flowers|
|Blanchetiana||Variegated leaves with blue and white flowers|
|Blue Tango Bromeliad||Smooth yellow foliage with light blue flowers|
|Bromeliad Aechmea Gamosepala||Silver-banded foliage with bright pink and blue matchstick flowers|
|Bromeliad Cryptanthus||Wavy red and pink leaves with small white flowers|
|Flaming Sword Bromeliad||Red sword-like flower head|
|Guzmania (red)||Green leaves with a group of red, purple, orange and yellow flowers on the top|
|Neoregelia Lila/Fireball||Pink, red, purple, or orange foliage|
|Orangeade Bromeliad||The bright yellow flowers with Smooth foliage|
|Pineapple Bromeliad||Spidery leaves with small pineapples on the top of the flower spike|
|Tillandsia||Smooth grayish foliage topped with red, pink, yellow, and purple flowers|
|Tillandsia Cyanea/Pink Quill Bromeliad||Grassy, dark-green leaves with blue flowers|
|Vriesea Bromeliad||Variegated foliage with a flower-like structure|
Necessary Requirements For Planting A New Bromeliad
Growing Medium & An Expert Potting Mix
A soil-free growing medium allows for a better drainage
Grow In A Pot
Use a potting mix containing equal amounts of perlite, corn fiber, and composted bark. Mix a half beautiful composted bark with half of a multipurpose growing pear-free. The presence of nuggets or cymbidium facilitates proper drainage and aeration.
Grow It Outdoors
Chose a small plant for providing proper support by its stem as a massive plant will not be able to support the growing medium.
Right Sized Container
3-5 (7.5-12.5 cm) inches can easily support a single plant and provide the necessary moisture content in hot places. Moreover, use a 7 (18 cm) inches full pot for a large plant. If using clay pots, make sure the place has proper humidity to allow the drainage.
Temperature & Light
They grow in low to bright lights for about 12-16 hours with some unusual varieties like Guzamania, Achmea, and Vriesea needing shade. However, exposing it to sunlight may damage the leaves. A south-facing window is a best-suited area for placing the plant indoors.
The optimum temperature for the plant is 70 °F (21 degrees °C) during summers and 50 °F (10 °C) in winters. Maintain a lower temperature of 55 °F (12 °C) to retain the flowers.
Sprinkle minimum amount of water to avoid dryness in the plants as excess watering may damage the roots
How To Water Bromeliad Plant?
Spray a bottle of water daily on the epiphytic plants while keeping them in humid places. NOTE: The metal containers can damage the epiphytic plants.
Bromeliad needs around 60% humidity level whether indoor or outdoor. Here are some ways to increase the moisture content:
- Water with a spray bottle to wet the leaves as and when possible.
- Surround it with other plants to increase some moisture in the air through transpiration.
- Fill a large tray with pebbles or stones and add water up to the surface of the rocks. After that, place the plant on or near the plate to increase the levels of humidity
- Use a humidifier while growing the plant indoors.
A Good Fertilizer
The best feeding time is summers and springs when the growth is very active. Too much fertilizing can affect the growth of the leaves. Apply a little liquid or water-soluble fertilizer in form of powder and pellets around the base to avoid the tank to prevent the foliage burn. Nursery plants require a mixture of a liquid and a slow-release fertilizer. On the other hand, hanging air plants need a liquid fertilizer diluted to ½-1/4 strength.
To make it bloom quickly, a combination of nitrogen (N) 3.0, phosphorus (P) 8.0, and potassium (K) 25.0 with few other tracing elements might help. According to some avid gardeners, the use of fertilizers rich in high potassium content may increase the flower productions while improving the foliage color.
The small and shallow roots shorten the lifespan of the plants. Re-potting (if necessary) can ideally be carried out during the spring season giving rise to pups needing accommodation in a new pot.
How To Report?
Young pups/plants can settle well in a 4-inch container, but the mature ones need a planter of about 6-7 inches for proper support and growth. Allow the pups to grow up to the 1/3-1/2 size of the primary plant. Follow this by cutting them with a sterilized knife as close as possible.
Place the new pups into the potting medium till the base of the leaves to prevent crown rot. If the roots are underdeveloped, it might not stay upright in the pot which may damage it completely. Use wooden stacks to keep it at one place allowing the roots to grow correctly and support the weight of the plant.
Can Bromeliad Be Forced To Bloom?
Some instances like environmental conditions may prevent the flowering and blooming which can be taken care of in the following ways:
Apple in a Bag
Place the plant with the container after removing the water in a clean plastic bag along with a ripe apple and seal it entirely. Keep it for 7 to 10 days away from the direct sunlight. After removing the cover, wait for next 6 to 14 weeks till it begins to bloom due to the ethylene gas emitted from the fruit.
Echofon is an active ingredient present in various concentrations which produces ethylene after dissolving in water. Spray it on the top of the plant once diluted. If you have a tank bromeliad, pour an ounce of it into the tank. Do it continually for 7-10 days.
Add one tablespoon of the Epsom salt into the soil. Dissolve some of it into the water while pouring it directly into the tank. Repeat the process once every month.
NOTE: 65°F (18.3°C) is the perfect night temperature to keep it away from fertilizing.
Bromeliad Plant Diseases & Problems
The failure to take proper care of bromeliad may welcome the pest attacks, restricted growth, color loss and many fungal diseases.
Lack of Growth
Inadequate amount of watering results in a reduction in growth and bloom while on the other hand, the excess amount can turn brown resulting in root rot. Its advisable to regulate the watering sessions as per the requirements of the plant while using a free-draining potting mix.
Also, excessive exposure to the sunlight may bleach and burn the leaves for which you need to apply the fertilizer. The use of wrong concentration can burn the foliage and make it appear leggy.
Pests & Insects
The leaves and flowers of bromeliad are often eaten by the Mexican bromeliad weevils which have a black body with two yellow or black spots on the wing covers. Their larvae appear with a dark head and attack the base often. Spray an insecticidal solution directly over the infected part every 2-3 months to avoid them.
Bromeliad Plant With Mealybugs
Spider mites may make the leaves look pale covered in webbings. The snails and slugs feed on them developing brown patches or holes. Spray the water or insecticidal soap every 3-5 days to get rid of them. One can also spray commercial liquid killers
NOTE: Excessive accumulation of water in the pot or tank can be a home to many mosquitoes.
Fungal infection like Helminthosporium leaf spot can develop due to the lack of air circulation. The symptoms include small brown or purple lesions on the foliage resulting in wilting. One should use a fungicide or increase the watering to avoid such diseases.
Is Bromeliad Toxic?
It is a non-poisonous plant and does not harm the pets either the humans. However, keep it away from the children.