Bromeliad Plant Care

With the exotic touch the Bromeliad plant brings home, it will feel like the tropics. So add some sun-kissed climates to your living space today.

One thing is sure these plants are unique and added to your other houseplant collection adds exotic colors. You can find the foliage in varieties, and it is reasonably easy to grow.

However, caring for it is different compared to other houseplants. Yes, the care is not difficult, just different. The good news is that you will learn how to care for this beautiful plant here.

What is the Bromeliad Plant?

The one thing the Bromeliad plant has is an unusual appearance. You find them decorating homes, retail establishments, to offices. Now do not let the appearance fool you, thinking you need magical skills to make it grow into a natural rosette. The fact is the growth is simple, with unique care needed.

Bromeliad, also known as Bromeliaceae, is part of hundreds of species found in the plant family. This plant is epiphytic (a great thing to know). So you are not restricted to planting it only in a pot. Instead, you can grow it on rocks, other plants, or trees similar to orchids.

The fantastic news is that the care for Bromeliads is similar to the orchid and get their nutrients from the air and rainwater while attaching their root to a host. Sadly it is a slow grower, and unfortunately, they only bloom once and have a short-lived life after flowering and die. But there is good news! They do have loads of pups before they die, leaving you with more plants to care for.

Bromeliad Classification

BOTANICAL NAME: Bromeliaceae

COMMON NAME: Bromeliad

PLANT TYPE: Epiphyte and Terrestrial

BLOOM TYPE: Spring and Summer

FLOWER COLOR: A variety of colors  

MATURE SIZE: Varies on species   

NATIVE AREAS: Subtropical and Tropical Americas   

SUN EXPOSURE: Bright Indirect Light   

SOIL TYPE: Fast Draining

SOIL pH: 5.0 to 6.0 Acidic    

TOXICITY: Non-Toxic Some Cause Allergies

Care for Bromeliad Plants

Bromeliad Plant

Caring for your Bromeliad is similar to taking care of your Pothos and Philodendron plants. However, the plant needs a specific condition to bloom and varies from one genus to another. Furthermore, humidity, day length, water, temperature, and feeding are affected by the bloom cycles.

Therefore, the best is to find out which Bromeliad you have to determine what works best for your plant. And believe us, there are many of them.

Bromeliad Temperature and Humidity Tips

One fantastic thing about this species is the high tolerance to temperature variations. However, as it is a tropical plant, it needs warmer conditions with more humidity. So if you want your plant to thrive, make sure it is in temperatures between 55° to 80°F.

Another exceptional thing is your plant grows easily indoors with a humidity level ranging from 40% to 60%. Therefore, during the summer months, you can move it outdoors.

Lighting Requirement Bright Indirect Light

plant light requirement

In the Bromeliad family, some species are tolerant to light differently. Some can grow outside in direct sunlight, while others scorch when placed in much light. The general rule of thumb is if you have a plant with hard stiff leaves, it is best to grow it in bright indirect light.

Furthermore, if your plant leaves turn yellowish, it receives too much sunlight, while the opposite, if the leaves turn dark green or become elongated, might be the cause of too little bright light.

Bromeliad Best Potting Mix

plant soil requirement

To grow Bromeliads, you do not need to grow in the ground as they do not get nutrients through their roots from the soil. Instead, you can place the Bromeliad plant on rocks, logs, or wood or in a pot. You can buy Bromeliad soil mix or use an orchid soil mix. Alternatively, you can make your potting soil mix with ⅔ peat-based soil with ⅓ sand.

On the other hand, you can mix orchid with charcoal or a soilless potting mix. Some Bromeliad plants you can grow as air plants on a piece of wood in your home. However, if grown as an indoor plant in a pot, make sure to keep the soil dry to prevent root rot.

Watering Needs

Next and an essential part of Bromeliad care is the watering process. The water of the plant is different compared to most other indoor plants. You do not want to nurture it with water in the soil but through the center of the plant.

It would be best if you watered Bromeliads through the center cup while the soil remains dry. While the cups are filled with water, make sure to replace the stagnant water. We recommend using filtered or rainwater.

Fertilizer Requirement

You will love your Bromeliad plant care because it is not a heavy feeder, yeah. When the plant is growing in spring and summer, you can provide it with diluted liquid fertilizer. The strength should be either a ⅛ or ¼ applied every four weeks.

Yet, if you use a slow-release pellet fertilizer, only apply one pellet each season when you water the central cup. Now do not go and feed your plant during the winter months or when blooming. It’s a big no-no. Your plant is dormant at this time, and you get bleached, colored leaves preventing it from blooming.

Repotting the Bromeliad Plant

When you grow Bromeliads, depending on your variety, it does not have a huge root system. Therefore, you normally grow it as one plant and need no repotting. However, if you grow it as a houseplant indoors and need repotting, make sure to buy the correct sized pot with good drainage.

In addition, you can prune your Bromeliad plant from time to time to improve its growth. What you can do is to snip the foliage of the mother plant when you see the pups appear at the base of the plant. The pups indicate where a new plant will grow.

How to Propagate Bromeliad Plant  

plant propagation

The propagation for the Bromeliad is a simple process (even for beginner gardeners) as the plant multiplies with new plants. During the growth cycle, the mother plant sends up flower spikes, as seen above. The spikes include a small flower surrounded by bracts and long-lasting for months.

When it gets a flower, the plant eventually begins to die, but the mother plant sends you several offsets you can carefully cut. However, make sure to use a sterile shear, and the same applies to potting them individually in containers. Yet, only do this when the pups have a few roots and form their own central cup.

Bromeliad Bloom

To replicate the correct period for the Bromeliad to bloom is difficult as it can happen in any growing season. Nevertheless, it is possible to force it to flower by exposing the plant to ethylene gas. To spike your plant, follow these steps:

  • Place a clear plastic bag tightly sealed around the plant with a ripe apple inside for up to 10 days.
  • The apple gives off the ethylene gas once it becomes decomposed.
  • The water also needs to be drained well from the central cup before attempting this.

Bromeliad Toxicity

The plant is not considered toxic, but some humans and pets who are latex sensitive can experience skin irritation if in contact with the plant’s sap.

Bromeliad Plants Hardiness Zones

Do you live in the USDA hardiness zones 10 to 11? Then you’re in luck as the plant grows well as a houseplant in these areas. Check out this helpful map to guide you.

Bromeliad Diseases & Pests

Common pests are aphids, scale, and mealybugs. Most of the time, your Bromeliad plant is free of disease and pests. Yet, the plant is prone to the following issues:

The improper container is a big concern, as the Bromeliads do not have a huge root system. So if you want to place them indoors, choose a small yet well-drained pot to prevent root rot.

Hard water is another problem as your tap water has a high mineral content that causes spots at the plant base or in the center cup. Preferably, use demineralized water.

Overwatering happens a lot when over-saturating the ground. The best way to water Bromeliads is through the central cup filled with water.

Bromeliad Varieties and Similar Plants

While you can plant the Bromeliad in a blended potting mix, you find epiphytic species as well.

  • Guzmania Bromeliad

Comprises of G. Lingulata, G. Zahnii, G. Guzmania, and G. Monostachia. These plants have glossy long flat green leaves, with some having bright red bracts, but it depends on the species. Some even have pink, purple, yellow, or orange flowers that last up to four months.

  • The Neoregelia

Is a diverse Bromeliad genus with colorful bracts from deep purple to pink. The rosette forms short and flat. While others do not reach more than an inch across the leaf while others spread out to 40 inches wide.

  • The Ananas Comosus Champaca

Is a plant that grows an ornamental pineapple with spidery leaves with miniature ones on the top of the flower spike.

  • The Vriesea

This features a tropical feather bloom with variegated foliage that looks like fireworks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once your Bromeliad turns brown or the color fades, your plant is done blooming, and the process of dying has started. Unfortunately, you cannot save the foliage, but you can check the base for the pups growing. Leaves the pups to grow and trim the parent plant away once completely dead.

As an indoor plant, the Bromeliad is different from other plants that purify the air during the day. Instead, the plant releases oxygen at night while removing air pollutants as well.

Your plant could be getting too little or too much sunlight hindering the growth of pups

Bromeliads can be bought at different nurseries and garden centers. However, you can also find one available with us here on Plantly.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!


  1. Hi Christina, I've never seen these plants until today while I standing in line at my local Whole Foods Market. It was love at first sight. I have been thinking about buying a small portable green house to put my plants in during the summer so they can have time outside without direct exposure to critters and sun. Would it be okay to put this plant in there for an occasional "airing"?
    • Hi Deb, So lovely to hear from you. It depends on the type of portable greenhouse you have. If the greenhouse has enough ventilation to let through the air, it will be fine to protect your Bromeliad from critters. You'll need to keep checking the soil moisture if it's grown in soil as it can dry out fast in the heat. I'm not sure if your greenhouse stands on a hard surface. If it does, you can damp down the surface with water to help increase the moisture level for all your plants in the morning and at night. Hope the information helps. Take care, Christina

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