Bromeliads Care Guide

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Lawn & Garden

Bromeliads’ Lighting Needs


Some bromeliads naturally grow on shaded lower branches of trees.

Bromeliads are capable of growing in a wide range of light conditions that vary from full sunlight to partial shade in their natural habitats.

While most bromeliads can adapt to different levels of light, variegated plants may turn green if exposed to too much shade. Additionally, those with soft green leaves require less light compared to those with stiff, leathery foliage.

Since light intensity varies depending on location and season, it is best to consider the plant’s specific needs. Bromeliads that have been growing in shade or have been recently transplanted should be gradually introduced to brighter light.

Most bromeliads can thrive under subdued to bright artificial lighting for 14 to 16 hours daily and maintain their leaf color. When the plants start to bloom, relocate them to the area beneath the center of the tubes. For larger bromeliads, place them near windows, while smaller plants can grow under lights.

Water and humidity requirements vary depending on the plant variety, location, lighting, and temperature. The next section contains more information about caring for bromeliads’ water and humidity needs.

Interested in learning more about gardening and indoor plants? Check out:

  • Bromeliad Types
  • Gardening
  • Indoor Plants

FAQ

1. What is the best way to water bromeliads?

Bromeliads are unique plants that need to be watered in a specific way. Rather than watering the soil like most plants, bromeliads should have their central cups filled with water. It is important to keep the water level below the leaves to prevent rot. It is best to use distilled or rainwater as tap water can contain chemicals that harm the plant. Watering frequency will depend on the environment, but typically once a week is sufficient. If the plant is in a humid environment, it may only need to be watered every two weeks.

2. How much light do bromeliads need?

Bromeliads prefer bright, indirect sunlight. They can tolerate some morning or afternoon sun, but too much direct sunlight can burn their leaves. If the plant is not getting enough light, the leaves will become elongated and the colors may fade. If the plant is getting too much light, the leaves will turn yellow or brown. If the bromeliad is indoors, it is important to rotate it every few weeks to ensure all sides receive adequate light.

3. How do I fertilize my bromeliad?

Bromeliads do not require frequent fertilization, but it can be beneficial during the growing season. It is best to use a fertilizer specifically formulated for bromeliads, as other fertilizers can be too harsh for the plant. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength and apply directly to the central cup. Be sure to flush the cup with water after fertilization to prevent salt buildup.

4. How do I propagate my bromeliad?

Bromeliads can be propagated through offsets, or pups, that grow from the base of the plant. Wait until the pup is about one-third the size of the mother plant before removing it. Cut the pup off using a sharp, sterile knife and plant it in a pot with well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist and in a warm, bright location. It may take several months for the pup to develop its own roots and begin growing.

5. How do I care for my bromeliad after it flowers?

After a bromeliad flowers, the plant will slowly decline and eventually die. However, it will produce several pups before it dies. Once the mother plant has completely died, the pups can be removed and planted individually. It is important to wait until the pup is at least one-third the size of the mother plant before removing it. If the mother plant is still green, it is still producing pups and should be left alone until it completely dies.

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