How to Take Care of Bromeliads

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Lawn & Garden

Guide to Bromeliad Care

Bromeliads, including cryptanthus, are generally easy to care for. However, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure the health of your plant.

In this article, we will cover common pests and diseases that can affect bromeliads and how to prevent and treat them.

To prevent pests and diseases, it is important to keep the natural vases created by the leaves filled with water and to change the water regularly. Removing any dead or dying parts of the plant and keeping it clean can also help prevent infestations.

Scale is a common issue with bromeliads and can be treated by scraping it off with a fingernail or using a soft brush and soapy water. 50% malathion can also be used at the rate of one tablespoon per gallon of water.

Red spider can be discouraged by maintaining humidity and washing the plant regularly. For aphids, use an insecticide for sucking insects and wash off both the insects and the insecticide after they are dead.

Brown tips on healthy plants are often due to the substances in the water. To avoid fungus, keep the area clean and the air circulating.

Bromeliads are easy to propagate. For more information on how to successfully propagate your plant, read the next section.

More Gardening and House Plant Resources:

  • Types of Bromeliads
  • Gardening
  • House Plants


1. What are bromeliads?

Bromeliads are a type of tropical plant that is native to Central and South America. They are known for their vibrant and colorful leaves, as well as their unique flowers. Bromeliads can be grown both indoors and outdoors and come in a variety of sizes, from small tabletop plants to large trees.

2. How do I care for my bromeliad?

Bromeliads are relatively low-maintenance plants. They require bright, indirect light and should be watered regularly but not overwatered. It’s also important to keep the center cup of the plant filled with water to maintain its humidity. Fertilizer can be applied once a month during the growing season.

3. Can bromeliads be grown indoors?

Yes, bromeliads can be grown indoors as long as they receive bright, indirect light. They also prefer a humid environment, so placing a humidifier near the plant can be beneficial. Be sure to water the plant regularly and keep the center cup filled with water.

4. How often should I water my bromeliad?

Bromeliads should be watered regularly but not overwatered. Depending on the humidity and temperature of your environment, this could mean watering once a week or once every two weeks. It’s important not to let the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.

5. Can bromeliads be propagated?

Yes, bromeliads can be propagated by removing the offsets, or “pups,” that grow from the base of the plant. These can be separated from the parent plant and potted in their own containers. It’s important to wait until the pups are at least one-third the size of the parent plant before separating them.

6. What is the best soil for bromeliads?

Bromeliads prefer well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark works well for most bromeliads. It’s important to avoid using soil that is too dense or holds too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot.

7. Do bromeliads need fertilizer?

Yes, bromeliads benefit from fertilizer applied once a month during the growing season. A balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is recommended. It’s important not to over-fertilize, as this can damage the plant.

8. Can bromeliads be grown outdoors?

Yes, bromeliads can be grown outdoors in warm, tropical climates. They prefer a shaded or partially shaded area with well-draining soil. It’s important to protect them from frost and extreme temperatures.

9. How do I prune my bromeliad?

Bromeliads don’t require frequent pruning, but dead leaves and flowers should be removed as needed. It’s important to use clean pruning shears to avoid spreading disease. If the plant becomes too large, it can be divided into smaller plants.

10. Do bromeliads need to be repotted?

Bromeliads don’t need to be repotted frequently, as they prefer to be slightly root-bound. They only need to be repotted when the plant becomes too large for its container or when the soil has become depleted. When repotting, it’s important to use well-draining soil and a container with good drainage.

11. What pests and diseases affect bromeliads?

Bromeliads can be affected by a variety of pests and diseases, including mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and fungal infections. Regularly inspecting the plant for signs of damage and treating any issues promptly can help prevent them from spreading. It’s also important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

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