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BromeliadsUpdated 3 months ago

Bromeliads are unique, bold plants that are prized for their thick leaves and vibrant inflorescence (a.k.a flower). They’re easy to care for, but do have a life-cycle that’s a bit different from your average houseplant. If you ask us, this just makes them even more special!

Lighting: Bright to bright indirect light. Placement near a west facing window is ideal. 🌞 

Watering

    • Water Quality - Bromeliads are sensitive to salts and minerals found in tap water. It's best to use rainwater, distilled water, or water that has been allowed to sit for 24 hours to allow chlorine to dissipate.
    • Watering Frequency - Bromeliads typically require less water than many other houseplants. They have a central cup or tank in which they collect water. Depending on the species and environmental conditions, you may need to water your bromeliad every 1-2 weeks. However, always check the moisture level of the soil and the water in the central cup before watering.
    • Central Cup - Many bromeliads have a central cup or tank formed by their leaves, which collects water. This reservoir should be filled with water to provide moisture to the plant. Ensure that the central cup is kept clean and free from debris to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria.
    • Soil Moisture - While bromeliads can absorb water through their central cup, some also have roots that can absorb moisture from the soil. Ensure that the soil is kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Use a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for bromeliads or orchids.
    • Misting - In addition to watering the central cup and soil, you can also mist the foliage of your bromeliad occasionally. This helps to increase humidity around the plant, which mimics its natural tropical environment.
    • Avoid Overwatering - Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes in bromeliad care. Always allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and avoid leaving the plant sitting in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.
    • Seasonal Adjustments - During the growing season (typically spring and summer), bromeliads may require more frequent watering. In the winter months when growth slows down, you may need to reduce watering frequency.

Feeding: Bromeliads are relatively low-maintenance plants when it comes to fertilizing. In their natural habitat, bromeliads often grow in nutrient-poor environments, so they don't require frequent feeding. During the growing season, which typically spans from spring to early fall, you can fertilize your bromeliad about once a month. In winter, when growth slows down, you can reduce or suspend fertilization. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for bromeliads or orchids. Look for a fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium), such as 10-10-10 or similar. Avoid fertilizers high in phosphorus (the middle number in the N-P-K ratio), as bromeliads do not require much phosphorus.

Toxicity: Non-toxic and pet-friendly! 🐶 

There’s a common misconception that once a bromeliad flowers, it dies, and you are left plant-less and sad. While this is somewhat true, there’s always an opportunity to keep the cycle going and start anew. Bromeliads are often purchased during the flowering stage, because that is when they’re most attractive; however, many don’t realize that this is also the start of the dying stage for the plant, fooled by their vibrancy. This does not mean you should slack with plant care at all. If you do slack, that opportunity for a fresh start goes right out the window.  

With patience and the proper TLC, you’ll notice tiny offshoots in the soil beside the plant’s base. These are called pups, and are literally baby bromeliads (let that sink in then go ahead and name your juniors). Some blooms can last up to a whole year, while pups grow big and strong as the mother plant slowly dies. When pups are about half the size of the mother plant, it’s time to separate and replant them. The mama is probably looking pretty rough at this point. She’s served her purpose and lived a fulfilling life making beautiful children. It’s time to say goodbye and promise her that you will take impeccable care of her spawn.  

Repot the pups separately as you would any tropical houseplant. Epiphytic in nature, all bromeliads have a “tank” at their center. This is how they store their water in the wild, while also absorbing droplets through their leaves. Don’t make the mistake of keeping the tank full of water at home, as this can quickly lead to rot. Instead, you should mist the leaves and tank daily with a spray bottle, and water the soil thoroughly when it's nearly dry. 

Now that you know owning a bromeliad doesn't end in total devastation, we bet you're itching to collect 'em all! 





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