Potting:Most bromeliads, except tillandsia, can be potted for ease of growing, displaying, and handling.
Use a well-draining potting mix that includes materials like perlite, tree fern fiber, small gravel, pine, cypress, or fir bark.
Plant bromeliads just to the base of the leaves to prevent rotting.
Choose the right pot size to avoid overwatering.
Ensure the potting mix drains rapidly.
- Keep the roots moist but not soggy, and fill the central cup with fresh water (if present). A garden hose works best.
- Watering once a week is usually sufficient.
- Provide bright, diffused light for most bromeliads.
- Avoid dark environments.
- Symptoms of insufficient light include dark green, drooping leaves that are longer than normal.
- Symptoms of excessive light include yellowed leaves, faded and bleached markings, and a stressed appearance.
- Most bromeliads prefer temperatures between 50 and 90°F (11 to 36°C).
- They are not winter hardy, except in tropical regions.
Humidity & Air Circulation:
- Higher humidity is required for nidulariums, vrieseas, and guzmanias.
- Good air circulation helps.
- Opinions on fertilization vary based on light levels and genus.
- Slow-release pellets like Osmocote (14-14-14) can be added to the soil every 4 months.
- Avoid putting fertilizer pellets inside the central cup, or undesirable consequences may occur!
Insects & Disease:
- Bromeliads are relatively pest-free.
- Treat mealy bugs or scale with appropriate insecticides.
- Fungus control can be achieved with suitable fungicides.
- Most cultivated bromeliads bloom once in their lifetime.
- Blooming times vary depending on species and growing conditions.
- Changes in growing conditions may trigger blooming.
Offsets or Pups:
- After blooming, bromeliads produce pups or offsets.
- Remove pups when they are about half the size of the mother plant.
- Use a sharp knife or clippers to separate them from the mother plant.
- Remove any brown leaves before potting.
- Pups will mature in 3 months to 3 years depending on the genus and growing conditions.
This brief guide has covered the basics of caring for bromeliads for beginners. Remember, the learning process never ends as you gain insights from your own experiences and seek guidance from experts. Don't overanalyze, take the plunge!
Last updated: 9/12/2023