Features of Growing Bromeliads

Plants Growing Bromeliads

Bromeliads are a highly diverse and fascinating group of plants known for their colorful and attractive formed flowers that can add beauty elements to any indoor or outdoor space.

With their vibrant colors, unique foliage, and striking flower spikes, bromeliads can grab the attention of anyone, whether a gardener or an ordinary person.

Most species of Bromeliads are epiphytic means they need another host tree or surface to grow.

In this article, we will talk and explore the complete guide for plant-growing Bromeliads, helping you to cultivate your plant successfully.

Plants Growing Bromeliads

Understanding Bromeliads

  • Bromeliads belonging to the Bromeliaceae family are native to tropical regions of the Americas, including south, north, and central. This plant is perennial and lives only for a few years, and it blooms once during its lifecycle.
  • They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them highly variable. Some popular bromeliad species include the Aechmea, Guzmania, Neoregelia, and Billbergia.
  • As a slow-growing plant, it takes 2-3 years to mature and start flowering. The color of their flower varies from pink, green, purple, orange, and yellow to red.

Understanding Bromeliads

Lifecycle of Bromeliads

  1. Although this plant is beautiful and makes the area attractive, it only lasts for a short time since they have a short lifecycle.  
  2. After a time, indoor Bromeliads stop growing as they produce offsets. You can plant these offsets in new pots and grow them.
  3. To plant them in the new pot, use sphagnum moss mix or soils with medium drainage.
  4. The care of baby bromeliads is the same as the mature ones, and you need to provide the plants with proper care to grow larger.

To continue, let’s learn everything about plant-growing Bromeliads:

How to care for Bromeliads properly?

  1. Here is a comprehensive guide for growing Bromeliads successfully:
  2. Light requirementsBromeliads thrive well in bright, indirect light. Depending on the bromeliad genera, the level of light can vary.
  3. For example, those with soft, spineless leaves grow well in lower-light areas. On the other hand, bromeliads with stiff and hard leaves prefer areas with indirect light.
  4. While some others can tolerate some direct sunlight, too much can scorch their leaves immediately.
  5. When your plants turn yellow, it might be because they are exposed to too much light, and if their color change into dark green, they may receive a lower level of light.
  6. As plants are exposed to proper sunlight, they are more likely to bloom well, considering other conditions.

How to care for Bromeliads properly?

  • Temperature & humidity

  1. Most bromeliads prefer warm temperatures ranging from 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 27°C). They are not frost-tolerant and should be protected from cold climates.
  2. If you live in an area with cold weather, you need to transfer your plant into a pot and, in cold seasons, bring the pot into the house to plant growing Bromeliads.
  3. Some Bromeliad species tolerate the cold weather and can survive in areas even lower the 20 degrees. But it is better to keep them away from areas lower the 40 degrees.
  4. About the humidity, bromeliads appreciate locations with %40-%50 humidity. As you remember, bromeliads are naturally native to tropical regions. To grow it in low-humid areas, you must provide plants with artificial humidity.

Temperature & humidity

  • Watering

As you know, bromeliads are native to the tropical region and prefer to be constantly watering. However, it is not too sensitive to dryness. 

The watering process of Bromeliads is unique, and instead of receiving water from the soil, they have a central cup or tank formed by their leaves, which collects water.

It is crucial to keep this cup filled with water at all times and sometimes clear out the cup from its buildup salts and the growth of mosquitoes. Use distilled or rainwater to prevent mineral buildup. 

During the cold season, the plant does not require frequent watering because of undergoing winter rest.

Please don’t put the plant in the water; it can lead to rotting roots. Before watering the plant, check the soil. When 2 inches of soil is dry, you can drain it.

  • Soil & Potting

  • It is better to keep your bromeliads indoors to plant growing Bromeliads; they prefer fast-draining soil, which can keep moist like soil, including two-thirds peat-based and one-third sand.
  • You can add orchid mix, charcoals, or soilless potting mix to enhance soil drainage.
  • As most Bromeliads an epiphytic plant, it does not require traditional soil and can grow in a container or on a surface.
  • Fertilizing

When it comes to fertilizer for plant growth, Bromeliads do not require much.

Only during the growing seasons can you pour liquid fertilizer water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength, which needs to be applied to the central cup or the soil around the base of the plant.

Don’t pour any fertilizer into the mature plant in the winter or blooming time.

Fertilizing

  • Propagation

Bromeliads can be propagated through offsets, also known as “pups,” which are small plants that grow from the base of the main plant. Please wait until the pup has developed a few roots before separating it from the parent plant.

You can also propagate the plant using seeds, but growing from seeds takes longer.

  • Common Pests & diseases

  • Bromeliads are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can be affected by mealybugs, aphids, scale insects, or fungal infections.
  • You can spray a mixture of water and dish soap to remove the mealybugs and aphids. Or clean the leaves with cotton rubbed with alcohol.
  • Regularly check plants for any signs of infestation or disease and take appropriate measures like the ones mentioned above.

What are the Bromeliads species?

Although bromeliads can be kept as houseplants in the pot, some other species of bromeliads, such as epiphytic plants, can be found in tropical and subtropical regions like America.

What are the Bromeliads species?

Here are species of this plant that require low maintenance and do not need much experience:

  1. Aechmea

The first type of Bromeliad, Aechmea, is recognizable with its spike-like bracts growing in the center of the plant. Their rosettes are wide and have low-shaped leaves with spiky edges.

They grow easily in warm temperatures and bloom purple foliage. They can grow as housekeeping plants and add beauty to the house with long-lasting bracts and flowers.

  1. Guzmania

This species of Bromeliad has glossy and green leaves in long and flat shapes and is known for its inflorescent bracts. 

The common type of these species has bright red or yellow, orange, purple, and pink bracts, depending on the type.

Their flowers and bracts can last longer, about 2-4 months. Unlike other types, they prefer low light levels and can adapt well indoors since they don’t need to be exposed to direct sunlight. Warm spots with humid conditions are the best situation they can grow.

Guzmanias is an epiphytic plant that needs a host tree or surface to grow and develop its root system.

This genus, like all bromeliads, dies after flowering. However, they can restart a new cycle by replanting offsets.

The common species of this group include G. lingulata, G. zahnii, G. Guzmania sanguinea, and G. monostachia.

  1. Neoregelia

This is one of the high variety species of bromeliads offering bracts ranging from pink to deep purple. They are used as housekeeping plants with short, flat, rosette leaves.

Some Neoregelia species are miniature plants that do not grow more than an inch, while others grow up to 40 inches wide.

As Neoregelias are exposed to too much light, their foliage becomes different in color and brightens as they grow.

These types of bromeliads require more sunlight to bring out their significant colors. They grow well in the Searles cymbidium and bromeliads mix in the garden.

They can absorb water from their well and sometimes need to flush out the well to avoid the growth of bacteria there.

Neoregelia

  1. Billbergia

  • Billbergia plants, the other variety of bromeliads, are usually recognizable by their slender, channeled foliage that extends from the center. 
  • The flower spike of the plant hangs down from the middle and often features spotted or banded rosette foliage patterns. 
  • Billbergia plants readily form clusters at the base of trees and are suitable for all gardeners due to their easy growth. Although their flower spikes are stunning, they have a short lifespan.
  • The inflorescence and flowers of Billbergia plants can display various colors, including red, pink, purple, and blue. These plants can thrive in most Australian climates as long as there are no severe frosts.
  1. Vriesea

The popular bromeliad genus species are V. splendens and Vreisea’ Fireworks.’ This species is distinctive because of its feather-like blooms and variegated foliage that remains a popular plant for indoor displays.

Some of them have several branched flowers, and some of them have a single branch flower. This species enjoys a warm and high-humidity climate and cannot easily be affected by cold temperatures.

Although an epiphytic plant, it can also grow in soil mix.

Vriesea

  1. Ananas comosus ‘Champaca

This species refers to the common pineapple. This genus has spidery leaves and a minimum size of pineapple at the flowing spikes.

The flowering spikes emerge from the center of the plant, adding a touch of uniqueness and beauty to the overall appearance of the Bromeliad.

How to make Bromeliads bloom?

Bromeliads as flowering plants are expected to bloom all year round, which seems low probable.

But with science’s help, researchers suggest ways to force the plant to bloom. One of the methods is using ethylene gas.

To do it, you must put your plant in a plastic bag that is tightly sealed along with a ripe apple. Using an apple in the bag allows the plant to bloom as it releases ethylene gas.

How to grow bromeliads from seeds?

Plant-growing Bromeliads from the seed is possible but requires more patience than growing Bromeliads from offsets.

It is hard to find Bromeliads seeds in the market, and you can choose alternative options to get seeds, such as relying on your plant.

If you have indoor Bromeliads, you must help plants with pollination since they need a partner.

Transfer pollen from the male stamen to the female stigma using a paintbrush or something else.

If the attempt is fruitful, a pod containing seeds should develop, and the seeds can be collected once they are fully mature. It is generally recommended to sow the seeds shortly after gathering them.

Prepare a seed tray by combining two parts of well-draining compost with one part of sharp sand.

Spread the seeds evenly on the tray’s surface without burying them in the compost.

Gently mist the compost to moisten it without disturbing the seeds.

To create a humid environment, cover the tray with a plastic bag or place it in a warm airing area to encourage the germination of seeds. It takes about a few days to germinate as they are fresh.

As the seedlings start producing three or four leaves, they gradually lessen their exposure to the humid atmosphere.

Transplant the plants into small pots filled with a well-draining compost mix, as described in the earlier planting instructions.

How to grow Bromeliads from offsets?

Bromeliads produce lots of baby plants at the base of the mother plant. After flowering, the mother plant is destined to die. The baby plant is the same as the mother plant, bearing the same genes.

However, the life cycle of the baby plant is longer than that of the mother plant. You were attracted to the Bromeliads because of their flowers and bought one.

 

But for the baby plant, it is different. It bears flowers after 2-3 years, then blooms and goes through the same lifecycle as the mother plant.

 

Let’s see how you can propagate Bromeliads from offsets:

 

It is easy and simple since baby Bromeliads plants around the mother plant can get out to transfer to another pot.

But the pineapple genus is different as baby plants attach to the mother, and you will need a sharp knife to separate them.

While separate offsets in the soil develop their root system, pineapple offsets do not have one, but they can easily create their root system without any issues.

Bromeliads’ common issues

Here are the issues that can affect the growth of Bromeliads:

  • Overwatering or overlogging

One of the things that can affect Bromeliad’s growth is overwatering. Being saturated with water can lead to root rot. Instead of watering the plant directly on the soil, you must fill the central cup formed by leaves.

You must choose a pot with drainage holes to ensure that your plant is not covered with water.

Another thing you need to consider when buying a pot is not to choose metal since bromeliads are sensitive to metal, which avoids their growth.

Bromeliads' common issues

  • Heavy water

In watering, you need to consider also another tip. Water that is heavy in minerals can make some spots on the base of the plant. And because of that, it is recommended to use water low in minerals.

You can use rainwater or tap water, which has been boiled and cooled before.

Every few weeks, you should down the plant to remove the gathered water in the cup and refill it with fresh water to avoid the growth of bacteria.

  • Unsuitable container

Bromeliads has a small root system, and because of that, they don’t need to be planted in a large pot, which causes the collection of water and rotting root.

Conclusion

Bromeliads are one of the captivating plants that can grow in gardens and also indoors. It requires high maintenance to develop and start flowering.

As it is native to tropical regions, a warm area with humidity is suitable for its growth.

So, if you plan to buy a bromeliad, consider its requirements and provide a situation from any pests and diseases. I hope you read this article and can better manage your plant growth.

Which species of bromeliads do you prefer? Why?

Please tell us all you know about plant-growing Bromeliads in the comment section.

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