(Taking Care of Bromeliads and its different Varieties)
Bromeliad plants provide an exotic touch to the home and bring a sense of the tropics and sun-kissed climates. They are vibrant and make a wonderful houseplant that is native to tropical North and South America.There are more than 3,000 known species of Bromeliads and their best known relative plant is…
Can you guess what? Well, it’s the pineapple.
Bromeliads come in many sizes, colors and shapes. Most varieties of Bromeliads can thrive as houseplants, provided that you know how to treat them well.
Bromeliad plants seem to indicate that they are a high maintenance plant that requires special gardening skills because of their unusual appearance. They are pretty easy to grow indoors. But caring for these plants is quite different than caring for any average houseplants.
Bromeliad plant caring isn’t difficult; it’s just…well, different. See also: Choosing the best flowers to grow indoors
(Growing a Bromeliad plant indoors)
Bromeliads make a wonderful indoor plant. They just have a few needs, and well…also a few problems with pests, but with the right knowledge and care, you can enjoy having these brilliant bromeliads in your home as your houseplant.
Here are some tips that you might want to know about, on how to grow a bromeliad in the safety of your homes. Check out Bromeliads Facts and learn more about Bromeliads.
The majority of the Bromeliads species are epiphyte, which basically means that they are plants that grow on other plants, rocks, logs and other things which are not in the soil.
Although bromeliads are adopted to withstand drought, they are much less tolerant of being over-watered which can lead to root rotting. So always remember to avoid letting them sit directly in water, and never keep them soaking.
It is important to place you plant in a plant container that has a good drainage, a pot which has a lot of holes under it for draining excess water.
Always remember to thoroughly soak the pot when watering, in this way, salt build up will be washed out of the pot.
Don’t water your plant again unless the top two inches of your plant container is dry.
Frequent watering can lead your plant to root rot.
Most species of these bromeliad plants have a tank. This is a part where the plant’s leaves meet together and form that looks like a tank or a cup. This plant also takes in water through this part called their tank.
When watering your bromeliad plant, make sure to fill their tanks with fresh clean water and be sure to regularly change it to prevent water stagnation and bacteria build up. If you have fortunately had the epiphytic bromeliad, watering them would be different. You can simply keep them moist by spraying or misting them regularly. (Visit Bromeliad Watering for more information)
Note: avoid using a metal plant container to your bromeliad plant for they are very sensitive with metals and the results could be disastrous to your plant.
Bromeliad plant love fertile, organic matter in their soil. The potting soil to be used should be acidic and very good in holding moisture yet they must have excellent drainage.
Orchid mixes, peat moss, sphagnum moss and charcoal all work well, as do soilless potting mixes.
Another good additive is coco coir, which is a more environmentally friendly alternative to peat moss.One easy recipe is half soilless mix and half orchid mix (fine grade).
Avoid using garden soil and do not add a layer of drainage material to the bottom of your plant container (drainage only works if the upper level is saturated. The idea is to avoid potting mediums that become saturated).
For those who got the epiphytic bromeliad plant, they can either be grown in a plant container or plant hangers mounted on pieces of wood with nylon ties or nontoxic, waterproof glue. Bromeliads that are grown in the air should be watered daily by drenching the plant. They also benefit from being soaked, by soaking the plants in water once a week. (All these and more are available at gardensonata.com.au.)
When it comes to light, bromeliads aren’t super fussy, and they make great low light indoor plants. Bromeliads have a wide range of light tolerances.
Like many other tropical plants (such as indoor palms) brought indoors, bromeliad plants like nice, bright light but no prolonged periods of direct, hot sun.
Some Bromeliad species prefer bright, indirect light while the others thrive in almost steady shade. For the most part, bromeliads thrive in bright, sunny spaces. However, exposure to direct sunlight for an extended period of time can cause damage to the plant’s leaves.
During the darker months, (Or the winter season) you may have to move your bromeliad plant to a spot where it gets more light.
If you had placed your bromeliad plant in a plant container, you can transfer them outside your house for them to get more sunlight by placing them in plant shelves. In commercial accounts, they were rotated out on a monthly basis so the exposure wasn’t as big a deal.
Temperature isn’t too important as bromeliad plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from near freezing to 100 degrees F.
Humidity is more important as these plants are native to the subtropics & the tropics. If your home is really dry, then mist them a couple of times a week or grow them over a tray filled with water & pebbles to up the ante on the humidity.
Most bromeliads benefit from high humidity and good air circulation. A humidifier would also be a great help to your bromeliad during the winter days to keep the humidity level consistent in you’re the room.
Bromeliad plants don’t really need to be fertilized. Being a slow grower plant as themselves, fertilizer won’t help them grow even faster.
If you feel the need to feed them, then use a balanced liquid fertilizer. Mix it at 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 the dose recommended on the bottle.
Avoid fertilizing your bromeliad plants in winter time, where they have reached their maturity, and when they are starting to bloom.
Just fertilize your bromeliad plant during the growing season every other week to once a month and just make sure to fertilizer sparingly. Also, be sure to always use a natural organic liquid fertilizer, because bromeliad plants are very sensitive to chemical plant fertilizer.
There are fertilizers which are specially formulated for bromeliad plants but whichever you decide to use, just always remember: don’t over fertilize them!
When your Bromeliad plant starts to die on you for only a year or two, don’t be disheartened. These types of plants really don’t live long, but will absolutely die back after flowering.
These bromeliad plants will produce offsets or as they called “pups”. (These are the little baby bromeliads that appear at the base of the mother plant.)
You can remove it and start a new plant from there.If you’re new to this, you might want to wait until they are large enough, a fairly good size so roots have formed to break away from the mother plant.
These pups require the same care and attention as the mother plant. When the pup is big enough and they already form a cup, it is best to keep it filled with water so they would receive enough moisture.
Bromeliads don’t usually have a lot of trouble with bugs, but houseplant scale or mealy bugs can be a problem. They’re most susceptible to mealy bugs & scale.
So be sure to keep an eye out during your regular bromeliad plant care routine.You can wipe the mealy bug off your plant with alcohol & a cotton swab and scale can be removed with just the use of your fingernail or a dull knife.
You can also use organic neem oil. It is a natural insecticide that is very effective in getting rid of these nasty houseplant pests. Horticultural oil or organic insecticidal soap also works great. Always remember to never use chemical pesticides on houseplant pests because they can build up a resistance to chemicals, making pest problems even worse, and chemical pesticides can also damage your bromeliad plant.
Pest attacks can severely damage your plant, and can cause white patches and round dots in their leaves. The most common pests in bromeliad plant are scale and mealybugs, which create the described appearance.
Wipe a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol over the affected area every day or two until it subsides. If you don’t have a choice, and is forced to use insecticides, remember to avoid those insecticides that are thick or oil-based ones which can suffocate the plant. Bromeliads rely on their leaves to draw in some nutrients and water, so only use insecticides as a last resort.
(Why does it happen and what to do about it)
Have you noticed that your Bromeliad plant is losing its color and is turning brown? Quick answer is they might be in their process of dying. Well, here is the reason to it and what you should do about it.
Bromeliad flowers may last longer than most other plants but then they will eventually start to turn brown, wither, and die.
It may sound a bit harsh but these plants die right after they flourish.
Bromeliads are known for their long lasting exotic flowers which can bloom for months.
Once that one beautiful flower withered, it is signaling that the said plant will also start to die and would start a new cycle of life.
Pups are starting to grow and will be the new generation of your bromeliad plant in your garden.
Cut the withering flower so it can focus its strength and energy to the new baby plant or so called “pups”.
Another thing about bromeliads turning brown could also mean that your plant is suffering from poor cultural conditions. A brown sickly plant indicates that it may be suffering from a certain fungal disease. Most species of bromeliad plants have a knot of leaves that overlap to form a tank in the center of the plant.
As we all know, this tank retains water, nourishing the plant. Bromeliads are considered durable and low maintenance, and good cultural conditions prevent many diseases and foliage problems. Supply your bromeliad with fresh air by opening a window occasionally during the growing season and avoid crowding plants. To prevent rotting, avoid planting bromeliad plants in a regular garden soil and only use mixes specifically made for bromeliads. Visit Bromeliads Care for proper caring techniques.
(How to make your Bromeliad plant Bloom)
Bromeliad plants just like orchids will outlive a bunch of vibrant flowers any day which are good value for money. They are volatile and very adaptable houseplants and they have health benefits too. They give out oxygen during the day and absorb lots of nasty toxins around our homes during the night.
So, the question is how to get your Bromeliads to flower? Well, you can try the plastic bag method.
All you got to need are 3 things:
A mature Bromeliad plant pup (of course, the one who doesn’t have flower)
A clear plastic bag that doesn’t have air holes in it, (Garden shops or pet stores will normally have large clear bags).
A ripe fruit (Such as apples, kiwi, or bananas).
All you need to do is, empty the water from your plant’s tank then place it inside the plastic bag along with the ripe fruits. Fruits that are told to keep away from flowering plants are those that you should use.The ethylene gas that these fruits give off naturally from their skins forces the bromeliad plant to flower.
Just make sure that the clear bag that you’re going to use doesn’t have any air holes in it.Tie the bag well at the top with a tight knot and leave it for about 7-10 days, it should be enough time for the gas to build up inside the bag and afterwards, the gas should stimulate the plant to flower. Check your bromeliad plant and about 6 – 14 weeks you could expect to have a vibrant bromeliad flower in your garden.
Growing a Bromeliad plant indoors may be different from the other indoor plants, but remember that it couldn’t be as difficult. If you just have the right knowledge in taking care of them, then you’re in luck! Just remember all the tips mentioned above and you’re good to go. After all, all those things you should do will leave you speechless when your plant starts to bloom vibrant flowers.