Bromeliads - About, Care & Maintenance

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A bromeliad is a spectacular plant that blooms for 6-12 weeks depending upon temperature and light conditions. It needs little attention and is ideal for homes, businesses, and restaurants; serving as a beautiful alternative for costly cut flower arrangements.

LIGHT AND TEMPERATURE: Bromeliads are very tolerant of low light conditions, but can also do well in high light areas. Those varieties with thick grayish leaves do better in bright light, while those with thin green leaves do better in low light. Neither should be placed in direct sun. Blooms will last longer when the temperature is cool and the light low to medium.

WATER: Bromeliads need very little water. Most bromeliads die from over watering! Water only when the soil has thoroughly dried out & then water well. We do not agree with the idea that the cup in the center of the leaves should be filled with water. This often causes fungus and bacteria problems. Though the roots of a bromeliad are small, they are perfectly capable of absorbing enough water for the plants needs.

FERTILIZER: Use your regular plant fertilizer diluted to ½ strength every other month. Bromeliads do not need to be fertilized during the winter months.

FORCING A BROMELIAD TO BLOOM: Bromeliads can be made to bloom by exposing them to ethylene gas. Ripening fruits and vegetables or burning wood and leaves release this gas. Place your bromeliad in a plastic bag with a ripe apple. Seal the bag well and do not open or remove the plant for two weeks. The apple will give off the ethylene gas and the bromeliad should flower in 2-4 months.

PROPAGATION: After the blooms start to die, the bromeliad will send out “pups” from the “Mother” plant. Once these new little plants grow about 4” disconnect them from the “Mother” plant by cutting near the base of the original bromeliad. Plant the pup in a small (4”) pot; it may not have any roots yet but will develop them over the next several weeks. Be careful not to over water your new plant. It will probably take 1-3 years for this new bromeliad to bloom.


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