Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bromeliad Care

Common Name: Bromeliad
Scientific Name: Depends on variety
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Low to Moderate

Bromeliads consist of a large family of plants. Bromeliad house plants feature exotic looking foliage with colors varying from marbled green, red-striped, greenish gray and more. On most varieties a flower stalk rises from the center of the plant. In general, Bromeliads prefer bright light so if possible place in east or west facing windows. Watering Bromeliads is different then most house plants. Instead of watering near the base of the plant, you need to water by filling the center of the stalk (rosette) with warm water.

Most Bromeliad varieties prefer to be potted in a loose, coarse soil mix. Their roots do not like to be sitting in water, so over watering will cause the plant foliage to drop. Allow for good drainage by placing 1 - 2 inches of pebbles in the bottom of your pot and use pots where drainage holes exist. Due to this house plants exotic nature, Bromeliads prefer warm temperatures, making it a popular choice as an indoor house plant.

Most varieties of Bromeliads will produce offsets. These offsets can be cut or dug up and re-potted. The offsets usually will root quickly and continue growing into full sized Bromeliads!

Overall, I have found that Bromeliads are a medium maintenance house plant. With a little bit of tender care, Bromeliads make a beautiful addition to any room.

Popular Bromeliad House Plant Varieties

Common Name: Earth Star
Scientific Name: Crypthanthus hybrid
Characteristics: The Earth Star Bromeliad grows best under artificial lighting. Flowers appear to be a deep maroon and off-white color in most varieties.

Common Name: Urn Plant
Scientific Name: Aechmea fasciata
Characteristics: Foliage is a grayish green color, almost appearing to be covered in chalk. A pink flower appears through the rosette usually once a year.

Common Name: Scarlet Star
Scientific Name: Guzmania
Characteristics: Foliage is green with thin purple or maroon lines. This Bromeliad variety produces yellow, red or white flowers.

Common Name: Flaming Sword
Scientific Name: Vriesea splendens
Characteristics: Foliage is a brown and green color. A flaming red spike comes from the rosette topped with a bright yellow flower.

Common Name: Tillandsia
Scientific Name: Tillandsia cyanea
Characteristics: The Tillandsia is different then most Bromeliad varieties. This type thrives on air, not water. The Tillandsia prefers to grow with its roots uncovered or slightly covered with a moss type substance. The only watering this variety needs is a misting once a week.

Common Name: Striped Blushing
Scientific Name: Neoregelia carolinae
Characteristics: Foliage is green and white striped showing a bright pink coloration near the center for several months. This Bromeliad variety is popular during the holiday season for its holiday like appearance when in bloom.

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Anonymous Bromeliad Plant said...

Thanks for all the great information on Bromeliad Plants. I just bought one and love how it looks. :)

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the only place I found any cqre instructions. Thanks so much!!!

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. Now I know I need to take the plants out of the basket and check for overfill. Great resource.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently purchased a Bromeliad that did not look like it was quite as healthy as it could have been. The tips appear to have been trimmed before, and the edges had begun turning brown again. Some browning had begun farther down the foliage as well. The soil was dry as a bone, so I'm guessing the plant had been underwatered, but I'm not certain, considering the strange way a Bromeliad gets watered. Should I water this plant more frequently than normal to try and bring it back to full health, or just continue to water it when the soil feels dry? Should I remove browning foliage or can it recover?


9:42 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

I would not over water the plant. Continue to water your Bromeliad as needed.

From what I've found, snipping the edges isn't a problem, but if any of my readers have more on cutting browned tips off, please jump in.

I would continue to give your new Bromeliad some tender loving care. Water as needed, provide it with the right light and maybe a little houseplant food here and there and you should be able to bring it back to health.

Please let me know how things turn out.

Thank you,

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've done what you said and simply cared for the plant as normal to try and get it back to health, but two weeks have passed with apparently no change in the plant's appearance. Are Bromeliads slow growing plants? Would they take awhile to recover from damage? The flower looks like it is beginning to develop a bloom, but then again it has looked like that for a few weeks now with no change.

Thanks for all the advice.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Bromeliad is growing an offset by the base of the plant. When is a good time to remove and replant the offset? Also, I have read that Bromeliads do not even need to be put in dirt in order to grow; i.e. you can attach it to a slab of bark or something and it will root to that object. Do you know if this true?


1:43 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


I usually wait until the offset is a good size before removing it and repotting.

I have heard that Bromeliads will grow without soil as well, however I have never attempted it.

Can any of my readers help us out???


4:03 PM  
Anonymous Elephant Ear Plants said...

This information was very helpful for me as a mother of two, teaching my kids about plants and I would like to say thank you.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Siobhan said...

I think mine is having's got brown spots on its leaves, and the rosette stalk has turned a darker purple than it was. Is it too much water? not enough sun? Help!

7:21 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


Typically if you over water a plant, the foliage turns yellow, so I'm guessing that's not the problem.

Usually brown spots can mean too much direct sunlight. How close is it to direct sunlight?

How long has it been blooming?


12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two years old bromeliad. How can i make this bromeliad to bloom?


11:35 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


Some just don't like to bloom. I have never had to force mine to bloom. I did find this website that listed an idea to try involving ethylene gas. Bromeliad Blooming Overview.

If you try this method, please let me know if it works.


1:09 PM  
Blogger Siobhan said...

So, I moved my plant to less direct sunlight and the rosette died and turned brown. I pretty much assumed it was dying. But now it has a new sprout! I've been reading about bromeliad pups, but mine seems to be growing ON the parent plant, not around the base or in the same pot. Is this unusual? Can I still replant this pup and have a new plant?

9:00 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


As long as you can remove the pup without damaging its or the parent plants roots, you should be fine.


9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a bright bromeliad that has a couple pups i am ready to transplant. the main bloom has appeared to die (at the top, not through to the base) and i was just wondering what to do with it.

11:59 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


You can cut off the dead bromeliad bloom where the dead part ends and growth begins or wait for it to dry enough to simply pull it off.


7:49 AM  
Blogger Technical Difficulties said...

Do Bromelaids only bloom once? Or will the new pups bloom in the original container without being transplanted?
Thanks for this GREAT website!

11:14 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Technical Difficulties,

The other pups will bloom as well. It just takes time. Bromeliads will bloom more than once. For me they've always taken awhile though.

Be patient. It's well worth it when they do bloom.

Thanks for reading,

9:34 PM  
Blogger ladypastor said...


7:10 AM  
Blogger DarkAngelWithASmile said...

I bought a Bromeliad plant at the grocery store about 3 days ago.This is my first plant so im a gardening noob at the moment- but when i saw this plant i fell in love with it! I brought it home and noticed that the soil was rock hard bone dry, the edges of the leaves are turning brown and the tips of the flower are turning brown also, and wilting... :*( I researched about a million different sites on how to water this plant , and there are so many different ways- im just confused on how i should really be doing it. I dont know if i have watered it to much....(in hopes to cure the plant!) in 3 days i have watered the base cup of the plant, watered the soil a bit (which did nothing for the dryness whatsoever), and finally today i put some water in the center cup- because i read to always keep it filled. Each of these times i havn't used much water...but i just wanted to know, which way should i be watering this plant?! How much water should i use? How often? And what can i do about the browning of the leaf and flower tips? Thanks :D

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bromeliad with a very brown center in it. Is this from salts and mineral residue from the water? I'm now using distilled water to put in the center. Is there any way to remedy this? It's pretty ugly.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bromeliad that I bought around christmas and it still has the pink stalk that just keeps reblooming. How long will that last?

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Beauty Tips said...

Thanks for the useful information.

2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bromeliad plant and the flower part has completey dried out but the leaves are still green. I water it consistently and it gets sunlight from a west exposure view. Can I cut off the dried out flower part and hope for another flower to grow? Do you have any suggestions how to bring this plant back to life?

11:27 AM  
Blogger Mim said...

Hello, love your site it is very helpfull. I have a bromeliad that I am slowly losing hope for. I had it on a stand in the window and it was growing well. Sadly the stand it was on collapsed and it has not been healty since. When it fell it broke of the entire bloom and crinkled/creased most of the leaves. It has been about 3 weeks now and the leaves are starting to get dead spots whare it was damaged. The plant its self dose not seam to hold water any more and it just runs out the bottom. Only good thing is that there is a shoot-off coming up but it is growning from the stock about 2 leaves up from the soil. any one have any thought that might save this poor plant? thank you

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are Bromeliads poisonous? considering buying the brired one but need to know if its safe, have a 2 1/2 yr old..

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bromeliad with a very brown center in it. What should I do - It's getting pretty ugly.

Thanks - Kim

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking for an answer to all the questions of the center bloom turning brown and ugly. It does have three pups. The center bloom is large and if cut out will look strange.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I haven't seen any answers to the question about what to do when the flower of the bromeliad starts to not look so good. Are you suppose to cut it off?

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Casey said...

I was gifted with a Bromeliad plant. I have had it for a few weeks (maybe a month). It is a beautiful plant. However, when I brought it into brighter light, I noticed the top (color) leaves started to brown. I cut off the brown leaves. I saw spots on the leaves that look like dirt. I did wipe them off. How would I know if the plant has bugs?

4:38 PM  
Anonymous FlowerPower said...

I bought my Bromeliad about a year ago while it was flowering. The flower lasted many many months and when it died off, the centre of the plant started to turn brown and mushy(I think I over-watered it). So I just cut off the dead flower and left it alone. I left it in a well-lit area and almost never watered it for many months. The plant started looking better and the other day I noticed a new shoot! So my advice is, DONT over-water, and just leave it alone

9:04 AM  
Blogger Dino said...

I have a bromeliad plant and the leaves are shriveled looking. I check the soil with a moisture meter and the bottom of the soil is moist the top soil is not. I just do not want to over water. The leaves have no brown spots. I have another plant that the meter shows the soil moist top to bottom and when it wilts I water it and it is ok but it is struggling, it obtains sun light for a few hours from the north window. What can I do about my shriveled up green leaves of my bromeliad?

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my bromeliads have grown into two identical ones and i cant even tell which one is the pup.they are joined together with one common root system. can i split them down the middle of the root system or can i separate one off hihher up where they join

9:38 PM  
Blogger bowest said...

I inherited a bromiliad the was exposed to mold. The center stalk and leaves were turning brown(perhaps form over watering?)
I left it outside (Florida)and it seemed to be looking better, but just endured 3 nights of temps in the low 40's, and now is looking browner than ever. Is it a gonner or can I trim off the dead leaves and hope for some nice new growth?

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Bromeliad said...

Nice information on care tips. I would have to say my favorite houseplant is the Flaming Sword because of the flaming red spike from the rosette.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Bromeliad since November. It was red; now has turned brown. Is there a reason; if so, what can I do to revive it to its natural color?

conniegunsch@comporium. net

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bromeliad that flowered and now is brown and dried up and brown. Can I cut off the brown center?

3:01 PM  

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