This week we are talking about how to take care of Bromeliads, specifically Aechmea and Guzmania varieties. Although the unusual appearance of these tropical plants makes it appear to be high maintenance, allowing adequate sunlight and proper watering techniques can make care easy.
Bromeliads grow in various natural habitats from hot, dry desert, to moist rainforests, to cool, mountainous regions. They all consist of a spiral arrangement of leaves called a “rosette”. These plants like to have the crown full of water, but the soil in the pot should be kept damp (not wet) or else the roots will be damaged. We suggest changing the water every 2-3 weeks because bacteria can grow in stale water.
Aechmea and Guzmania benefit from regular misting in the winter for added humidity. This tropical houseplant has also been inlcuded in the NASA Clean Air Study for their air purifying qualities.
Creating New Blooms
After the Bromeliad produces flowers, the plant will die, but before this happens, it will produce “pups” (baby plants) at the base. Once these little plants grow to be six inches, cut the mother plant off at the base, leaving the pups alone. This will allow the baby plants to grow and mature in the pot.
Bromeliads require ethylene gas to produce their lively blooms. The trick is to keep the Bromeliad in a clear plastic bag with some ripening fruit, where ethylene gas occurs naturally. The process can take a couple of weeks, but the plant will eventually send up new flower spikes.
Common name: Silver Vase Bromeliad (Aechmea), Scarlet Star Bromeliad (Guzmania)
Origin: Central America, South America, West Africa
Water: Keep the crown full of water, change the water every 2-3 weeks because bacteria can grow in stale water. During the winter months, they benefit from regular misting
Light: High light areas in the home (6+ hours), but avoid direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time as it can cause sun damage
Dislikes: Over-watering the soil, cold temperatures
Benefits: Vibrant colour, cleans the air (NASA Clean Air Study)
Did you know the Pineapple is a bromeliad? Pineapples symbolize warmth, welcome, and hospitality.