Monday, July 12, 2010

Bromeliad Care

Bromeliads are members of a plant family known as Bromeliaceae (bro-meh-lee-AH-say-eye).  This is one of our best selling house plants.  Bromeliads are a tropical plant that can be grown inside and out.  For our area it is best to have them as house plants or at least brought in for our harsh winters.  Bromeliads grow in many different colors, styles, and even claim the pineapple as one of their own.  The flower stalk is produced in the center of the plant and grows up as it blooms.  We have found that the stalk lasts several years, some of our clients have even claimed to have the stalk last for over 5 years on the same plant.   A small flower will bloom in the center of this colored foliage. Here are some care tips for the Bromeliads.

1. Give them adequate light.  A window with southern sunlight is ideal all year around.  Some varieties may even "burn" with direct sunlight.  Filtered or indirect sunlight is best as long as it is bright.  Different types of Bromeliads have different light needs.  Determine the type of flower and you can find the right lighting for it.

2. Water them properly. It is best to never allow the plant roots to stand in water but at the same time keep the soil evenly moist.  One way to water your bromeliad is to poor water down the center stalk, if you use this method make sure not to allow the water to pool in the stalk, this can cause rotting.  The bromeliads with a "tank" like to be watered that way best but they will absorb water from the roots as well.

3. Keep the correct temperature. For best growth these tropical plants like to have the room between 55 degrees and 85 degrees.  Most of the time the inside of your home should work just fine for that temperature range.  If the area they are in is cooler at night this will prolong the bloom life and even help enhance the color of your plant.  If your house is humid the temperature can even be a bit higher, bromeliads love the moisture in the air.

4.Fertilize the plant. Fertilizing is not required if your bromeliad is a house plant.  If you want to help stimulate growth use a water based plant fertilizer but only use about 1/2 of the recommended dose.

5. Repot the bromeliad if needed.  Most of the time repotting is required.  Bromeliads will produce a smaller version of themselves in the pot, these can be removed and potted to grow a new plant.  These plants normally take 2-3 years to bloom.

Bromeliads only bloom once in their life.  The small plant that they produce can be used to replace yours once the bloom has gone.  We do enjoy the greenery of a bromeliad almost as much as the bloom and you may as well.  If you have any questions on the care of your bromelaid don't hesitate to call us 217-875-9038.

For more plant care tips see our list of best plant care sites on the web here.

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