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Watering Bromeliads and Forcing Them To Bloom

Bromeliad HouseplantAsk The Plant Expert: Hi, I’m new to blogging and to my bromeliad.  I’ve tried to look up exactly what type of bromeliad I have, and it comes up with “Bromeliad”.  Here is my question: I’ve live in NY and I have a beautiful bromeliad which I have outdoors right now.  I have noticed that the leaves are starting to turn brown and curl under as if burned.  I have it next to my table under an umbrella so no direct light it hitting it.  What am I doing wrong?

Also, I have searched for a diagram of the bromeliad so that I could understand the central cup so that I don’t add water to it.  Then I come across other websites that say add water to the central cup.  Not sure where to add water.  So, my questions are:  leaves and central cup. – Jacquie

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

The central cup of the bromeliad is the center of the rosette where the leaves are formed.

BROMELIAD Care Instructions:

WHEN FLOWERING – Feed with a 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month. Do not let the soil dry out; evenly moist is the ideal state. Water the soil only. If you fill the cup and let it flow over into the soil, this water must be changed every 2 days. Conditions vary in each household or office, check by lifting the plant daily. The pot should feel heavy versus the rest of the plant. Water should not be dripping from the bottom, nor should it be sitting in an enclosed container holding water. The holes in the bottom of the pot are for good drainage. If the plant seems to lose its luster, you can always mist it with the same rate of fertilizer (only the plant – not the flower).

WHEN FINISHED FLOWERING – Cut the stem off inside the cup. Bromeliads flower once in a lifetime. After the blooming cycle, the mother plant will have offspring sprouting from the base which, at the proper time, will bloom. The feeding in this period is stronger. Use the same fertilizer at the same strength but with every watering. If you lose roots, turn to misting daily for two weeks.

FORCED FLOWERING – Bromeliads can be forced to flower after one year of growth. Drop a small slice of tomato, apple, or any fruit into the cup. The decomposition of this fruit will release ethylene gas and induce the flowering. If the plant is older it will flower with the change of seasons. Feeding in this period is stronger. Use the same fertilizer at the same strength but with every watering. If you lose roots, turn to misting daily for two weeks.

Can I Save My Bromeliad?

Ask The Plant Expert: Hi, I have had my bromeliad plant for about a year now. I have an office with no direct windows so the plant receives light from the office lights (fluorescent) and from the lamp I have near the plant on my credenza. The red flower in the middle has turned dull and brown. Do I need to remove the flower? If so, how to I do that – just pull it out, cut it out? Thanks – Michael

Dead Bromeliad Bloom

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:
You will be able to cut the dead bloom out, and the plant should produce babies. Please read this post on removing Bromeliad blooms, and if you have any questions let me know.

What Is This Sick Office Plant?

BromeliadAsk The Plant Expert: I got this plant as a gift at work. The only reason it was gifted to me is because I would ask about it and care for it. I brought it home half way dead, and now it’s grown and has two little babies right next to it in the same pot. The purple blossom is the only thing not getting better :( It’s very hard, and does not get its true purple color back.

Please help me identify it so I could care for it better. After its fully healed, I will remove the two little babies and put them in their own pots.

Best Regards,

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: It appears that you have a Bromeliad – Aechmea Fasciata Primera. The bloom is on the decline, and will eventually die.  Our tropical Bromeliad page will have care instruction to help you revive the plant.

What To Do After My Indoor Bromeliad Has Bloomed?

Indoor Bromeliad CareAsk The Expert: What to do after my indoor Bromeliad has bloomed? Do I snip off the dead bloom, and if so where? Will it the Bromeliad bloom again?

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Yes, you will need to snip off the bloom. Cut the stem off inside the cup. Bromeliads flower only once in a lifetime.

After the blooming cycle, the mother plant will have offspring sprouting from the base which, at the proper time, will bloom. The feeding in this period is stronger. Use the same fertilizer at the same strength but with every watering.

When the pups become big enough to separate from the mother, gently remove them, pot in their own container, and care for them just like you did the mother plant. If you lose roots, start misting daily for two weeks. The pup will eventually bloom and become a mother plant.

Hopefully this information helps. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Help! Bromeliad Is Growing Mushrooms

Ask The Expert: We have a bermilliad in our office.  Overnight it started growing mushrooms and we see baby ones coming up as well.  It also has gnats.  How do we get rid of both without killing the plant? -Sonja

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Sonja,
If you are having a gnat and fungus problem, your soil is too wet. You need to aerate the soil and make sure the container is letting excess water drain away from the Bromeliad houseplant. You can also rake the soil with a spoon to aerate the soil. Make sure not to go the other way and let the bromeliad get too dry. If the issue persist you will need a fungicide that is safe for Bromeliads. Your local garden center should carry a fungicide that will work.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Brown Tips On Purple/Pink “Leaves” Of A Bromeliad

Ask the Expert: brown tips on top of bromeliad
I received a bromeliad at my grandparents’ recent death. It is green with pink/purple top. I was told to water it by filling the ‘wells’. I noticed yesterday that the tips of some of the pink/purple ‘leaves’ were turning brown. What do I do? Amanda

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

I am assuming you are talking about the bloom of the bromeliad. These like all blooms will start to deteriorate as they age.  Bromeliad blloms usually last for quite a while. However, yours may be under stress from all the moves (florist to funeral home to your home) and different caretakers.

For now I would just concentrate on taking care of it properly.  A while back I wrote a post called How To Care For A Bromeliad it has alot of great information in it and discussion with other bromeliad owners as well.   We, also, have a post Tropical Bromeliad Basic Houseplant Care that has helpful information.

I have been told to place water in the cups of the Bromeliad as well. However, it has been my experience that watering the soil is a more effective way of keeping the bromeliad happy and healthy. A humid environment is also crucial. I don’t mist my bromeliad directly, but I do place mine in a bathroom where the steam from the shower creates a humid environment.

Fall In Love With Bromeliad Plants This Autumn

Fall has come to life now in the first few weeks of the season. Warmly colored fall flowers and plants are among the many wonderful autumn decorations. Trends in decorating for fall this year are starting to include a more popular use of bromeliads and other fall blooming plants. Excellent as centerpieces, colorful houseplants, and patio decorations, bromeliads provide warmth and color associated with autumn’s changing season.

Bromeliads Add Flare To Fall Decor

Bromeliads Add Flare To Fall Decor

Decorators and gardeners aren’t the only bromeliad enthusiasts this fall. Florists are seeing a rise in the popularity of blooming plants, especially bromeliads which exist in enough varieties to meet any decorating need. Whether housing in full sun, partial shade, a rocky garden, as a houseplant, or using as a colorful centerpiece, bromeliad plants add the charm and pleasure desired. Why wouldn’t someone choose to warm up autumn with colorful bromeliads from a local florist today.

Holidays can be very busy times. The many holidays during the fall such as Halloween and Thanksgiving keep busy hosts and hostesses bustling between rooms. Bromeliad plants have a special place for busy party hosts also! Bromeliad plants are rather resilient despite neglect. Already easy to care for, bromeliads continue to enhance fall décor with light, life and comfort-and you’re not left with dirty dishes and pounds of holiday fruitcake when they’re gone.

Bromeliad With Brown Leaves Help?

Ask the Expert: Brown Leaves
I got a Bromeliad ~ 1 month ago for my birthday. It is blooming beautifully. I re-potted it about a week after I got it. Now, the leaves are turning brown / yellow starting with the bottom leaves & working its way up. I am only watering once a week & just keeping the cup full. It is in indirect sunlight. What is the most likely culprit & what can I do to save the plant? It is so pretty, I don’t want to lose it.
Thank you in advance for your time!!! Below are the picture of my bromeliad.



Bromeliad Guzmania

Damage Guzmania Bromeliad Leaf

How To Care For A Bromeliad

Ask the Expert: Bromeliad care/literature?

I have a customer who would like some information and literature on how to care for her new Bromeliad plant. Do you have some printable information I could send her or do you have a suggestion of a website that may be helpful?

Is This A Bromeliad Guzmania lingulata major?

Coletta asks:

i have been trying to locate a plant that i got at a local grocery store and i THINK i found it on your site… it was very diffuclut to find because i didnt know the name of the plant. the name of the plant i believe is the plant that i am despertly trying to find is BROMELIAD GUZMANIA LINGULATA MAJOR…i very much looks like the plant but i would need a close-up picture of the plant to be sure. the only things i know about the plant i had is that it was a tropical non-flowering hard surfaced leaves and it was a plant that came in different colors. the ones i saw were red like pictured on your site, yellow and orange. well i hope you can help me because i really would like to buy a few of the plants and the proper care of them. so if you can get back to me with this information i would be very greatful..thank you

Jamie’s Reply:

Your plant could be the Guzmania lingulata major. It is often seen in florist shops, garden centers, grocery stores, etc. However there are several other varities that could also fit this description. The bromeliad family is quite a diverse family — the pineapple is in this family. These plants do have an inflorescence (bloom) although it may not look like a typical bloom. The Bromeliad will die slowly after the inflorescences is spent. Before the plant dies it will produce one or more “pups” which can be repotted and will grow in to mature plants.The Bromeliad Society International has a wonderful Genera Gallery. Check out the photos in the Genera Gallery and see if your plant looks like any of the other varieties.The Guzmania ligulata major needs moderate light, high humidity and good air movement. Flower Shop Network has a wonder newsletter about Dracaenas and Bromeliads; read more about bromeliads and their care needs. Most florist and nursery garden centers will be more familiar with this plant than a grocery store, so if you want more or maybe even different vairties contact your local florist shop or nursery garden center. I have grown bromeliads in my home and sold them at my husband’s garden center. Every person I have ever introduced to bromeliads has had great luck with them because they are so easy to take care of. Hope this helps.