Bromeliads are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, including Central and South America, the West Indies, and Florida. These plants are found in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, deserts, and high-altitude mountains. Bromeliads are known for their ability to adapt to different environments, which makes them ideal for growing in a wide range of settings.
Habit: A medium to slow growing perennial up to 50 cm tall producing green and yellowish green leaves in a rosette and purple to purplish pink flowers on long stalks that arise from the centre of the leaf rosette.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.
Light Exposure: Bromeliads are adapted to a range of light conditions, from bright indirect light to partial shade. Different species have different light requirements, so it's important to research the needs of the specific bromeliad you are growing. In general, bromeliads prefer bright, filtered light, but direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. However, there are some varieties that can grow well in full sun.
Watering: Plants do better using purified or rainwater (the calcium from groundwater gradually will kill plants); pour water into the centre of the leaf rosette and top it up as the water disappears (approximately once per week in the rainy season and cold, dry season but twice a week during the hot dry season).
Fertilising: Give plants a half strength organic fertiliser or compost tea once a month except during the cold dry season. Note: the use of chemical fertilisers can be too strong and can kill the plants.
Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead, dry leaves and spent flower stalks as needed. Bromeliads generally have small root systems but should be repotted when the plants are crowded in the pot.
Pests/Diseases: Plants are relatively pest and disease free but can occasionally be attacked by Aphids, Thrips, Weevils, Scale insects, Mealy bug and Whitefly.
In conclusion, bromeliads are beautiful, adaptable plants that can be grown in a variety of settings. By following the tips outlined above for light requirements, fertilizing, plant care, and pest control, you can enjoy the beauty of these tropical plants in your home or garden.