How to Grow Bromeliads

Bromeliads are beautiful and interesting plants. With long, thin leaves that emerge from a centre point, and flowers available in a range of different colours, these plants are sure to turn heads! Want to learn how to grow bromeliads in your own garden? Read on to find out! 

Where do bromeliads come from?

Bromeliads are native to the tropical and subtropical Americas. There is also one variant – the Pitcairnia feliciana which is native to tropical West Africa. Around 3590 species of bromeliads are known. These flowers are available in a wide range of colours from sunny yellows to bright oranges, pinks, and reds. 

How to grow bromeliads

These intriguing plants tend to be pretty hardy and simple to grow. They’re ideal for those looking to add a splash of colour to their gardens without the stress of upkeep that comes with some other more delicate flower varieties. 

Step 1: Purchase your bromeliads

Bromeliads can be purchased either as plants or seeds. Generally, it will be easier to grow your bromeliads from an already-established plant. There are many different varieties to choose from, so do a little research and be sure to pick a type that suits the area and style you wish to grow your bromeliad in. 

Step 2: Pick a spot

These plants are very versatile, and can be grown in the garden, in pots, or even attached to trees! Decide whether you’d like your bromeliad to be easy to move about and relocate, or if you’d like it secured to the bough of your favourite tree for a bit of fun colour. Where is the best place to plant bromeliads? Most varieties of bromeliads like the shade, and will happily grow in a spot that doesn’t receive much sunlight. Keep in mind that these are tropical plants that don’t do well in frost conditions, so be sure to take extra care to protect your plants on cold days. 

Step 3: Prepare the location

If you are planning on growing bromeliads in pots, or in your garden, make sure you use a soil that drains well. Bromeliads don’t enjoy being bogged down, so well-drained soil is a must. They also like nutrients, so incorporate some rich organic matter into the soil for best results. If growing your bromeliad on a tree, choose a spot that will allow the plant to be secure while growing, such as a fork or hollow.

Step 4: Plant your bromeliad

For those that are growing bromeliads in soil, prepare the well-draining soil with plenty of rich organic matter before planting. Dig a hole in the soil and gently massage the roots of the bromeliads to loosen them up before placing them in the hole. Cover the exposed roots with soil and press down lightly to secure the plant. If you are growing your bromeliad on a tree, pick a spot where the plant can easily anchor itself. Make sure your selected bromeliad has a good number of roots, and gently place it in position, ensuring the roots are touching the bark. Use a piece of cloth or soft plastic ties to secure your plant to the tree. Place peat moss over the roots, and spray the leaves with water.

Step 5: Water and care for your plant

Bromeliads store water in their centre. Check the middle of your bromeliad to see how its water levels are doing, and if it is storing, make sure to only water once this has been used up. When you water your plant, you should fill up this centre part to allow it to slowly draw out moisture over time. Don’t overwater your bromeliad, as these plants dislike being bogged down. If you want to fertilise your bromeliad, you can place fertiliser into this centre well or spray it onto the leaves. However, it’s important that you don’t ever place slow-release fertiliser into this well, as it can overwhelm and damage your plant. 

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