Bromeliads are members of the Bromelia or pineapple family. They grow in deserts, mountains, rainforests and along beaches in the Caribbean islands, in Central, South and North America. They make excellent houseplants: easy to care for, have striking foliage and long lasting blooms.


Bromeliads will prosper in temperatures between 55º and 85º F. They need bright light to maintain their dramatic coloration, but they should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid sunburn on the leaves.

Bromeliads kept in fairly low-light areas do not need fertilizer. If your Bromeliads are kept in a medium to high-light area, they can be fertilized once a month during the summer (i.e., June, July, August). Use a water soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20 at 1/4 to 1/3 the recommended strength. Do not use organic fertilizer or fish fertilizer (which can burn the plant).

Bromeliads do not require frequent watering. Depending on heat and light, once every 10 to 21 days should be sufficient. Pour water into the cup-like center of the plant (where it will slowly drain into the soil). Water remaining in the “cup” can become stale. Empty it out once a month. An easy way to do this is to siphon off the water with a turkey baster.

Bromeliad bloom color can last up to eight months. After blossoming, the plant will take up to a year to die. As the mother plant dies, she produces two to four offshoots or baby plants, called “pups.” When the pups are 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the mother, they can be removed and replanted, but be sure they have developed roots. Use a clean, sharp knife or long-nosed clippers to remove the pups. Plant in soil that drains quickly.