Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Growing Bromeliads by Donna Duffy

Photo courtesy recycledh2o.net

The bromeliad is a member of a large plant family native to the warmer climates of America. Bromeliads grow in trees, attach themselves to rocks, and live on the forest floor. They vary in size from one inch to 35-feet high. In Colorado, they are easy-to-grow flowering houseplants. Planttalk Colorado offers the following tips for growing Bromeliads successfully.

Photo courtesy paradisepointflorist.com

Bromeliads need strong light to grow well and produce flowers. You need a very well-lit area in your home to grow these plants properly, although you can use artificial light. Most bromeliads have a natural reservoir that's formed by the leaves, which are arranged in a vase-like shape with overlapping bases. This reservoir holds a large amount of water, so be careful not to over-water your bromeliad or you may rot the roots.

Because most bromeliads originated in the tropics, they need very warm temperatures to survive and grow well. Keep your room temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. If you keep your plant on a window sill, seal the edges of the windows with tape to keep your plant from getting chilled.

Photo courtesy bromeliads.info
Bromeliads can be fertilized every three or four weeks with a half-strength mixture of all-purpose soluble fertilizer. This weak fertilizer can be placed directly in the receptacle cups of your bromeliad. Roots do not need to be fertilized as frequently.

You can force bromeliads to bloom easily by using a healthy, mature plant with a good root system. First, drain all water from the plant and place the plant inside a clear, airtight plastic bag with a large ripe apple. Ripe apples give off ethylene, which triggers the formation of flowers on bromeliads. After two to three days, remove the plant from the bag and replace the water you removed. Depending on the type of plant you have, flowering will begin in six to fourteen weeks.