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Plant Feature: Bromeliads

art terrrium blog

There’s no better season than summer to take your plant parenthood to the next level! After all, you deserve a houseplant that reflects all of the warmth of long summer days and the fiery sunsets that follow, a punchy plant that reminds you of summer vacation even after the leaves begin to fall. 


Which is why it’s time to spotlight one of our favorite flashy houseplants: the bromeliad.

With vibrant, lasting blooms bromeliads can add the perfect pop of tropical color to your home or office. Not only are bromeliads beautiful, but we think they're an under-recognized way to spruce up your space. But don’t let bromeliads flashy flowers and stocky stature intimidate you. These tropical treasures make for low maintenance and rewarding houseplants. 

What is a Bromeliad?

Native to the American tropics, bromeliad (scientifically known as Bromeliaceae) are hearty plants with stunningly vibrant blooms. As with many plants, there are many different sub-varieties of bromeliad. 

Guzmania are one of the most common houseplant varieties and can be some of the most beautiful with large green leaves and clustered red, orange, yellow, purple or white flowers. These are the types of bromeliads you’ll most often find at Art Terrarium!

Fun fact: Pineapples and Spanish moss are both actually varieties of bromeliad.

Why Bromeliads Make Great Houseplants

Not only are bromeliads fairly easy to care for but their beautiful blooms are incredibly long-lasting. When your bromeliad blossoms, its vibrant flower can last for between three and six months. Even before the plant reaches full bloom, its unique sword-shaped leaves provide a different level of texture and visual interest for other more traditional houseplants. 

But bromeliads aren’t just for show—they’re also incredible air purifiers. These tropical blooms help clean the air in your home and reduce the number of indoor pollutants that can build up over time.

Plus, bromeliads are non-toxic to cats and dogs, meaning they’re safe for your furry friends that may be curious about houseplants.  


How to Make Your Bromeliad Happy

When it comes to making your bromeliad happy, you’ll find that they are fairly lowkey roommates. Bromeliads prefer medium to bright light for optimal growth. If you do have your bromeliad directly in front of a sunny window and notice its leaves starting to turn crispy, it’s best to give it a slight reprieve with a slotted blind or sheer curtains.

If you forget to water your bromeliad for a week or two, don’t panic. While these tropical stunners prefer to have moist soil, they are also fairly drought resistant and can survive if you occasionally forget to water them. If you’re worried your bromeliad isn’t getting enough humidity—remember this is a tropical plant—sit its pot in a saucer of gravel filled partially with water to help boost the moisture in the plant’s atmosphere. 

When it comes to pot depth and soil type, bromeliads aren’t too picky either. Typically these varieties don’t require deep pots or thick soil. Opt for a more shallow pot and low soil mixtures like those intended for orchids or blends of bark, moss and other organic materials.

How to Care for Bromeliads Long-Term

If after a year or two you notice your bromeliad is starting to die, don’t panic. These tropical stunners have a shorter lifespan than some other hearty houseplants. 

Typically after a bromeliad produces a flower the mother plant will start to die off. But never fear! Oftentimes healthy bromeliads will produce “pups,” small offshoots around the plant’s base, that can be nurtured and grown into even more full-size bromeliads. Once your pups get large enough, cut them away from the parent plant and repot them on their own.