Growing Bromeliads Indoors in Winter

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Bromeliads

It may be gloomy and cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have colorful and fun plants growing indoors. That’s especially true if you grow bromeliads.

There are literally thousands of tropical American plants in the Bromeliaceae family, including the pineapple. Although bromeliads can vary from a few inches tall to 30 feet, most cultivated species are about two to four feet tall.

Bromelaids in store

Many ornamental bromeliads are grown for their striking, long-lasting flowers or their unusual foliage, which can be striped and spotted.

With rare exceptions, bromeliads only bloom a single time. Fortunately, the flowers last a long time. When bromeliads stop flowering, the plants produce new plantlets called “pups” or “offsets.” These baby plants will feed off the mother plant until they have their own roots. Look for pups near the base of the plant, or sometimes atop the flower spike of the mother plant.

Most bromeliads thrive in well-lit, bright light indoors, but not in direct sunlight or they might scorch. If brown spots form on your plants’ leaves, you are probably giving it too much light. If the plant leaves are too long and thin, move the plant closer to the light.

As these tropical plants live in hot, humid climates, keep your bromeliads in household temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees F.

Red Bromelaid with butterfly

Never allow your bromeliad to just sit in water; always make sure the plant has well-drained soil. Water about once a week fully and then allow the plant to dry before watering again. But don’t forget about humidity. Mist this tropical plant frequently, as most houses are too dry in winter. Another option is to use a humidifier near the plants or to set them on trays with wet rocks.

These cheerful plants aren’t heavy feeders, but they appreciate a liquid fertilizer at ½ the strength. Some experts recommend misting their leaves with a watered-down fertilizer.

With just a bit of effort, bromeliads will add gardening cheer to your home during the cold winter months.