Bromeliad Basics: Lighting

Author: Melanie Dearringer4 Comments

Care and Culture

In this article you’ll find helpful information on the general light requirements for a bromeliad plant.


Lighting diagram

-A general rule to remember

Light requirements vary widely depending on the genus of bromeliad. There is a general rule that you can follow if you are unsure what kind of bromeliad you are caring for. If your bromeliad possesses soft, flexible leaves, particularly if they are spineless, they will most likely enjoy lower light levels. Plants that fall into this category, like Guzmania and Vriesea, often times grow under the canopy of trees in tropical areas where shade is likely. Bromeliads with stiff leaves, like that of an Aechmea, Neoregelia, or Tillandsia, will prefer bright, indirect light.

Bromeliads are really quite good at telling you if you are providing too much or too little light. In lower light levels, bromeliads have to compensate by producing higher levels of chlorophyll, which absorbs light and transforms it into energy. This causes the plant to turn a darker green color. Plants that are not receiving enough light, will often tend to get leggy as well. If a bromeliad as receiving too much light, the leaves will become bleached or sunburned. Bleaching appears as white patches on the leaves. While sunburned leaves will develop brown patches.

You should never take a plant from one light extreme to another. A bromeliad that has a high light tolerance still may become sunburned if it was been exposed to low light levels for a long period of time. It is best to acclimate these plants to its new brighter environment.

For even more information on bromeliad basic care, check out these great articles:
Bromeliad Basics: An Introduction
Bromeliad Basics: Temperature
Bromeliad Basics: Fertilizer
Bromeliad Basics: Watering
Bromeliad Basics: Potting Medium
Bromeliad Basics: Repotting
Bromeliad Basics: Propagation


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4 Responses to “Bromeliad Basics: Lighting”

  1. Richard Lallo says:

    This is so helpful. Love having a resource like this.

  2. Lora says:

    I got one for mothers Day in 2017 never had one before. I cut the dead stem off without looking up what to Do. Also i got three pups that I need to pot. Would not have known what to do if I wouldn’t have went to this website. Thank you for all the help hopefully I will get new flowers from all my pups.

  3. Diane says:

    We’ve been hoping to figure out the proper lighting before the bromeliads were damaged by too much or too little sun. This was a great help. Thank you!

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Wonderful, glad it was of help!

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