Growing Bromeliads Indoors Overview

Author: Melanie Dearringer191 Comments

Growing Indoors

Bromeliads are excellent indoor plants. They have colorful, long-lasting inflorescence and some have brilliantly colored foliage as well. Bromeliads also readily adapt to the unfavorable growing conditions that exist in most homes.

Although many bromeliads are epiphytic, living on branches and trunks of trees in their native habitat, most can be grown in containers. Clay and plastic pots are satisfactory as containers. If the bromeliad is top heavy, you will need to add weight to the planter to create more stability. Because plastic pots retain moisture longer than clay pots, plants grown in the former need watering less frequently. Epiphytic bromeliads can also be grown in perforated plastic baskets and clay pots like those used for other epiphytic plants such as orchids.

Because bromeliads rarely have extensive root systems, relatively small pots are adequate for most plants. The larger varieties can usually be brought to flowering in 5 to 7-inch pots. Terrestrial plants do not have to be moved into larger pots until their roots completely fill the current container. Move young epiphytes into pots one size larger every spring until the maximum pot size has been reached.

Tillandsia ionantha

-Tillandsia ionantha mounted

Some epiphytic bromeliads, such as the gray-scaled Tillandsia, grow poorly if planted in a conventional potting mixture. They grow best in a medium such as tree-fern bark, cork-oak bark, or on a tree-fern slab, or pieces of wood. To mount your Tillandsia on one of these materials, wrap the base of the plant (including roots, if any) in sphagnum moss, and tie the wrapped base to its support by winding plastic-coated wire around the moss and the supporting material. Fasten the ends of the wire firmly but in such a way that it can be easily untied. Hang the mounted specimens in a convenient place. Spray the sphagnum moss and plant with water frequently enough to prevent complete drying of the moss.

After supportive roots grow over the sphagnum moss and around the mount, remove the temporary wire. To keep the plant alive and healthy, water the plant, its roots, and the supportive materials twice weekly throughout the year. Water can be applied as a spray or the entire mounted plant can be submerged in water for a few minutes. The humidity around plants will influence their need for water. The humidity in a home which is heated during the winter months or cooled with air-conditioning during the summer months can be very low and plants may need to be watered more frequently than those grown in a moist environment.

Guzmania photo credit: Yoichi_ via
Tillandsia ionantha photo credit: James Ho via

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191 Responses to “Growing Bromeliads Indoors Overview”

  1. Donna M. Hughes says:

    Hi, Thanks for all the info. I just received my Bromeliad as a gift last week. It has a beautiful yellowish gold flower. I have watered it once. My concern is that my leaves are folding under at the ends. Is this a problem? Thank you for your help.

  2. admin says:

    @ Donna – I would not think that the leaves folding under would be a big problem. Make sure that the roots are not in sitting water. If the condition worsens, make sure the soil is moist, and well drained.

  3. Phyllis Conrade says:

    Hi. I received my Bromeliad as a gift also. I have had it for two years. The plant is growing and getting bigger. I have some questions I would like to ask you.
    1.. Should I cut off the new shoots that are coming up?
    2.. The end of the leaves are turning brown, what is causing them to turn brown?
    3.. How do I get it to bloom again?
    4.. Should I put it in a bigger pot?
    Thanks for you help

  4. admin says:

    @Phyllis – Bromeliads only bloom once in their lifetime. If you want to repeat the process you must grow the pups for one year each. After a year of growth you can place some old fruit near the roots to promote blooming.

  5. Phyllis Conrade says:

    Thanks for getting back to me. Why are the end of the leaves turning brown? Should I put the bromeliad into a bigger pot?

  6. admin says:

    @Phyllis – Bromeliad leaves can turn brown for many reasons. Make sure that the roots are not in sitting water. If over-watering is not the problem then make sure the soil is not too dry. Bromeliads don’t need a lot of soil, so that’s probably not the problem.

  7. Phyllis Conrade says:

    Thank you.

  8. mary says:

    Is there a plant food that works for these plants?

    1. Janet says:

      I asked the same question and was told orchid fertilizer. Just started using it. We will see.

  9. Rosalie says:

    Could you show a picture of a pup?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Check out this post for more information regarding bromeliad pups:

  10. Anna says:

    My Brom’s flower is turning brown, is the plant dying? How will I know? I am trying to water it less now that I have read the other postings but shouldnt the bloom stay colorful?

  11. Aurora says:

    I bought my Bromeliad plant a couple of months ago. Now I see a shoot at every stalk ( 4 total) at the base of the plant. Are these what you call the pups?
    Can I just take each one and root them in water before I plant them on a regular soil?
    Thanks for your help

  12. admin says:

    @Anna – Bromeliads only flower once, so the flower will not stay colorful forever.

    @Aurora – Yes, those shoots are pups. If you want them to take root you should fix the pups to a piece of bark, lay them on some top soil, and keep both the soil and bark moist at all times. Good luck!

  13. Helen Murray says:

    After they bloom, what happens to the plant?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Eventually it will die. This is normal. Your new generation of bromeliad plants will be from the pups the mother plant produced before dying.

  14. admin says:

    @Helen – Bromeliads’ sole purpose in life after blooming is to grow pups or offspring for the next year.

  15. Jane Bates says:

    Hello – I just received a Bromeliad as a gift. There are so many different kinds and the only thing on the tag is Bromeliad Rana. Can you identify it by this name and how should I care for it? Thanks.

  16. Al Ott says:

    I just purchased a Bromeliad and repotted it in a clay pot from plastic and added some potting soil to the original soil-which looked like it had bark etc in it. Now it’s about 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 original soil (maybe a little less potting soil) will this be ok?

  17. admin says:

    @Al – The soil mix should be ok. The bark is a good thing. Make sure that the mix is WELL drained. Overwatering a bromeliad is like overwatering a cactus and the roots should never be in sitting water. Good luck!

  18. Mary Austin says:

    I received a Bromeliad as a gift almost 2 weeks ago. The 1st week it was housed in my poorly ventilated bedroom. No sunlight there. Then I put it outside. I don’t have anywhere in the apt to put it to achieve mild instead of direct sunlight either. Some leaves have developed horizontal wrinkles either toward the tip and lower by the root (?). Is it drying out or overwatered? Is it safe in my room? I have a known history as a plant murderer, help!!

  19. admin says:

    @ Mary – Make sure the soil is moist at all times if you’re leaving your bromeliad in direct sunlight. Also keep in mind that the soil needs to be well drained, so make sure the planter is not sealed so that water can run through the soil. Good luck!

  20. Marian says:

    hello i purchase a bromeliad at home depot because it was prettier then other cactus plants. there are no directions on how to keep up. and i forgot to ask, that’s how i found this site. my flower is pink and very different. it’s flat. what kind is it. am i not suppose to let the soil get bone dry before i water it? thanks for your help

  21. Marian says:

    Please respond. thanks

  22. admin says:

    @ Marian – The Home Depot Brom is most likely Vriesea type. However, many bromeliads look similar and it very well could be a one of many Vriesea. I remember when HD had that special going and I believe it was these that they were selling, but could have been different for you. Take a look at some other Vriesea bromes to see which kind you possibly have.

    It is important not to overwater your brom! Like any tropical plant it is important to keep the soil moist, but the roots should never be in standing water.

    Indoor Care: Water the center cups and soil with bottled drinking or rainwater every two weeks or so. When the water in the cup dries out and/or the soil becomes pretty dry, it is time to water. The plants don’t need a lot of water in the cups indoors.

    Outdoor Care: Water the plants with a hose whenever you water. Be careful not to put them into direct sunlight. Bright light is best. Don’t let the plants freeze. Move them inside somewhere when the temperatures approach freezing. A small amount of fertilizer in the soil added periodically is good.

    I have heard of folks who use ‘quick draining soil mixes’ in order to ensure the roots do not get too soggy for too long. Good luck and welcome to the Bromeliad family!

  23. Marian says:

    Thank you so much for your help. i did check out the link you gave me and my species is Vriesea duvaliana. one more question, my leaves are curling under. i haven’t water my plant since your instructions. when i did i used tap water. i flushed the water through the plant and let it drain. i don’t want to kill my plant. can you help. my plant is at my desk at work. when i’m there i leave my desk light on and the plant is directly under it. is that a promblem? thanks for all your help

  24. Sharon Douglass-Green says:

    A co-worker just gave me this plant- which “I love! The top is a pinkish red color. But I am a little confused about what is being referred to as the pups. What exactly are they? The plant is beautiful and the last thing I want to do is kill it by removing what I think to be pups and it is not. Also is it good to give it plant food? I have several plants her at work and feed them all plant food twice a year, but was wondering if this is good for the Bromeliads?
    Thanks for your help in keeping a beautiful plant alive!! 🙂

  25. Marian says:

    hello, i just wanted to let you know. friday i watered my plant with bottled water and came to work today and the leaves are out again. the bottom of the leaves are still curled under. looks like i just have to figure out when the right time to water according to my work tempature. thanks for the tips.

  26. GREG ANDREWS says:


  27. Doris says:

    My bromeliads have tiny black spots with a yellow circle around them. How do I treat this issue?

  28. Cathey Cook says:

    I recently received a bromeliad for my birthday and love it. This site has been very helpful in knowing how to care for it. Thanks, Cathey

  29. Marian says:

    I need help with my Bromeliad. I may have too much light on it. My Bromeliad is on my desk under my desk lamp and the color is fading. It is leaning. I got the watering down, but what’s wrong now? Please Help!

    1. Lulu says:

      don’t worry my plant did the same and now it is pupping which means it is sprouting new plants. the bloom only happens once so after it blooms and the bloom is completely wilted new sprouts should come up soon sorry if this info is incorrect but it is what happened to me

      1. Nance says:

        Do we have to cut off the brown thing that is in the center of the bloom after it has died? Or just leave it alone?

        1. kAY bILLINGS says:


        2. ellen payne says:

          my flower has died and i want to know if i should cut it off or leave it?

          1. Beverly says:

            My bromelaid has produced pups and the original flower is nearly dead. Should I cut it off of the existing leaves? And how do I get the pups to produce a flower

      2. Dan Damron says:

        what to do when the bloom truns brown

  30. Betty Gautier says:

    Hi…My bromeliad is red with yellow swirls but the color has gone to brown. Will the color come back. I think it may have gotten too dry but it happened inside the house. It did great on my front porch during the summer. I hope I haven’t killed it.

  31. Jutermo says:


    Take your plant out from under your work light. The information on this site says the plants like filtered light.

  32. louise says:

    i just got a bromeliad the flower is not open yet..the soil is still wet, but the tips are curled in, so i just put a little water inside the cup…Do you think thats to much water?
    thank you,

  33. rick trani says:

    Hi, Last summer I bought a bromeliad because it’s flower bloomed so beautifully. I thought it would add a little color and life to my home. It did all of what I wanted and a lot more. The purity of the color (pink) and the duration of the bloom amazed me. To my surprise I learned how to grow them without spending too much. I made a few mistakes so I keep coming back here to refresh my too short memory.Your instructions were good and I tried to follow them but made a few mistakes. I will never again pour water/fertilizer down the cup of a bromeliad or any other plant. I have six pups potted. but wonder if I should revert to a 50/50 soil mix like you said. they don’t seem to be growing as well as the first two did in summer time.

  34. John Richardson says:

    I purchased a beautiful Bromeliad at Lowes. I beleive the species is Bromeliaceae (that’s what it says on the card). Care directions are vague. For pruning, it says “remove spent blooms” How far down do I remove? The bloom has lost it’s color (pink) and appears to be drying out and it has what seem to be a lot of little pink flowers developing all over in the original bloom. Can you help? I don’t want to loose it, it was so beautiful.

  35. Charlotte says:

    My Bromeliad has a pinkish rose color. It has started turning brown though. I have noticed it has what appears to be 2 small flowers growing from the base. Are they pups? Do I need to replant them? What type of Fertilizer should I use on it.

    1. Lulu says:

      yes they are pups once they are about 1/3 the size of the “mother” plant you can separate them into different pots. i don’t fertilize mine. i just leave it alone and water its “tanks”(its leaves kind of create one and my bromeliad likes it enough)

  36. Louise says:

    My bromiliard bloom is dying, resque me please

  37. Courtney says:

    I just got my bromieliad. It has a red feather like stalk from the center, but it looks in bad condition. All of its leaves are curling inwards and some of them are starting to be completely yellow. It hasn’t had any pups yet. Am I watering it too much or too little? And should I fill the cup from the top or near the bottom leaves? thanks

  38. admin says:

    @ Courtney. I’m pretty sure the species of Bromeliad you have is called Vriesea splendens. Check out my Bromeliad Plant Growing Specifications – Vriesea Splendens and Hybrids post, for more tips on caring for this specific Bromeliad!

    Are you fertilizing your bromeliad? The turning yellow sounds under-fed, and the curling of the leaves sounds as if you’re over-feeding. Over fertilizing can cause the plant leaves to brown or even curl.

    Before deciding that a plant is over or underfed, evaluate other variables such as light, temperature, and proper watering practices. The closer each of these conditions comes to a plant’s ideal, the better its prospects for living a long, productive life. And be sure to inspect your plant for insects.

    Check out Troubleshooting Bromeliad Plants Part One and Part Two! I hope some of this information helps give you a better idea of what the problem, cause, and remedies are to some of your problems.

  39. Tracy says:

    I have a brom and it has sprouted three pups. When do I remove these? Also, the mother plant’s center is turning brown and slimy with a white goo on it. The slimy look is at the base of the leaves going abotu half way down. What should I do?? What is this???

  40. admin says:

    @ Tracy. It sounds like the parent plant has gotten too much water in the reservoir, and is beginning to rot. I’d suggest spraying your bromeliad’s leaves until thoroughly wet, and then dribble water slowly into the pot, instead of into the reservoir (from now, until the plant dies).

    The mother plant is going to slowly die off (this is normal), but be sure to wait until the parent plant is nearly dead to remove the pups. If desired, you can try to trim back the failing leaves of the parent plant to give the pups more light, but do not remove the pups to soon (this is very important), the offsets feed off of the deteriorating tissues of the parent plant.

    Remove and repot the pups when they are one-third to one-half the size of the parent plant. It may be a good idea for the first 3 to 4 weeks after repotting offsets, to enclose them in a plastic bag to maintain very humid conditions.

    You may throw out the parent plant (sorry), it is dead; but look at it this way, you now have 3 new babies to grow!

    For more specific information on how and when to remove your 3 pups, check out my post on Caring For Bromeliads – Propagating, also my Bromeliads Propagation Overview!

    I hope some of this information helps, happy growing!

  41. thenewlindens says:

    I have the same question as John Richardson
    posted on February 24, 2007. Thats what brought me to this page. I trying to fiqure out WHERE to dead head this flower.

    posted on February 24, 2007
    I purchased a beautiful Bromeliad at Lowes. I beleive the species is Bromeliaceae (that’s what it says on the card). Care directions are vague. For pruning, it says “remove spent blooms” How far down do I remove? The bloom has lost it’s color (pink) and appears to be drying out and it has what seem to be a lot of little pink flowers developing all over in the original bloom. Can you help? I don’t want to loose it, it was so beautiful.

    Any help from anyone would be great!

  42. Kristin Fenetz says:

    Please help! I purchased my Bromeliad about 2 months ago. The bloom was red and beautiful. I keep my plant inside in front of my window(alot of time the blindes are closed). I keep the cup filled with bottled water at all times and I water the soil about every one to two weeks. In the last week the top of my bloom has turned yellowish/brown and seems to be dead but the bottom is still red. Also the plant never grow up it grow to the side. Can I save my plant? What should I do? Should take the top part out?

  43. admin says:

    @ Kristin. When the bloom ceases to be ornamental (or is dying), just chop it off with cutters or a sharp pair of scissors. Since 99% of all bromeliads bloom only once, the plant’s energy is now being redirected into growing the next generation of plants. If your plant hasn’t done so already, it will soon start producing offsets called “pups”. See my post on Caring For Bromeliads – Propagating for more information on what to do when it the time comes to remove and pot your new pups! You may also want to check out Blooming Bromeliads Again, to help you with some of your questions.

    As for your plant growing to the side, I’d recommend staking it into place until your pups have fully developed.

    I hope this information helps, happy growing! 🙂

  44. Maryann says:

    So about what is the life of the parent plant, does it vary? Just wondering, I have one….just got it, large pink spiked looking bloom, rather large leaves also! Just wondering the average life cycle time? Do the pups usually come right after the bloom dies?

  45. admin says:

    @ Maryann. A bromeliad can live anywhere from 1-6 years; the life cycle does vary from one bromeliad to the next (great guess)! Without knowing for sure what kind of bromeliad you own, that’s about the best answer I can give you. But please check out my post titled Getting To Know Eight Beautiful Bromeliads, to help you identify your species. You’ll also find some tips on how to care for each kind of bromeliad.

    Some species develop offsets before they flower, but it is more typical to see pups emerging after the parent plant has bloomed and begun to decline. See my post Caring For Bromeliads – Propagating for more information on what to do with your pups and when to do it.

    I hope this information helps. Happy Growing! 😉

  46. LYNN Casson says:

    my husband has just bought me one i dont know what to do with it how do i water and feed it.

  47. Becky says:

    Hey, I just read through all 46 of those posts, and im sure the information is useful..for those who know a litle about plants. Me??? Know nothing. 1st time plant owner. 🙂 And I would like to know the samething 47 wants to know!

  48. Sarah says:

    I have two bromeliads, both of which are doing great (one even has two pups coming up) except that the top few rows of the bloom are turning brown and brittle… is this from over/under watering? Can I cut the big bloom out and let the pups grow in the pot?

  49. Christina says:

    Hi I just purchased a Bromeliad. I would like to know if the flower will blossom again, or does it just fall off and remain leaves only?

  50. Tammy says:

    My indoor bromeliad has developed a soft powdery white coating on the leaves. What is this? Is it a fungus? Should I bother with trying to remove it? and with what? Thanks.

  51. Heather says:

    A wonderful site- I have been working with six different types of brom and am in love with them- care and propagation worry like a new parent. My question revolves around one species with a variegated leaf and a phenomenal flat red layered flower…the pups come up from the center of this one and I am not certain how to remove them. Your care and propagation section has easy to follow directions for the ones that offshoot from the side- what about these from the center? Thx.

  52. amber says:

    i work at a flower/plant shop and my boss was going to get rid of a brom we had in there but i rescued it before it went in the trash. the leaves look vibrant and healthy but the flower is a light brown, where it should be red. reading through this site has not given me much hope of resurrecting this plant, but i was wondering if you could give me some pointers on bringing it back to health. thanks! (p.s. no pups visible, and i dont think its more than a year old)

  53. Rebecca Quesenberry says:

    Hi, I would like to know.. if my plant is dead.. 🙁
    my little brother got it for me for my birthday and I never had one before. I think I may have waterd it to much. some of the leaves were brown so i was pulling them off ( I don’t know if I should have done that) anyway…… I was pulling them off and the whole plant came off….. not the roots, but the pant it self. will it grow again ?? or is it dead?? I really liked it!! I think it needed to be in a clay pot. please let me know
    thank you.

    P.S. not all of the leaves were brown.

  54. Elizabeth says:

    Hi! I recently ‘rescued’ what I believe (after reading thru above) to be a Vriesea splendens. It was not-so-healthy when I bought it on clearance from Lowe’s but I was sure I could help it out.
    Appears as though I should’ve left it. I put it outside for some natural sunlight 2 days ago. Forgot about it. Went to get it this morning and something else got it first.
    All it’s leaves are shredded on 1 half! =[ Will they grow back w/ extra special care or is my new little one a gonner?
    Please help! Thank you!

  55. Teresa says:

    I repotted my brom and now the color is fading. What can I do to help the color return? Fertilizer, water, light??????????

  56. Mary says:

    What do I do with the blossom when it dies? Do I cut it back or off? Thanks

  57. mike says:


    i would like info on how to grow a cutting of this plant.

    please can someone give me some advice

    thank you

  58. Julie says:

    Hi i just bought a Bromelaid for my work mate. And we went on our christmas break. When we got back the flowers were dead how do we bring it back to life???

  59. Kare says:

    I have been nominated in our office to take care of the Bromeliad we received as a gift. The only instructions that came with the plant are watering and light, but I don’t know what to do with the flowers as they die off and will it re-bloom. I have see new leaves grow but no signs of flowers. Any help is greatly apprecitated.

  60. Melanie says:

    I just got a Bromeliad for my birthday, it came with no tag or anything. I actaully Identified it by looking at exotic flowers (thanks proflowers!) But I have no idea how to care for it. Some places say just moist the dirt, others say just water and let dry. It’s got large green leaves, and the middle is red, and there’s water sitting within it’s leaves, not the dirt itself. If that makes sense, like celery, it’s in the stalks I guess you can say. Is that how it’s watered? So confused!! And as far as “pups” are, what do they look like I have not been able to find pic so I know what they look like. Thanks so much

  61. nancy casteel says:

    are these plants safe around small children?

    Thanks in advance!

  62. Debbie Finnerty says:

    My sister bought a Bromeliad Guzmania today, and has asked if they are dangerous to house pets. Nothing I have read has indicated any dangerous features. Can
    you confirm this?

    Thank you,
    Debbie Finnerty

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      It is correct that bromeliads are not toxic to cats and dogs.

  63. Crystal Ann says:

    I just got my first bromeliad…a vriesea carinata to be exact. i found out the exact species by searching on google and matching many pictures.
    I’m thinking the admin must be on a vacation or something…so maybe i could help. all of the info i know is what I’ve read on this site and a few other sites…but here goes!

    hints on keeping bromeliads alive:
    soil- moist, but never let the roots sit in water. not soggy.
    to water – use bottled drinking water, a hose or rain water. water when the center cups dry out and/or the soil becomes dry. pour water into center cups, little bits in soil.
    sunlight – filtered, try not to have in in direct sunlight, can quickly dry up the plant.
    outdoors – keep in safe place, its probably best if animals don’t chew on it…for the plant and the animal, better to be safe then sorry. no direct sunlight, summer is a great time of year for it to be outside as long as you keep it moist and sheltered. fertilizer every once and a while is okay.
    bromeliads adapt to their environment well, but don’t neglect them too much or they’ll dry out and wither away.
    I’ll be back to answer more questions when i can, but if you read throughout this site, most of the answers are somewhere, just read a bunch!

    1. jem says:

      Hi and thanks…..what is a “center cup”. I thought it was the center of the flower, but I can’t keep that structure even 1/2 full. It drains right away and when I kept filling it, I found that the pot filled with water and the whole thing was soggy I had to gently turn it over, holding the plant, and let it drain for quite a while. So perhaps I’m misunderstanding what is meant by “center cup’.

  64. Wanda says:

    I’ve just received a bromeliad as a gift. It is a green plant with a yellow flower in the center. How do I water it? I was told to only water it through the flower in the center.

  65. Tara says:

    I have a bromeliad that has a huge orange pineappple looking top. Are the bottom of all the leaves the cups you are talking about keeping water in? I’ve done that but noticed that the leaves are starting to turn brown at the base. Please help!

  66. Loei says:

    How much light inside does my bromeliad need ? THANKS 🙂

  67. Leslie says:

    I have a had my brom for almost a year now and when I mist my plant it smells like ash. Is this supposed to happen? It just started smelling this way within the last 3 weeks. Thanx!

  68. Emily says:

    I bought two beautiful bromeliads with a bright red flower. They were in excellent condition when i bought them. But now the leaves have turned dry and brown as well as the flower! It looks dead.This happened over a space of 2 weeks, I have been careful not to overwater, and there is water in the cup. Its positioned in a light airy room. i always wait until the soil is a little dry until i water, but im just losing a battle here! i hope you can help!! thanks

  69. Joyce Byerly says:

    I am a first time grower of two Bromeliads. My flowers feel like paper. Is this the time to cut off the flowers, or will they wilt down. I don’t know what they are suppose to look like, when it is time to cut the flower. I have had these plants since Jan. 08. I have already potted two pups. Thank you for your time. Joyce

  70. Brianna says:

    Hi. I just found this website and learned about the pups to bloom the bromeliad again. My pups are hardly that anymore as they are taller than the original. My momma is more short and open like a star and the pups are more stalk like and tall. They are probably past blooming but my question is that if they are connected to the momma plant, how do i take it apart to repot and see bloom? Thank you.

  71. becca says:

    My mom has a bromeliad and one of the leaves moves up and down occasionally and only at night. Why would it do this?
    there is no draft and no windows are open…nothing to make it move.


  72. Sara says:

    Hi i just got one of these plants and im only 14 years old. Im trying to prove to my mom that i can take care of a plant so i kinda need step by step directions…like i havent watered it since i got it and i got it june 24th so when should i water it??? and i have it in my bedroom window it doesnt get much sunlight but it does sometimes so what should i do…PLease respond quickly cause if this dies my moms never gonna trust me with plants…PLEASE HURRY!!!

  73. Michelle says:

    Hi, I have a bromeliad that I bought in my supermarket. I am not a plant person, but since it said it was durable, I thought I could handle it. Anyway, I’ve had it about a week, I check the soil to determine watering needs. The leaves have grown beautifully, but the flower has yet to open up. An I not doing something right? I didn’t think it needed direct sunlight, but should I move it to the window?


  74. Bernadette says:

    Do the pups have to be separated in order to flower?

  75. Laura says:

    I bought a Bromeliad approximately a month ago from WalMart. It has very thin leaves and a large “paddle” growing up on a stalk in the center that is green and pink. It has begun spouting flowers from between the sections of the paddle that are a blue-ish collor. The tag in it says to fill “cup” with water but do NOT overwater the soil.

    The cup they are referring to is the base of the leaves? The leaves on this plant are begging to brown out and dry up at the ends of the leaves and has some brown spots (looks like water spots) on the leaves and I need to know if this is normal or what I need to do to prevent this in the future.

    Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

  76. Lisa says:

    I have a very large brom which is bright green with pink foliage at the tips. It had two pups which I left a long time before removing. I have just tried to separate them and broke off the large parent at the base above the root. Is there anything I can do to save it. It is very special to me. Lisa

  77. Lorraine says:

    I would like to know the answer to lynn’s question also. My daughter gave me one HELP the leaves are turning brown all the way to the top

  78. Lin says:

    HELP!! My plants are turning brown. I do not know if I watered too much or not enough. They are indoor in a nice clay pot.

  79. Chris says:

    A coworker brought in a Brom (Neoregelia) for me to rescue since I’ve successfully raised a few pups from my original Broms. It’s drying up and the leaves are curling in. She’s had it for several months and has fertilized it, moved it in and out of the sun… all kinds of things trying to figure it out. I’ve never had this problem with mine, but I did read on another Brom website to “soak the plant in water for 8-10 hours” if it’s drying out. Does this mean take the plant out of the soil and let it sit directly in the water? I know the soil shouldn’t stay wet, but I wanted to make sure before I pulled it out of it’s pot.



  80. Meg says:

    Can you tell me if the plant needs full light or anything like that?? ( It is for school i need asap)

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      What variety?

  81. Cynita says:

    just like to know how to grow and take care of this plant i just recieved it will stay indoors and how often to water and when to cut it

  82. anne rowan says:

    my plant is almost a year old and the flower is browning, however, it has,what appears to be, four pups. won’t they be just fine left alone, rather than replanting to another pot.?

  83. Charlie says:

    My plant bloom died like many others mentioned, and I have 2 pups that are as large as the mother plant. we have had the plant for a couple-3 years, will the pup bloom attached to the original?

  84. Jo says:

    I have the same question as #58. I repotted my broms and now the color is fading on the flowers. They are in a room, well ventilated with minimal light. What do I do — fertilize, more shade?

  85. Cindy says:

    After reading all of this, I now know why my Bromelaid flower “died” on me but then grew a new one.. I am an avid gardener, and saw this plant at the store – not knowing anything about it, and the tag gave me no info except the name and basic light and temp requirements. Anyway..I do have a pup now, and it is about 5-6″ tall. Should I take it from the mother plant, and re-pot, or leave it? I did however, before reading any of this site, cut off the flower part of the parent plant i.e dead-headed it. By doing this did I hurt the pup plant? The plant is in a clay pot & well drained.

  86. nolleen Bambrick says:

    Iam am also like most, a new owner of a Brom and are only just now learning how to care. They are such a magical plant, the best way to explain them. Finding which actual Brom it is, is my next quest and are realy looking forward to it This site is absolutely wonderful and look forward to ongoing visiting.
    Thanks, Nolleen, Kellerberrin, WA



  88. BrittanyDawn says:

    I recently bought a bromeliad at a Lowe’s. I was attracted to it because of its stunning color. I was reading over some of these commets and on other sites as well, I am not sure when I should remove and repot “pups”.If I am correct the “pups” are like the bottom layer of leaves, right? I also wanted to know how long will my Bromeliad be in bloom?

  89. KATHY says:


    1. Celeste Booth says:

      It will depend on your genus of bromeliad and your growing conditions, but as a general rule of thumb, just check that the potting media is able to dry out a bit between waterings and it should be ok. If it is not able to dry out, then see if you can reduce the frequency / amount of your watering.

  90. Susan says:

    I received a orange guzmania bromeliad along with one stalk of Phalaenopsis orchid that now looks wilted. The leaves on the orange guzmania bromeliad are turning brown and curling under. Because it came from Proflowers in a box all closed up, I had to re-pot the plant in the container rec’d which was way to big for the amt of soil that came with the plant. I’ve watered twice (very little) in the 2 wks I’ve had this and have become very discouraged that what was beautiful now looks awful ! Is there hope????

  91. michele says:

    I was shocked to have read that the plant only flowers once in its lifetime unless I misunderstood. Please let me know.
    Thank You,

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Yes, it is normal for bromeliads to bloom just once in their lifetime. After this your bromeliad will produce pups (baby bromeliad plants) that will be your next generation of bromeliad plants.

  92. Brom Grower says:

    Many bromeliads make great house plants. I hope this post inspires more people to keep these plants indoors.

  93. Tarita says:

    I received my bromiliad as a gift and it is not growing it is turning brown it was green and yellow. Can I still save it or just give up and get a new one.

  94. Tiffany Suit says:

    Thanks for the information. I got a bromeliad for mother’s day and i love it. But I am raising it indoors, is their any thing speacial i need to do to expand it’s life cycle.

  95. Chere says:

    My mother just bought me a beautiful pink Bromeliad a few days ago (it really is the coolest plant I’ve seen, the only reason I let her get it for me). When it comes to plants, I’m completely ignorant. I’m going to keep it in a window that will give it quite a bit of sun. Is this a good idea? How often do I need to water it? And how easy is it to over-water it? I’ve never been able to keep a plant alive for any amount of time but I really want to do well with this one. Are these plants easy to kill?

  96. Veronica says:

    Hi I need help I recently purchased a bromeliad and when I first got it, it had a beautiful purple color in the center. at first the plant was doing very well, but now the purple color in center is turning a brown color. Is my plant dieing, and is there anything I can do to bring it back? please can someone help me!

  97. Shauna says:

    Hi I bought an almost dried up and over watered brom at a local store I transplanted it and set it out in the early summer weather unfortunatly we have had a few days of flooding rain and now it is looking worse how can I fix it so I do not loose it it is so pretty. Thanks in advance.

  98. Anna says:

    I am looking for a plant that would work for a very strange pot. It is a small rubber planter shaped and about the same size of a child’s sock. It has no drainage so it has been difficult to keep anything alive in it. Would a bromelaid survive in this? I think whatever plant I choose needs to be able to either sit in water and very very moist soil or to survive in very dry soil with very little watering required. I love bromelaids and am hoping they might work! Any help would be fantastic! Anna

  99. shannon says:

    love my Brom!!!! Its flower is pale pink with purple and blue,one of the most beautiful plants i have ever owned!!

    1. Celeste Booth says:


  100. Lisa Maples says:

    My husband bought me this plant and it is starting to turn brown. It is in the same container that it came in and I am wondering if it needs to be replanted. Some of the leaves are dying and the 2 large parts that stand up in the middle, one is red and the other is yellow, are turning brown. We have watered it a couple of times but not over doing it. I have had it for about a month.
    Please help me save it.


  101. Derek Goodliffe says:

    When the host plant as flowered, do they die off?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Yes, they typically do.

  102. Connor says:

    I just bought my bromeliad at lowe’s and lucky me the only one without an info tag and i learned it the hard way one i got home it is between orange and red what type is it and what care does it need?

  103. Connor says:

    What do pups look like?

  104. Rebecca Lee says:

    Hi, I loved this plant and would very much like to grow it again next year. I don’t quite understand what these pups are? there are other smaller little plants around the base of the plant which im guessing that’s what they are, but do you just pull them off? I have pulled one of them off and it doesn’t look like something that might grow again! Thanks x

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Hi Rebecca, take a look at this post for more information about pups:

  105. Connor says:

    Sorry bought the misspelling.I mean this…I just bought my bromeliad at lowe’s and lucky me the only one without an info tag. And I learned it the hard way once I got home. It is between orange and red what type is it and what care does it need?

  106. Alicia Weber says:

    Wow, if you read the +100 comments most of you can find the answers to your questions. Thanks so much for the info! I am going to get a spray bottle to water mine with.

  107. sue says:

    my pink bro flowered purple flowers and suddenly turned green and papery – i’ve been watering it once a week and it’s in an environment with AC and indirect light but don’t know if it’s dying 🙁

  108. Marla Brenner says:

    I live in Wisconsin and adopted 9 bomeliads in spring that were being thrown out. I have them in clay pots in my yard. I was told that I should bring them in in Sept and put them in the dark, bring them out in November and start watering again to get them to bloom. Is this the correct strategy? We are starting to have cold nights and I think it may be time to bring them in.

  109. siyani roberts says:

    Some of the leaves on my beautiful indoor bromeliad have begun to turn a spotty brown. I’m not sure why this is or how to “fix” the problem.

  110. LD says:

    Interesting that everyone says to water the dirt…When I bought my bromeliad last month they said to never water the dirt, just pour a little water in the leaves where it sits and the plant sucks it from there…

  111. Elaine Blecker says:

    My Bromeliad is on a enclosed sun-porch. I have 2
    questions. I s the center “stem’ suppose to be hard like a stick, and do I feed the plant through the top so that it falls like a waterfall? Thanks. E.B.

  112. Anna says:

    I miss having the responses right under the questions like it was in 2006. can you do that again on these others?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      We have fixed it so that you can now respond directly to a comment again. 🙂

  113. Autumn says:

    Once the flower dies can you remove it?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Yes, take a sterile blade and cut it off at the base of the plant.

  114. I saw a post about a shredded bromeliad plant. A few years ago I noticed the same problem on some that were in my atrium. I thought it was a horrible disease or a bug, but I found no insects. The problem continued and spread to some new bromeliads. Then one day I looked out and saw my cat standing next to the plant. He chomped into the base of the leaf, then pulled his head back slowly. His tiny sharp teeth shredded the leaf into long thready awful-looking strips. He seemed to like the taste. Since then, I keep them up on plant stands or shelves where the cats can’t nibble them to death. No more problem.

  115. Alyssa Y says:

    I have had my bromeliad for a while now, and it has done very well, up untill recently. The leaves are turning almost transparent, and brown and shriveling up. I try to water it, but the base is getting shriveled up and it’s leaning to one side. I can’t seem to find a solution, because I’ve tried leaving it to dry out as well as watering it, and it doesn’t get any better. I’m confused, is this a fungal problem? should I repot them?

  116. Spicey says:

    i bought a bromeliad thats on a bark. i placed it on my windowsill in the kitchen. its not in soil but on a bark. should i replant it, how often should i water (or spray). is it fine on the window sill?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Is it an air plant? If so, you do not need to pot it. Mist it and every so often you can dunk it in rainwater to give it a bit of a soak.

  117. Linda Gagyi says:

    My Bromelaid is beautiful. The leaves are great, has four pups growing. The only thing is the flower has turned brown. Do I cut it off?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Yes, you can cut it off with a sterile blade close to the base of the plant. Just be careful not to harm the plant itself. With the dead flower removed, the mother plant can put more energy into growing the pups.

  118. Sally says:

    I just bought one that was on the bargain table looking sooo bad & it was only a $1.00 at Lowes & I knew(hope)I can revive it. I’ve learned alot of information here. I plan to tackle the little thing later today, new soil & pot or just new soil & check her over so I might return for more help. Thank-you. Sally

  119. Margaret says:

    What do Bromeliad pups look like?

  120. Ming Zhou says:


    The flower in the middle of the plant turned brown. It seems dying. Should I cut the died flower out for new one to grow or should I leave as is?

    Many Thanks


  121. Lauren says:

    answer to where to deadhead flower:

    Take a sharp knife or a pair of your favorite pruning shears and cut off the bloom spike as far down as you can.

  122. Jean Mortenson says:

    What is the “cup” everyone refers to, i recieved mine as a gift several months ago, it is doing fine, i water it occasionally, but don’t see a “cup”.
    Assume it is just the center part of the plant.

  123. Cody says:

    I got this red brom for a gift and I’m trying to figure out what kind it is its got a red flower in the middle if you could try to tell me the name and how to take care of it thanks so much

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      It’s possible it is a Guzmania bromeliad. Try googling that name and see if it looks similar to your plant. Guzmania are a very common variety for houseplants.

  124. Catalina says:

    Hello!, i’ve had bromelias for a long time, since i was living in South America, now i have 4 big ones but i want to place them in 4 beautiful metal pots i got as a gift, is it a good idea to have the bromelias in metal pots outside under a roof with indirect sunlight and in the winter have them inside in those pots?

  125. Mark Belyak says:

    I bought a Guzmania bromeliad. can you tell me exactly, in ounces, that i have to water it?

  126. Diamonds says:

    I have had a bromeliad for years. It was blooming when I bought it. Now it has beautiful green leaves. Another plant grew in the pot and has beautiful green leaves. Was this considered a “pup?” I don’t understand what you mean by a pup. What do I cut to make another flowering plant?
    Thanks for your help.

  127. NATALE says:


  128. nicole says:

    Okay so I found this adorible bromeliad, but I have no idea how to take care of it. It has a purplish red bloom in the middle and the leaves are turning down. I water it every two to three days and it’s dieing, so I guess my question is how do I take care of it? Thanks for any information you can give me, it would help me out a lot.

  129. Team Roster says:

    Maybe you should make changes to the page subject Growing Bromeliads Indoors Overview to something more catching for your blog post you make. I enjoyed the post however.

  130. Nushin says:

    Hi, I bought a bromeliad plant called blue rain a few weeks ago. I bought it to brighten up my room. It get’s plenty of indirect sunlight and as per the instructions of the person I bought it from, I’ve been watering it once a week. If I find it’s too moist I don’t water it. Recently the tips of the leaves started turning brown and now the entire flowering bit that was once fluorescent and incredibly beautiful, has gone completely brown and I don’t know what this means or what to do. Please help, I don’t want to be a plant killer!!

  131. Garry says:

    Hi there,

    Will a vriesea grow in water only??(ie. remover soil and suspend in water?)


  132. Abbie says:

    How will I know if my plant is producing pups? What will they look like and when and how do i transplant them?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Here is some more information regarding bromeliad pups:

  133. Linda Davailus says:

    I have a bromeliad with a flat purple flower, which appears to be dying. Am I supposed to cut this off to keep the rest of the plant growing or does it fall off by itself ???? I have it in my bathroom which has ventilation and good artificial light and moisture from the shower. Is this a good way to keep this type of plant ?????
    I appreciate any assistence that you may be able to provide for me.
    Thank You. Linda

  134. rae says:

    I got mine as a gift. I thought it needed some additional sunlight so I put it outside for a day. My blooms turned from a deep red into almost brown. Its not a dead brown but more like sun faded. Is there something I can do to get them to original color? Now I know it can’t go outside…please help!

  135. Nance says:

    There are no pictures of “Pups” in this link that you posted. Are the “Pups” the brown things that after the flower dies off are sticking up from the center of where the flower used to be? My flower died so does that mean that it will never flower again? If so that stinks. It’s the flower I liked so much for reason of me buying it.

  136. Bromeliad Plants says:

    Apparently they only bloom once in their lifetime so hopefully you can save it! Such a bummer that the bloom turned brown!

  137. Lisa Anderson says:

    Hi please help save my two beautiful bromeliads. I purchased at Lowes about 3 months ago and they were doing so wonderful, and just recently I have noticed a dramatic change. I don’t feel I have done anything differently, but moved them to a different location in the house. I believe they are still getting enough light and I am still watering them the same. The bromeliads on both have turned brown and became very dry, although the leaves are still very green. The soil has white spots throughout on the surface. What have I done?? What can I do to bring the beautiful colors back that I loved soooo much??? I wanted to repot the plants also, is this still a good idea? Is it too late????

    Please help????? Thanks for your help!

  138. megi says:

    I have the problem with my Bromeliad. The peaks of the leaves have curled up. Does anyone know what can I do with that?

  139. Amanda says:

    Hello, I purchased a Bromeliad that was on clearance. It’s flower had been pruned off already, I don’t know anything about them, I just felt bad for it. I see that you said they only flower once. Does that mean it’s a lost cause? Will the plant die off? I’ve had it for a few months. It is in a pot of regular potting soil. It looks like little leaves or chutes maybe are growing in on the outside base of the plant.

  140. Heather says:

    I got a Bromeliad as a gift and am terrible with plants. The bloom died and some of the leaves were brown so I tried to pluck a leaf off and the entire plant came apart from the bulb. Should I just throw it away or will it regrow?

  141. renee says:

    My plant gets indirect lite all day. I water it once a week with the sprinkler on the kitchen sink. Trouble is the leaves are looking thin and spindely. Is there anything I can do to correct this ? No it doesn’t sit in water.

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      What variety of bromeliad do you have?

  142. dorothy says:

    My Brom has curling wilting leaves. The soil is moist and I water the cup like it says, but now the pretty little purple plowers that were in the middle have turned brown and soggy. How do I save this plant?

  143. Emily says:

    So after my roommate killed my original Bromeliad, my boyfriend had given me money to replace it. Now that I am living in my own place (away from people who can kill my plants), I purchased a new one. Only issue is, one died within four to six months and the other is still dying after eight months. Neither have produced pups, and I know the dead one is pass that point. I don’t know if there is a way to revive the one that is still in the process of dying? Neither of bloomed.. So I don’t know if maybe I am just doing something wrong, even though I followed the directions to the T. Or if maybe it is the pot it came in? They came in a water reserve pot that is supposed to water them as they need it. And is it supposed to produce gnats? Because I had that issue when I first bought it, but as it has died off, there haven’t been any gnats.

  144. Elma T. says:

    The leaves on my bromeliads are brown spotted do I remove than and how.

  145. dawn says:

    I received a dying bromelaid from a friend who didn’t want to throw it out. From the flower to the base all the leaves have brown tips. What causes this? Can this bromelaid be saved?

  146. Gardenia says:

    Tuesday, 25th June 2013

    Dear Sirs:

    Thank you for your website.

    I have some pinkish/greenish and reddish/greenish cryptanthus novistars sitting in organic potting soil. I’ve noticed that the colours mentioned remain more vibrant when they receive morning sun and afternoon shade.

    Please inform me whether this is the best and correct medium/environment for them. Please kind advise me accordingly on the correct environment and type of fertilizer and frequency.

    I very much look forward in hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely,


  147. Sherry says:

    My bromeliad has one pup. Now the “mothers” leaves have curled upwards. Is it dying? If not, what do I do to fix it?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Yes it is dying, this is a natural part of the process. Your next generation of bromeliad plants will be from her pups.

  148. Davina says:

    When the time comes to separate the pups, what type of bark should I use? One whole piece, or just some bark pieces (like mulch)? Also, should I be careful to not use bark from pine trees, for example, due to the high acidic content?

  149. april says:

    hi i have a aechmea blue rain that we have had for about two months all of a sudden the flower has tured black and looks like it is dieing do we cut the flower off the leaves look fine so much that it seams to be growing another plant off the side of it if you could help pleeeaaassse as i love it

    1. Hi April,

      Most bromeliads bloom only once before all their energy is redirected into growing pups, its next generation of plants. Use a pair of sharp, sterilized scissors to cut off the spent inflorescence. Here is some great information on pups ( Hope this helps!

  150. Maryann doring says:

    I do not know what is meant by watering the ‘cup’. Is it inside the flower, the leaves or the container.

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      It is the central part of the plant, not the container the plant is in.

  151. BEcky says:

    I had my bromelaId die about a year ago, theN a new baby grew off the Original stalk, both stalks keep growing but No flower Started and wondering if they will produce Eventually ?

    1. Melanie Dearringer says:

      Hi Becky. It can take bromeliad pups 2-3 years to mature and bloom. You may want to check out our Guide to Bromeliad Pups. It should answer most of your questions.

  152. Doris says:

    I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the good works guys I’ve you guys to
    my personal blogroll.

  153. Alexandria says:

    Hi! i was just curious i have a Guzmania plant, i have had it for about a month or two it started to slightly fall over in its pot i am wondering if this is a bad thing?!

  154. charlie says:

    Can I water my indoor bromelaid, guzmania dirty rain water? I have got some rain water from my garden but when I take out all the big bits of leaves it is yellow. Is this okay to water my bromelaid with?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Charlie it should be fine. It probably just yellowed naturally from the old leaves that were in the water.

  155. Carina says:

    Hi there, I have one of these plants in the Reception area where I work and it used to be cared for by a specialist who unfortunately no longer works for our company. The plant now seems to be dying, the flower which was a gorgeous vibrant red has now faded to a dull and faded maroon and some of the leaves have browned. I can see two new shoots (pups) growing out of two of the flowers but not out of the third. Is there anything I can do to revive this beautiful flower? Please help :'( I would very much like to save this beautiful speciman.

  156. miguel says:

    I noticed my bromelaid has fruit flies living on it. How do i get rid of these bugs?

  157. Dan Damron says:

    the bloom is brown now what do I

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      If you wish, you can remove it with a sterile blade.

  158. Nat says:

    Can the main center paddle regrow if broken off? Can the paddle itself regrow into another plant?

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