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How to Grow Bromeliads


During the winter when outside plants are dormant, the most pronounced color is brown, but inside – even in the dead of winter – you can create and enjoy every color in the rainbow, and in the process make your home come alive if you know how to grow bromeliads.

Bromeliads are some of the easiest bloomers. Very often the most colorful portion of this plant isn’t actually a flower but a type of leaf known as a bract, however, many do produce gorgeous flowers.

There are more than 2,000 species of bromeliads. They may be terrestrial (growing in the soil) or epiphytic (growing on other plants), and this means they either need some sort of potting medium or they don’t.

All bromeliads can be grown in a rich, organic medium that’s fairly loose and drains well. A good mix for bromeliads is a 50-50 blend of leaf mold and builder’s sand. Bright light from a southern exposure is best for most bromeliads, but if the colors begin to fade or you notice any leaf burn, simply reduce the amount of light.

If you want to grow bromeliads succesfully you need to know that their water requirements vary enormously. Some prefer to be dry, much like cacti; others must be kept constantly moist. If the leaves form a cup, water should be kept in the cup at all times. The potting medium can be watered as well.

Epiphytic bromeliads such as tillandsia require only daily misting. Kalanchoes are succulents that produce small, colorful clusters of flowers and feature leaves that may be scalloped or smooth. They’re fairly easy to grow indoors provided they receive bright, indirect light coupled with warm, sunny conditions and arc potted in a sandy soil that’s allowed to dry between waterings.

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