The Bromeliad family is thought to contain close to 3,000 species in total. Despite originating from the southern hemisphere, Bromeliads can thrive as an indoor plant as it is adaptable. It utilises its leaf rosettes to accumulate rainwater and can even use these to dictate how much water to take in via opening and closing scales.
Bromeliads are epiphytes and are attached to a host tree, where they become supported by a branch or the tree’s trunk. Something that unites members of the bromeliad family is that most plants have a bright flower in the centre when they bloom. Colours found on bromeliad flowers are typically bright and the plants themselves may alter their shade, matching the colour of the bloom. Bromeliad plants are sturdy and often have extensive foliage.
Bromeliads can be found in many countries across the world. Species of Bromeliad are common to areas such as tropical forest, subtropical savannah and even steppe regions, in places such as the Central and South Americas and the West Indies, as well as a few parts of Africa.
Bromeliads are epiphytes and are attached to a host tree, where they become supported by a branch or the tree’s trunk. Some of these plants do live on the ground, however, whilst others are found high in the forest canopy.
Some commonly known Bromeliads include the Guzmania, defined by its coloured bracts, as well as the Neoregelia, which features a pink centre and is found in the Amazon rainforest. The Vriesea has flame-coloured flowers and the Tillandsia cyanea takes a number of forms and is found in subtropical America.
The key to caring for Bromeliads is ensuring that the central rosette remains healthy and well watered, with rainwater if in a hard water region. Light levels do not have to be especially high. Bromeliads can take up to three years to flower and may be easier to care for if bought when quite close to flowering.
Did You Know?
The Spectacled bear, a resident of South America, especially enjoys eating Bromeliad plants. The type of Bromeliad known as Guzmania dies each summer following the blooming of its flowers, but owners can take the offsets from the dead plant and grow new Guzmanias from it.