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How Much and How Often to Water a Bromeliad Plant?

Bromeliad Plant

If you have recently become the proud owner of a bromeliad plant, you may want to know how to properly care for it. Keeping the plant in the proper environment and knowing when and how much water it needs is essential for it to grow healthy and strong.

Bromeliad plants are tropical beauties that need to be watered every one to three weeks. It will depend on the season, however.

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The Essentials of Watering Bromeliad Plants

Bromeliad plants should be watered every two to three weeks during the winter months. In the summer months or the growing season, they will require water every week to ten days. They should be watered with distilled, soft, or filtered water. You can water them by misting the leaves, wetting the soil, or in the center of the plant, which is called the cup or tank.

Watering your bromeliad with tap water is not recommended since the water in some areas has a high metal content that is less than ideal for bromeliad plants.

Bromeliad Plants
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay

Types of Bromeliad Plants

The right amount of moisture for your plant will depend on the type or species of the plant. How and when to water a specific type of bromeliad can vary significantly.

  • Tillandsia or Air Plants: Bromeliad plants that do not require soil to grow can be watered by misting them weekly. Tillandsia plants only get moisture through the leaves and should also be soaked in filtered water every two weeks or so.
  • Terrestrial or Ground Plants: Bromeliad plants that are planted in the garden prefer to get water through the soil. They absorb nutrients and moisture through their roots.
  • Epiphytes: Epiphytes grow on the bark of a tree and can be watered in the tank or central cup, misting the leaves or through the soil. Like the saxicolous bromeliad, epiphytes rely on moisture from the soil and the leaves.
  • Saxicolous: Bromeliads that grow in the rocks can be watered through their central cups or through the soil. Saxicolous bromeliads depend on moisture from both their leaves and the soil.

Light

How much and how often to water a bromeliad can be affected by its environment. If the plant is in an area that does not get a lot of direct sunlight, it may not need to be watered as often as a bromeliad that is in a bright and sunny room.

Temperature and Humidity

How much and how often you water your bromeliad can also depend on the temperature and humidity in your home. In average temperatures, the plant will not need to be watered as often as a plant that is in a warm environment. If your home is kept on the warmer side, you should keep the plant’s tank full and water it frequently.

Bromeliad plants
Image Credit: Elsemargriet, Pixabay

Season

Bromeliad plants will require more water during the spring and summer since that is the growing season. They are dormant in the winter months and will not need to be watered as frequently. You can water your plant every seven to ten days in the Spring and Summer months and every two to three weeks in mid-winter.

Things to Consider

  • Plant Size: A smaller plant will require less water than a large one.
  • Soil: If the plant is in a sandy or rocky mix, it may require more water than a plant that has soil. Potting soil retains moisture and can easily cause overwatering.
  • Plant Container: If your bromeliad is in a container that is roomy or does not drain well, the soil can get soggy and cause root rot.
  • Overwatering vs Underwatering: It is better to underwater rather than overwater your plant. Wait until the soil is almost dry or completely dry before watering it. You should give it water when the top inch or so of soil is dry. If you overwater your plant, you may notice leaves that are soggy and brown but if the leaves are curling, brown, and crumbly, the plant needs more water.
  • Cup or Tank Watering: Keep the cup or tank filled with water. To prevent the growth of bacteria, drain the tank and replace it with clean water.
  • Type of Water: Well and tap water contain metals that can prevent the plant from absorbing nutrients and moisture. Bromeliads absorb moisture and nutrients through the special cells in the leaves. Bromeliads should be watered with filtered, soft, or distilled water to prevent minerals from getting into the cells of the leaves and to prevent root rot.
  • Regular Misting: No matter what type of bromeliad you have, misting the leaves regularly is good for the plant. Even more so when the weather is hot and dry.

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Conclusion

Remember that underwatering is better than overwatering, and misting the plant regularly can also be beneficial. With a little patience and trial and error, you should be watering or misting your plant on a schedule that has it thriving in no time.

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Featured Image Credit: Chesna, Pixabay

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