What are bromeliads?
Bromeliads (BRO-MILL-EE-ADD) are a large family of
air plants that grow in central and South America, mostly in Brazil,
Ecuador, Columbia, and Panama. Some grow in trees (called
epiphytic), while others grow on rocks (saxiphytic) and in the ground
The best known bromeliad in the world is the
pineapple plant. Most bromeliad species require a tropical or
sub-tropical climate where the temperature rarely drops below 40 degrees
F and the humidity rarely drops below 20%. Some species can be
grown successfully indoors with minimal light and water. Unlike
most plants, bromeliads take in water through the leaves (typically in
the center of the plant). They store water and use it as needed
until the next rains come.
Life cycle of a
bromeliads have a life cycle of about 2-4 years. They are
monocarpic, meaning each one grows to its full size, flowers, then dies.
But, before they die, all bromeliads reproduce by growing new baby
bromeliads (called "offsets" or "pups") from the base of the plant or on
the actual flower stalk (as with
produce as many as 8-10 pups or more before dying, while
usually only produces one.
Bromeliads are technically air plants, meaning they require very little
water. Non-terrestrial bromeliads (ones that grow on trees, logs,
rocks, etc.) do not depend on their roots to soak up water and
nutrients. Instead, they use their roots to attach themselves to
another plant and then collect water and debris in their cups.
Bromeliads are not