Grown for their colorful foliage, blushing bromeliads (Neoregelia spp.) produce sword-shaped, glossy leaves in white, green, red, pink, orange and purple. Depending on the specific variety, individual leaves may sport one to three colors and contain sharp spines along their margins or tips. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, the blushing bromeliad thrives in full to partial shade and light, fast-draining soil. Water it the right way to ensure your brushing bromeliad's health.
1. Garden Blushing Bromeliads
1 Water blushing bromeliads in your garden when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil becomes dry. Attach a sprayer nozzle to the end of a garden hose. Position the nozzle 4 to 6 inches above the bromeliad's tank, or the cup-shaped center. Squeeze the sprayer's handle slowly to release a small stream of water into the tank. Fill the tank with water, allowing it to overflow into the surrounding soil. Water the bromeliad to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, and then allow the soil to dry.
2. Garden Blushing Bromeliads
2 Fill the tank with water when its water level drops below three-quarters full. Add water to the tank slowly, stopping before it can overflow onto the plant's leaves and into the soil.
3. Garden Blushing Bromeliads
3 Flush the water out of the tank every 10 to 14 days. Fill the tank to overflowing, allowing the old water to run out of the tank and into the soil. Leave the tank filled with fresh water.
4. Garden Blushing Bromeliads
4 Remove the water from the blushing bromeliad's tank if temperatures drop below 40 degrees to prevent cold or freeze damage. Suck the water up with a bulb syringe or soak it up with paper towels. Replace the water as soon as the temperature rises above 40 degrees.
5. Potted Blushing Bromeliads
1 Water the blushing bromeliad when the top 1 to 2 inches of potting soil becomes dry. Fill a watering can full of tap water heated to 90 degrees F. Place the potted plant in the sink. Pour the water slowly from watering can directly into the bromeliad's tank. Keep the flow of water steady so it overflows from the tank and runs down the leaves into the soil. Stop pouring water once moisture begins to flow freely from the pot's bottom. Move the pot back to its regular spot once the water is finished draining.
6. Potted Blushing Bromeliads
2 Refill the tank with water as needed, to keep it full. Do not allow the water to overflow from the tank during the refilling process if the soil remains moist to the touch.
7. Potted Blushing Bromeliads
3 Dump out the water from the tank every 10 to 14 days to reduce salt buildup. Refill the tank with fresh 90 degree water, stopping before the water overflows onto the leaves.
8. Potted Blushing Bromeliads
4 Fill a spray bottle with 90 degree tap water. Adjust the bottle's spray to the mist setting. Spray the blushing bromeliad's foliage lightly with the spray bottle to increase the humidity surrounding the plant. Mist the plant during the morning hours to allow the foliage time to dry before nightfall. Repeat this process once each week.
9. Potted Blushing Bromeliads
5 Fill a drainage tray with rocks or marbles. Pour water into the tray, filling it one-half full. Place the potted bromeliad on top of the rocks or marbles in the tray. Refill the tray with water as the water evaporates and rises around the plant, to increase the humidity. Never fill the drainage tray so full of water that the pot's bottom comes in direct contact with it.
Items you will need
- Sprayer nozzle
- Garden hose
- Bulb syringe or paper towels
- 90 degree Fahrenheit tap water
- Watering can
- Spray bottle
- Drainage tray
- Rocks or marbles
- Never allow the blushing bromeliad's soil to grow soggy.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Blushing Bromeliads
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Neoregelia Carolinae f. Tricolor
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Bromeliads at a Glance
- Texas A&M System: Creating the Tropical Look: Low-Care Tropicals for the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas
- University of Florida: Bromeliads
- Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images