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Bromeliad Flower [Blooming Tips, Meanings, & Uses]

There’s nothing wrong with saying that Bromeliad Flowers are “beauty with brains.” They come in stunning colors and seize some water and nutrients for the plant.

Generally, the Bromeliad Flower comprises a monocarpic, rosette-shaped red, pink, purple, orange, blue, or yellow inflorescence sitting atop a tall flowering spike with tiny bracteate florets or flowers. The flowers stay and bloom for 2-6 months.

Usually, Bromeliads are tough to bloom due to their slow flowering habit, but you can turn the tables with a few care hacks.

Stick to the article to learn about Bromeliad Flowers and how to make them bloom.

What Does a Bromeliad Flower Look Like?

Bromeliads are part of the Bromeliaceae family, which has around 4314 species producing bizarre-looking inflorescences.

The inflorescences are vibrant and available in shades ranging from pink, yellow, orange, red, and purple and generally last up to 6 months.

When Bromeliads are around 1-5 years old, a long flowering stalk or spike containing an inflorescence arises from the center of the plant, surrounded by strappy rosette green leaves.
Image represents Bromeliad flowers
Not all Bromeliads hide their flowers behind the bracts, but some varieties openly expose their blooms to pollinators.

In some Bromeliads like Pineapples the inflorescence remains closed, while in Aechmea species, the inflorescence is open in the Giant Bromeliads.

Generally, an inflorescence consists of many bisexual florets attached spirally to a tall flowering stalk.

Colorful, triangular, tapering, fuzzy, and serrated bracts (or modified leaves) support the florets from below.

Likewise, the florets are insignificant, but if you dissect it, you will find 3 sepals and petals looping 6 stamens (male part) and 1 stigma (female part).

At the end of the plant’s life cycle, the florets and the flowering spike change their colors and start fading.

Image illustrates the basic structure of Bromeliad Flower
Inflorescence in Bromeliad consists of many tiny flowers or florets enclosed by scaly and fuzzy bracts.

Let us see the basic overview of Bromeliad Flowers in the table below.

InflorescenceSpike, Raceme, or Panicle: Tiny singular florets organized spirally along a tall flowering stalk and braced by thick colorful bracts from below
Size (Inflorescence with Flowering Stalk)A few inches to 30 feet tall
Color (Inflorescence)Pink, Yellow, Red, Orange, or Blue
Life Span2-6 months
FragranceSweet floral aroma (depends on the varieties)
Flowering SeasonsAll year (some bloom during spring, summer, or winter)
PollinatorsBees, Hummingbirds, and Bats
FruitsAggregation of flowers or sometimes berries
ToxicityNon-toxic to humans and pets

How to Make Bromeliad Flower?

Bromeliads bloom only once during their lifespan and must pass preliminary stages before crowning a developed inflorescence.

Moreover, Bromeliads flower from the buds during the warm spring and summer when they get the most intense sunlight, but some species deck winter blooms also.

Besides, to force Bromeliads for blooms, you can do that forcibly using the following approaches.

1. Apple in a Bag Trick

  • Get a ripe apple and a large plastic bag big enough to fit the plant with its pot.
  • You can also slice the apples and place them alongside the plant inside the bag.
  • Carefully wipe any moisture from the leaves or water from the pot plate or ensure the soil is dry but not soggy. 
  • After securing the plant inside the bag, seal the top to make it airtight.
  • Remove the plant from the bag after 7-10 days and continue the regular care routine.
  • The plant will show signs of flowering after 6-14 weeks.
  • The ethylene gas from the apples will force the plant to bloom.

Similarly, you can also use a banana or kiwi to encourage Bromeliad Flowers.

For clearer instructions, check this video below.

2. Using Bloom Boosting Fertilizers

  • Prepare liquid high-phosphorous feed of one-fourth strength.
  • Spray the fertilizer near the roots on the topsoil or around the base of the plant monthly in spring and summer.
  • Avoid spraying the central cup, leaf surface, or flowers to prevent chemical burns.

3. Feeding Epsom Salts

  • Mix one tablespoon of Epsom Salt in a gallon of distillate water.
  • Spray the mixture on the soil around the plant’s base.
  • You can also amend the potting soil with a pinch of salt while repotting.

What to do with Bromeliad Plant Flowers?

Although blooming marks the end of Bromeliad’s life cycle, it is entirely up to you whether or not to cut the flowers.

Some gardeners remove the flowers to preserve the plant’s energy to grow and bloom again.

When the blossom fades, the mother plant begins to die naturally, producing offshoots called baby pups (or offsets) around its base.
Image illustrates Bromeliad plant pups
Bromeliad pups or offsets grow around the mother plant’s base, which can be separated and planted in fresh soil to grow more Bromeliad plants.

You can detach the pups from the dying mother plant and transplant them into the appropriate potting mix to grow a new Bromeliad plant.

How to Remove Dead Bromeliad Flower?

Here’s the way to cut off Bromeliad Flower properly.

  • Monitor the spent blooms and use sterilized pruners to cut at the base of their stalk as close to the central cup as possible.
  • Collect the cut blooms in a basket to compost them later.
  • Continue to look after your Bromeliad and repeat the above process once the foliage turns brown or gets rotted.
  • Separate the pups and repot them in individual planters.

Bromeliad Care After Flowering

Let’s look at the optimum conditions you need to fulfill for Bromeliads after they have flowered.

  • Offer 5-16 hours of filtered light or 5-6 hours of direct sunshine daily.
  • Water every 7-10 days in spring and summer, but change the routine to every 14-21 days in fall and winter.
  • Use liquid feed monthly throughout spring and summer.
  • Prefer organic potting soil with well-aerating and water-retentive elements.
  • Sustain 60-90°F surrounding temperature. Avoid temperature drops below 40°F.
Image represents a potted Bromeliad plant
Bromeliads need a well-draining and porous pot environment, which protects the plant from suffocation and allows the passage of oxygen to the roots.
  • Maintain indoor humidity levels of around 40-75%.
  • Repot every 2-5 years in a terracotta container of one size up during early spring, summer, or fall. 
  • Groom the plant by removing the dead or damaged leaves and spent flowering stalks periodically or annually in early spring.
  • Use neem oils to evade the pests and diseases that attack the flowers.

Meaning & Benefits of Bromeliad Flowers

Bromeliad Flowers may not be as significant as fruits, but they have many benefits and carry meanings.

1. Bromeliad Flower Meaning

In Mayans, Aztec, and Inca cultures, Bromeliads were like a gift of gods to the people.

They used almost all the parts of these plants as food, shelter, and fiber.

Moreover, Bromeliad Flowers are often associated with prestige and luxury.

Let us look at the deeper meanings behind the Bromeliad Flower colors.

Flower ColorMeaning
Deeper ShadesWealth and Success
Lighter ShadesBeauty, Elegance, and Charm
Red ShadesPassion

Further, the long serrated leaves surround delicate, sweet, scaly fruits in a few Bromeliad varieties. So, some people associate Bromeliads with ‘protection.’

Image represents Bromeliad Flower
Bromeliad Flowers have thick, scaly, and serrated bracts, which are considered a symbol of protection in many cultures.

2. Food Purposes

Natives of Latin America often consume the flowers of Bromeliads.

They also make beverages from the flowers and drink during special occasions.

In many South American countries, people let the flowers stay on the plant to transform them into soft berries.

These berries are prepared into soft drinks or sweet conserves.

3. Ornamental Assertions

Bromeliads are available in various colors, shapes, and sizes.

They are wonderful centerpieces for any houseplant collection because of their tremendous variety.

People use these plants as household decoration thanks to their bright-colored bracts.

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind with Bromeliads

One of the reasons for Bromeliad’s popularity is its non-toxicity to both humans and pets.

According to the ASPCA, Bromeliads are non-toxic to humans, cats, and dogs.

However, there are certain risks in being around Bromeliads. 

  • Bromeliad nectar may cause allergic reactions like dermatitis, blisters, dry skin, itchiness, swelling, and rashes.
  • Mild gastrointestinal discomfort is common in pets and children who eat a hefty dose of these flowers.
  • The pointy and scaly bracts can poke the skin rendering minor bruises.

So, in an emergency, you may contact the following helplines.

FAQs About Bromeliad Flower

Why is my Bromeliad Flower turning brown?

Bromeliad Flowers turn brown because of too dry or too wet soil, high or low sunlight, and excessive mineral salts in the soil.

Why is my Bromeliad Flower turning green?

If you are growing Bromeliad under extreme or low sunlight, the flowers refrain from showing their true colors and turn deep green.

From Editorial Team

Terrariums and Bromeliads!

Do you know that you can keep the Bromeliads inside mini open terrariums?

Offering high humidity and warmth, terrariums are a perfect place to set up your indoor Bromeliad garden and see them bloom if you are lucky.

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