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Bromeliad Seeds – Complete Grow and Buying Guide

Bromeliads are one of the most popular tropical houseplants. They are mainly propagated via their offsets, but did you know that they can also be grown from seeds?

Mostly the seeds of Bromeliads are fleshy fruit but some also produce dry capsules. 

Generally, to grow Bromeliad plant from seed, harvest the seed in July or August, sterilize the seed and place them on a paper towel to dry. Sow the seeds in a slightly acidic organic soil mix, maintaining a warm moist environment. The germination will sprout within three to four weeks.

Person Holding Red Flowering Bromeliad
Person Holding Red Flowering Bromeliad (Source: Pexels)

You can easily detach the berries from Bromeliads and start the propagation process. But, if you do not have a plant, you can always germinate them with store-bought seeds.

Continue reading to learn how to extract, germinate, and care for Bromeliad seeds at every stage.

Overview of Bromeliad Seed

All Bromeliads are members of one of the three subfamilies: Bromeliaceae, Pitcairniodeae, or Tillandsiodeae.

Each of them hails striking, sword-shaped leaves and bright, unusual-looking blooms.

They are primarily grown in the subtropics and tropics because the temperature is ideal for them. Nearly all of them are from Caribbean islands and Latin America.

Ranging from pineapples to Spanish moss, they are genuinely fascinating plants. 

A Healthy Potted Bromeliad
A Healthy Potted Bromeliad (Source: Pixabay)

Regarding the seeds, here is a brief overview.

FactorSpecification
Size1-2 mm
ColorBrown
ShapeTiny and flat
WeightApproximately 0.0019 gram
Blooming SeasonVaries; blooms once
Time taken to produce seedUp to 3 years
Germination TimeAround 4 months
StorageStore in a paper container or envelope

Besides, did you know that most species of Bromeliads are present in Brazil, and the only fruits of Bromeliads are Pineapples?

Can you Grow Bromeliad from Seed?

Growing a Bromeliad from seed is not very common as you can easily propagate Bromeliad from the mother plant’s pups or offshoots.

But, growing the Bromeliad plant from seeds is not difficult. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, it can take up to five years for them to blossom.

bromeliads-and-green-leaves
Bromeliads (Source: Public Domain Pictures)

The seeds from Bromeliaceae families do not keep long. Depending on the storage technique, they will be viable from four weeks up to three months. 

A proper storage method can lengthen the viability of Bromeliad seeds. Store these seeds in paper envelopes with the lowest humidity possible.

Plant the Bromeliad seeds as soon as possible to prevent the seeds from getting bad. 

How do you Extract a Bromeliad Seed?

Bromeliads often produce a dense growth of sharply pointed, overlapping leaves in the first year and a short stalk with multiple blossoms in the second year.

But, the Bromeliad plant takes up to three years to attain maturity and produce a flower.

Now you need to wait for the Bromeliad flowers to pollinate for the berries to emerge.

After pollination of the flowers, the Bromeliad seed will develop into a pulpy berry, changing its color on maturity; it generally gets darker.

As the Bromeliads flowers mature, seed pods will form; when you crack open the seed pods, you will find many seeds. 

Bromeliad-seeds
Pink Bromeliad Flower (Source: Etsy)

Those flowers produce berries, which are technically fruits. Later, the fruits grow larger and are covered in a thick, sweet, fleshy mass.

They produce abundant amounts of seeds in the knowledge that not all of their offspring will make it to maturity. It is referred to as the R approach in ecology.

However, the seeds take over a long period to mature.

When the seed pod gets a few shades darker than the natural color, it is an indication that the seeds have matured. 

With mild pressure, you should be able to separate the berries. If the berries fall off easily, the seed is ready to harvest.

Bromeliad plants only have one bloom, which can persist for several months depending on the age of the plant.

Steps to Extract the Seeds from the Bromeliad plant

You can easily extract the seeds from Bromeliads at home. Follow the step-by-step instruction given below.

  • Gently extract the pods or also known as the berry of the Bromeliad. They’ll usually be purple or pink in color.
  • Squeeze the seed out of the berry on a paper towel until all of the seeds come out.
  • Wash your Bromeliad seeds with a drop of detergent to remove the layer of slime they’re naturally covered in. 
  • Place them in small paper envelopes and seal them for later use.
Bromeliad Leaves
Bromeliad (Source: Unsplash)

You should be mindful that Bromeliad seeds have a short shelf life. They can last anywhere from four weeks to three months.

Did you know, Bromeliad can grow all year round? It’s always Bromeliad season.

How to Grow Bromeliad Plant from Seeds?

In general, the growth of the Bromeliad plant is affected by soil, water, fertilizer, humidity, and even the length of the day.

Usually, Bromeliads are grown outdoors only in zones 9 and 10.

While growing indoors, it is best to place the potted seeds tray in a water bed and cover them with a white cotton sheet.

Yellow Bromeliad
Yellow Bromeliad (Source: Pixabay)

After the seeds start growing, you can acclimatize the plant by placing it from the protected indoor environment to harsh fluctuating outdoor conditions.

The whole process of germination to transplanting may take several months. 

Tip: It is best to start growing the seeds indoors and sowing them onto the growing medium later. 

Materials Required to Grow Bromeliad Plant from Seed

After harvesting the Bromeliad seeds, it is best to plant them fresh for quicker germination. 

For this, you will require several items to make the entire process easier. Here are the quick materials that you will need. 

Materials RequiredPurpose
SeedsFor Germinating
Seed Starter MixFor Growing the Seeds
Seed TrayPotting Medium
Gloves
For Safety
TrowelsTo Combine the Starter Mix
HumidifierTo Maintain the Humidity
Plastic Wrap/ Plastic LidTo Cover the Seeds

Steps to Propagate Bromeliad via Seeds

Bromeliad seed propagation is a simple process. There are simply a few steps to it.

Materials Used for Propagating
Materials Used for Propagating (Source: Pexels)

Step 1: Preparing the Seed and Container

  • From the freshly harvested seeds, wash the Bromeliads Seed with warm soapy water to remove the gelatinous substance.
  • Place them on a paper towel to dry.
  • Using hot water and mild detergent, clean the germination tray or the plastic container.
  • After rising the tray, spray with diluted vinegar solution.
A bromeliad seed
A Bromeliad seed (Source: Etsy)

Step 2: Preparation of Potting Mix

  • Prepare the potting mix by combining 60% potting soil with 40% perlite.
  • A mix of sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, and orchid mixes will also work well. 
  • Bromeliads require a warm, moist growing environment and enjoy slightly acidic soil.
  • To avoid the formation of fungi and dampening, include a fungicide in the mix and sprinkle finely powdered peat moss on top of the medium.
Potting mix
Potting mix (Source: Pexels)

Step 3: Sowing the Seeds

  • Wet the potting medium so that it is damp enough.
  • Grab the germination tray or a plastic container with multiple drainage holes in the bottom and fill the container 1/3 full with the starter mix. 
  • Directly sow the seeds on top of the potting medium. Do not bury the seeds or cover them with soil mix.
  • Let the light enter the seeds’ surface and softly dust them with a thin sprinkle.
  • Cover the container with a lid if available, or you can also securely wrap it with a plastic wrap.
Seeds (Source: Unsplash)

Step 4: Growing the Seeds

  • Fresh seeds should germinate after a few days.
  • Once they develop three to four leaves, remove the lids and allow the seeds to acclimatize.
  • For seed development, use a high potassium content fertilizer such as NPK 15-4-26.
  • After a few weeks or months, move the Bromeliad seedlings to their planters.
Bromeliad in a plastic container
Bromeliad in a pot (Source: Unsplash)

Benefits and Drawbacks of Direct Sowing

Directly sowing the Bromeliad seeds has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Let us look at the common ones here. 

Benefits of Direct SowingDrawbacks of Direct Sowing
Less time-consumingRequire high humidity for the seeds to sprout
Plants are more used to their surroundingsPatchy and deficient growth
Seedlings can grow quickly after re-pottingUneven growth
Plants will have better drought toleranceHard to start the crops in hot or cold conditions

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Trays

Trays and kits are the most widely used technique to germinate your seeds. Let us look at the benefits and drawbacks of following this method.

Benefits of Using TraysDrawbacks of Using Trays
Require less number of seedsGrowing trays produce delicate seedlings that require continual attention to maintain
The newly sprouting seedlings do not have to compete for nutrients and waterSetting up a germination tray can be costly compared to your garden
Trays are portable so you can keep them in a highly humid setting or create a small greenhouseSeedlings grown in a protected environment may require special care even after re-potting

How Long Does Bromeliad Plant Take to Grow From Seeds?

It takes great patience to grow Bromeliads from seed.

Some slow-growing Bromeliad species may take 4–7 years to reach maturity, while faster-growing species may do it in as little as 2-3 years.

The germination rate also depends on the freshness of the seeds.

Seedlings sprouting from seed starter kit
Seedlings sprouting from seed starter kit (Source: Unsplash)

Depending on the genus, germination should occur in four to five days, and seedlings should be ready for picking in five months.

And not all seeds may germinate and grow into Bromeliad plants.

Hence, try to sow many seeds to increase the probability of successful germination.

Care Instructions for Bromeliad Seeds During Germination

There are a few things you can do to help Bromeliad seeds germinate. The pace of growth is mainly dependent on external factors.

The following are some of the most important things to remember while caring for Bromeliad seedlings.

  • Keep the germination tray out of direct sunlight. You can use artificial grow lights to provide the necessary amount of light.
  • Use a heating pad to keep Bromeliad seeds warm.
Seedling Heat Mat, Germination Station Heat Mat,
Seedling Heat Mat (Source: Amazon)
  • The germination rate will be higher if you keep them at 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep an eye on the temperature, you can use a thermometer.
  • If you notice fungus or mold on the mix, remove the cover of the germination container and set it in direct sunlight for no more than 1 hour. After that, replace the lid.
  • Acclimate the seedling to a less humid environment after having three to four leaves.

Care Instructions for Bromeliad Seeds After Germination

You must continue to take care of the seeds after germination as well.

Your Bromeliad seedlings will start sprouting within three weeks after potting.

Below given are the essential growth requirements for Bromeliad seedlings.

  • Place the plant where it receives the right amount of light. It should receive a lot of indirect light throughout the day. The seedlings can be damaged if exposed to too much direct sunlight.
  • Mist the soil periodically to keep it moist. Be careful not to saturate it with water as this may cause root rot.
Plant Sprout Growing from seedlings
Plant Sprout Growing (Source: Stockvault)
  • Use a weak fertilizer solution on the developing plant to boost it to flourish.
  • Ideally, maintain the humidity to be around sixty percent.
  • Maintaining a temperature between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit will allow a Bromeliad plant to flourish to its full potential.

You can also watch the video given below for detailed guidance.

Bromeliad Seeds for Sale

Bromeliad seeds are not that hard to find. Here’s a list of some of the places where you can get them.

ShopsDelivery
Amazon
Usually ships within 6 to 10 days.
Etsy
1–2 business days

Best Seeds Online
10-30 business days
Rare Exotic Seeds
7-15 days

Conclusion

Bromeliads are easy-to-grow houseplants that provide lovely foliage and gorgeous blossoms to a bright environment while also providing long-lasting tropical color.

Even the care for Bromeliad is not complicated. It’s a great plant to start with if you’re new to indoor plants.

Follow this guide thoroughly and get started on the journey of growing Bromeliads.

Want to quickly pot Bromeliad from its Pup? Check this out Repot a Bromeliad Pup? Also read the Benefits of Bromeliad Plants

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