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15 Bromeliad Varieties and Types You will Love to Grow

Bromeliads boast wide leaves that are sword-shaped or scoop-like and develop around a central “cup,” which preserves water in the plant’s habitat.

These plants live for two to five years and bear bright red, orange, purple, or blue flowers, called pups that last up to six months.

Generally, there are over 3000 bromeliad varieties in the entire world. Some famous bromeliad plants include Portea, Sapphire Tower, Hechtia, Aechmea, Quesnelia, Pineapple, Earth Star, etc.

Bromeliad with Flower
Bromeliad with Flower (Source: Instagram)

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a commercially popular food crop with only one bromeliad, a common ingredient in meat tenderizers.

Many other bromeliads represent ornamental plants that you can grow as gardens and houseplants. Here is the list you need to look forward to if you plan to get new ones.

How Many Bromeliad Varieties Are There?

Bromeliad is a huge family with over 75 distinct genera and over 3,000 species, and Guzmania varieties are considered one of the rarest among the Bromeliad varieties.

You can differentiate bromeliads with their striking, sword-shaped leaves and a bright, unusual-looking bloom, which is a bract surrounding the flower.

Bromeliad Plants In Pots
Bromeliad Plants In Pots (Source: Instagram)

These plants also feature distinctive, water-absorbing scales on their leaves and stems.

This table may help you recognize some famous bromeliad varieties. 

ParameterAechmeaGuzmaniaNeoregeliaTillandsia
Leaf MarginSpinySmoothSpinySmooth
Leaf ColorBanded or spottedGreen or redVarietiesGreyish
Inflorescence locationrising above the foliage on a bloom stalkOn a bloom stalk rising about the foliageFlowers bloom in central tankOn a flower stalk
FlowersSmall and roundSmall and short livedSmall with three petalsPurple, red, pink, and yellow

If you want to add other varieties to your bromeliad collection, don’t go anywhere until you finish this article!

15 Bromeliad varieties with Pictures and Names

Bromeliads are native mainly to the tropical Americas, with many species available in the American subtropics. 

They secure the space basal families within the Poales and represent only families within the order with septal nectaries and inferior ovaries.

Let’s explore how many you can collect for your home decor or ornate your garden!

1. Portea Petropolilatana Bromeliad

Protea Petropolilatana is one of the Bromeliad varieties native to the eastern coast of Brazil. It has a rosette arrangement with a central cavity full of water.

They can reach 6 to 8 ft in height if they bloom, and their bloom is very vibrant colors like shades of purple and pink.

petropolitana
Petropolitana (Source: Bromeliad)

To attract, bromeliad leaves are linear, rigid, ascending reaching 1 m long and 4 cm wide with terminal thorn, which is bright yellow-green in the sun and deep rich green in shades.

Also, the showy flowers usually bloom in late summer or fall, growing up to 70 cm, and last for a few months.

However, if planted indoors with the adequate sun in a south-facing window, it may bloom, but it will be compact.

Besides, Portea is a spectacular plant with yellowish-green foliage and is known for being a landscape plant, so you can plant them outdoors to maximize the curve appeal.

2. Pineapple Bromeliad

If you are wondering if I am talking about the fruit Pineapple, I am! 

The Bromeliad family also consists of the pineapple plant or Ananas ananassoides, which is native to South America.

The specialty of this plant is its fruit, Pineapple, which can grow 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide, making them the popular Bromeliad of dwarf variety.

Pineapple Plant (Source: Walmart)

In addition, the foliage has waxy green leaves, linear, long-attenuate, acuminate, pungent leaves ranging from 90 to 240 cm in length and not over 25 mm in width above the dilated base.

Ananas ananassoides produces little enlarged globular to cylindrical fruit on a long and thin peduncle, at the end of flowering season in early summer. The fruit is about 10-15 cm long.

It is better to place them outdoors as it requires full sunlight, and the fruit may not form if planted indoors.

3. Quesnelia Arvensis Bromeliad

Quesnelia arvensis is native to southeastern Brazil and falls under the genus Quesnelia.

It grows on moss and organic debris in marshy woodland regions near the coast, where it is shaded, damp, and moist.

If provided the favorable condition, Quesnelia arvensis can grow up to 2 feet (0.61 m) tall and wide.

Quesnelia Arvensis with bloom on the ground
(Source: Wikimedia)

The plant boasts cluster of leaves that forms a rosette that can grow up to 2 feet tall. The leaves are dark green with a silver striping on the underside; the leaves contain prominent spines.

In addition, it has a white stem and a red flower with concealed blue petals, and the flower can grow 6-12 cm long and 4-6 cm in diameter.

4. Vriesea Splendens Bromeliad

Vriesea Splendens, known by its common name, the flaming sword Bromeliad plant, is native to Trinidad, eastern Venezuela, and the Guianas.

As the name suggests, its flower is like a flaming sword that shoots in a long upright position.

Splendens is one of the most popular Bromeliad among plant owners due to its variegated leaves, which can be up to 20-75 cm long and 5-6 cm wide. 

Vriesea Splendens Bromeliad with three orange flower
Vriesea Splendens (Source: Amazon)

Likewise, Vrieseas blooms in a simple, bright scarlet sword that can be up to 55 cm tall and 6 cm wide every three to five years, and the flowers last for months.

The plant grows in a rosette of short, stiff blue-green leaves with darker purple cross-bands on the underside. However, it can be non-toxic to pets, making them safe for your furry friends.

5. Neoregelia Medusa Bromeliad

Neoregelia medusa bromeliad is an interesting plant to add variety and color to your home and garden.

Native to the South American rainforest, medusa bromeliad can grow up to 9-12 inches tall and spread up to 4.5-7 inches wide. 

Likewise, they are better off as indoor plants and need bright indirect light to develop vivid colors in their leaves, which can grow up to 4 to 6 inches.

Additionally, it does not do well during cold winter, so it is better to keep them indoors.

Neoregelia Bromeliad in a pot
Neoregelia bromeliad (Source: Amazon)

The foliage of Neoregelia is unique as it looks like someone has painted it with a color, making them perfect for adding contrast to your space.

Neoregelia carolinae produces about 20 cm tall and 35-60 cm across rosettes and features arrow, ribbon-like, leathery leaves measuring up to 40 cm long and 2,5-3,5 cm wide, flowers up to 4 cm long, and sepals 1,6-2 cm long.

Like the other bromeliads, this Neoregelia species produces only 4 inches of flowers and blooms for 8 to 10 weeks.

6. Aechmea Fasciata Bromeliad 

Aechmea fasciata Bromeliad, also known as Silver Vase or Urn plant, is one of the most beautiful varieties of Bromeliad, in my opinion.

The plant represents a small Bromeliad variety and grows only 1 to 3 feet, making it the perfect houseplant for compact spaces. 

Beautiful pink bloom of Aechmea fasciata Bromeliad
Aechmea fasciata Bromeliad (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The specialty of Aechmea fasciata Bromeliad is the gorgeous pink color flower and its green leaves with silvery horizontal banding.

The pink flower rises out of the center of the bract, is 20-40 cm long, and can last up to whopping six months. 

Flowers produce small globular berries covered by a white tomentum bearing fusiform seed, about 2 mm long.

7. Saphire Tower Bromeliad

Sapphire tower bromeliad, commonly known as Puya alpestris, is a bromeliad variety native to the Chilean Andes and Argentina. 

It is popular among the bromeliad varieties for its exotic teal-colored flowers produced on tall inflorescence.

Mainly these bromeliads are outdoor plants that can grow 3 to 4 feet tall with light green re-curving leaves with silver-gray undersides.

Sapphire tower bromeliad with beautiful teal flowers
Sapphire Tower Bromeliad (Source: Amazon)

The average size of these leaves ranges from 18 to 24 inches (46 – 61 cm) in length and grows thinner toward the tips.

Similarly, the Sapphire tower produces turquoise blue-green flowers with vivid orange stamens held on a branching, up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall stalks.

These flowers usually appear in spring, but not every year, blooming for the first time in 5 to 6 years. 

8. Hechtia Argentea Bromeliad

Hechtia argentea bromeliad is another variety of Bromeliad native to Mexico and known for its common name, “Silver Star.”

It was discovered in a Mexican canyon for the first time in 1860, and that particular plant lived for more than 150 years. 

Hechtia Argentea Bromeliad in Pot
Hechtia Argentea Bromeliad in Pot (Source: Instagram)

The plant’s several long and re-curving green leaves are coated with white scales, giving the plant a silvery look. 

Likewise, the long inflorescence bears clusters of white flowers on short spikes.

Similarly, the leaves can grow up to 60 cm long, so you can also place them in a hanging basket to get the cascading effect.

Hechtia argentea also produces a wide, symmetrical rosette that spreads out beautifully and makes a tall spike of orange flowers.

9. Guzmania Bromeliad

Guzmania Bromeliad is another variety native to subtropical North America, Central America, and South America and found at altitudes of up to 11,483 ft.

They are ideal in the bedroom or living room due to their striking flowers and can thrive best outdoors under the canopy of trees.

Additionally, they produce red or yellow blossoms, which are produced in a stalk making the plant reach up to nine feet. 

Big Red Blooms of Guzmania Wittmacki Bromeliad with long leaves
Guzmania Wittmacki Bromeliad (Source: Kew)

The plant dies after it has produced its flowers in summer, but new plants can easily be propagated from the offsets, which appear as the parent plant dies.

Likewise, the foliage is green, standing upright, and can reach 48 inches tall and 36 inches wide if planted outdoors.

Similarly, it has prominent ridges running the length of the leaves. 

Guzmania wittmackii features unarmed, glossy dark green leaves ranging from 60 to 80 cm long and 2-3 cm broad and about 80 cm long inflorescence, and the flowers inside the bracts, are white with about 9 cm long petals.

The following species of Guzmania has been placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species:

  • Guzmania osyana
  • Guzmania zakii
  • Guzmania albescens
  • Guzmania henniae
  • Guzmania izkoi
  • Guzmania bismarcki

10. Cryptanthus Bivittatus Bromeliad

Native to Brazil, Cryptanthus bromeliad, also known as Starfish plant, Earth Star, or Red Star Bromeliad.

These plants can have ten to twenty leaves with small teeth or thorns on their wavy borders.

In addition, strips on the plants can be in ivory tones as well as different colors of red and pink making it a popular houseplant.

pink foliage of cryptahthus bivittatus bromeliad in a pot
Cryptahthus Bivittatus Bromeliad (Source: Etsy)

Likewise, the plant has a moderate growth rate, which can grow to be around 6 inches tall and 15 inches broad.

Despite their flat appearance, these plants may grow to be up to two feet across. Also, they produce tubular white and usually remain partially hidden in the middle of the rosette.

11. Tillandsia Cyanea Bromeliad

Tillandsia cyanea bromeliad, also known as the Pink quill, fan flower, and blue-flowered torch, is native to the rainforest of Ecuador.

They are epiphytic perennial plants that can reach 50 cm in height, perfect for shelves and study desks.

Bromeliad Cyanea
Bromeliad Cyanea (Source: Etsy)

Being a small variety of Bromeliads, it blooms an exotic pink-flowering bract which is the main attraction of this plant.

The flowers are pansy-shaped, reach 20 cm in height and have a cinnamon fragrance in the morning.

Tillandsia cyanea Linden ex K.Koch bears pansy-shaped flower with three-petalled purple, in a tone colour between pink-violet to dark-blue and each purple-blue flower lasts 1-3 days, and the plant continue to bloom for 1-3 months.

After flowering, the plant’s lifespan decreases but by making it flower and bearing the seeds, you can save the generation of the plant.

12. Queens Tears Bromeliad

Queen’s tears,  friendship plant, or Billbergia nutans is an epiphytic bromeliad native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.

It is an ornamental plant due to its unique flowering structure, which blooms in upright clumps of a trumpet shape. And this Bromeliad variety can grow around 24 inches tall.

Beautiful bloom of queens tear bromeliad
Queens Tears Blomeraid (Source: Amazon)

This rainbow-colored tropical plant also produces upright clumps of trumpet-shaped and grayish-green leaves.

Besides, its arching stems have pink bracts and lime-green petals rimmed in royal blue, and each long-lasting flower displays a long yellow stamen.

These flowers bloom several times a year, and each bloom usually lasts 6 to 8 weeks.

13. Alcantarea Imperialis Bromeliad

Alcantarea imperialis is a large variety of Bromeliad that originated from the mountain range in Brazil. It boasts large leaves that are leathery and can grow up to 5 feet in length and 6 inches in width.

Likewise, the plant produces an inflorescence that can reach 2 to 5 m tall and 45 cm in diameter, but it can take 8 to 20 years to produce it.

Alcantarea Imperialis Bromeliad
Alcantarea Imperialis Bromeliad (Source: Reddit)

The plant blooms early to mid-spring over a 5-month flowering period.

In addition, the towering spike grows up to 400-600 tiny white flowers over six months, producing an abundance of food for insects and nectar-feeding birds.

Also, the broad strap leaves form rosettes and range in color from flushing green to wine-red.

Alcantarea Imperialis is considered a landscaping plant that has a vital ecological role by storing rainfall in pockets formed by its leaves, providing a habitat for insects and frogs.

14. Dyckia Brevifolia Bromeliad

Native to Brazil,  Dyckia brevifolia bromeliad is also known as Sawblade or Pineapple dyckia.

It represents a terrestrial Bromeliad that forms rosettes of short, stiff green leaves that flush golden yellow near the top of the plant with sharp spines which can grow up to 8 inches.

Dyckia Brevifolia in a pot
Dyckia Brevifolia (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

However, they are not succulents as they do not store water in their leaves.

The plant has a nearly stalkless cluster about 45 cm (17 inches) high, which rises from the rosette.

Dyckia Brevifolia subspecies is ‘Yellow Glow,’ which has yellow in the middle of the rosette and grows to be 10-15 cm long.

Also, Dyckia brevifolia produces small spikes of beautiful yellow flowers in summer, and its flower stalk rises about 30 cm (12 inches), bearing 30 to 40 yellow blossoms.

15. Blue Tango Bromeliad

Blue tango or Yunakesa aechmea is another popular Bromeliad variety, which is a hybrid from Bullis bromeliads that originated in Florida.

When given proper care, it can grow 18 to 24 inches in height whereas 24-36 inches in width.

The plant’s main attraction is its leaves, which are long, smooth, simple, green, and arranged around a central point in a rosette. 

bromeliad-flower
Bromeliad Flower(Source: Pixabay)

The average number of leaves per plant ranges from 12 to 15 and measures 64 cm. Nonetheless, the electric blue flowers add more ornamental statements to the place.

The flowers grow in showy clusters of hot pink, purple, and blue bracts, which emerge on a stem from the center of the plant.

Some More Varieties of Bromeliad

Bromeliad VarietiesMaximum Growth SizeFeatures
Billbergia Pyramidlis BromeliadLength: 10-30 cm
Spread: 30-50 cm
Blooms large red brush shaped flower tipped with violet Surrounded by a rosette of strap-like leaves.
Neoregelia blastLength: 15-20 cm
Width: 20-30 cm
Green leaves with thick white stripes on the perimeter and few white lines as well.
Nudularium Fulgens OrangeLength: 25-30 cm
Spread:
Long dark green leaves with orange flower emerging in the center.
Billbergia euphemiae var. purpureaLength: 40 cm
Spread: 30 cm
Light green leaves which are hardy with burgundy undersides.
Neoregelia avodonLength: 20 cm
Sperad: 30 cm
Slender green leaves with white stripes on the perimeter
Billbergia carambaLength: 30-40 cm
Spread: 20 cm
Long slender green leaves with white spots and burgundy underside.
Nidularium rocerum rubaLength: 30-40 cm
Width: 40-45 cm
Green hardy leaves where red blossom emerges from the centers.
Quesnelia FarroLength: 2- 3 feet
Spead: 1.5 feet
Long yellowish-green leaves with yellow band on the perimeter
Neoregelia aztecLength: 25-30 cm
Width: 30-40 cm
Olive green leaves with red spots throughout.
Vriesiea fosterianaLength: 3.2 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Rosettes of wide green leaves with smooth edges and a prominent black banding.

Proven Tips to Care For Bromeliad Plants

Bromeliads are air plants so you need not bother to be bound to strict schedules when growing these species.

Below are some of the tips that are essential for your Bromeliad to thrive.

  • You can place the plant in bright indirect light for at least 5 to 7 hours, and if there is low light indoors, you can insert grow lights. 
  • Maintain the humidity above 60% relative humidity. If you have dry air at home, increase the humidity by misting the plant periodically.
  • You can also use a mixture of perlite, peat moss, and pine bark to make them well-draining and water-retaining soil for your Bromeliad. Consider the soil pH ranging from 5.0 to 6.0.
Bromeliad Placed Outdoors
Bromeliad Placed Outdoors (Source: Instagram)
  • Catering every 3-4 months during the growing season with general-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer will be enough.
  • Maintain the temperature between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit as it likes warmer temperatures.
  • You need to water them when the top inches are dry; watering once a week will be enough.
  • Mosquitoes and scale may breed in the pool of water created in your Bromeliad, so use insecticides to get rid of them.
  • Mealybugs are the most common Bromeliad pests which can damage its foliage so you need to use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to get rid of them. 

Conclusion

The Bromeliad varieties can make your entire house and garden a real paradise with their multicolored leaves and towering flowers. 

Besides ornamental convenience, bromeliads also purify the air and relax the nerves, leveraging your plantsmen lifestyle.

If you wish to leverage all, keep some time for Benefits of Bromeliad.

Good luck!

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2 comments
  1. Thank you for the detailed explanations and great pictures. Bromeliads do make your garden look like a tropical paradise!

    1. I am glad I could help. Can you tell me which Bromeliad/s you chose for your home?
      You can also check out other articles which will guide you on how to take care of Bromeliads, the problems they may encounter, and their solutions.

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