To my surprise, this exotic looking plant is easy-peasy to take care of. It loves medium to bright light, good air circulation, and a shallow pot, says Michelle Polk, gardener, herbalist, and owner of Houseplant Girl. There are more than 3,000 species of bromeliads, and the plant's flower comes in a range of colors including orange, yellow, pink, and red.
Watering bromeliads is similar to watering any other houseplant—test the soil to make sure it’s dry before watering. But instead of getting the soil directly wet, fill the center of the plant where the leaves come together to form what’s called a cup or tank. “Make sure the tank is full of water, and don’t allow it go get empty,” Polk says. To avoid rot and salt buildup from water, change the tank frequently (about once a week).
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I did all of this right. I kept my bromeliad in the shallow pot it came in, situated it in front of an east-facing window in my bedroom, and kept my ceiling fan on low at night for circulation. Each Sunday, when I watered my other houseplants, I’d empty what was in the tank, and refill with cool water. During the week I would peek in the cup and make sure it was full. But despite my diligent parenting, my bromeliad flower started to shrivel and brown. What in the world was I doing wrong? Did it not like my room’s environment? Was this a sign of my relationship?