Bromeliad Watering Guide

Bromeliads can be stunning when they are vibrant and thriving. How do you water it properly?

Bromeliads are tropical and subtropical plants native to North, Central, and South America. They can grow in various environments, including woods, savannas, and even the desert.

In the hands of a skilled gardener, this low-maintenance houseplant can add texture and color to any space. 

Today, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about watering your plant to maximize its potential.

Watch Out for Overwatering

Overwatering is more damaging to your bromeliads than underwatering. While their roots prefer a moist environment, allowing them to sit in over-saturated soil is harmful. If your potting medium does not drain water well, root or crown rot may occur.

Most bromeliads in nature have a central area from which they gather water. You can mirror this by setting up a water tank or cup for your houseplant.

This reservoir must be replenished and should not be allowed to go dry. Flush it with a lot of water on a regular basis to avoid stagnant water that can damage the plant.

Beautiful and colorful leaves of a bromeliad plant

How Often to Water

Water bromeliad plants once every 7 to 10 days during the growing season, and once every 14 to 21 days during hibernation in the mid-winter months. Misting the foliage, soil, or central cup of bromeliads will keep them moist.

What Type of Water to Use

Bromeliads require water that is mineral-free and low in dissolved minerals. While this isn’t always possible, using more water will help your plants keep strong and healthy leaves and produce strong pups.

  • Rainwater: This is a great water supply if there is enough of it and it is nearby. Create a rainwater collection system to collect as much rainwater as you need. However, make certain that your collection buckets are not placed in a location where the water may be contaminated. Pollutants can run off roofs and drainage systems into your buckets. If you use this polluted water for your houseplants, they can suffer.
  • Reverse Osmosis: If you have access to it, reverse osmosis water (‘RO’) is an excellent source of water. Smaller, less expensive ‘RO’ units are now widely available to hobbyists, and most commercial growers use them to decrease residue on leaves. If you cannot have a reverse osmosis system in your home, you can usually buy fresh ‘RO’ water at your local grocery store or fish shop.
  • Distilled: Distilled water is good for your plants since the distillation process removes contaminants from the water. However, if you’re watering a lot of plants, this may be a pricey option.
  • Filtered: The quality of filtered water varies substantially depending on the water source and the type and grade of filter that is used. If you don’t test for dissolved particles, you could be getting ordinary tap water with only very minimal filtration. However, it is still recommended to use filtered water rather than tap water. Especially if you live in a larger city, tap water may have picked up chemicals while traveling through pipes.
  • Tap: Tap water is usually sufficient, but it contains chemicals and particles that can collect on the leaves and in the potting mix. If your Bromeliads have white mineral build-up at the base of their leaves, your water is too hard.
  • Softened: Softened water should not be used. Your plants may be harmed by the high quantity of sodium ions left behind by the water softening process.

With the right water and the right amount of it, your bromeliads are sure to flourish. 

Pink flower of a bromeliad house plant
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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