38 Bromeliad Plant Facts: Benefits, Caring, Habitat And More

Sridevi Tolety
Oct 31, 2022 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Jan 24, 2022
Edited by Kelly Quinn
Fact-checked by Niyati Parab
One of the bromeliad plant facts is that there are 2700 species of it worldwide!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

Being a pineapple is easy, always stand tall, be strong but sweet on the inside, and always wear a crown.

Have you ever wondered where do pineapples grow? Why are they so spiky on the outside but juicy and fleshy inside?

These bromeliad plant facts include various characteristics of the plant family bromeliad related to habitat, caring, benefits, and much more. A motivational quote states, "be a pineapple in a world of apples!" On a more serious note, since there are so many kids who are an apple of the eye, how about being a pineapple of the eye instead!

Facts About Bromeliad Plants

Bromeliads have for a long time fascinated people from around the world. Let's explore some interesting facts relating to these plants:

  • Bromeliads are available in various colors, sizes, and shapes. Bromeliads grow in the tropical North and South America, and pineapples are the most common bromeliad plants.
  • Bromeliads can be found in mountains, forests, and deserts, and bromeliads are native to tropical areas throughout both North and South America.
  • First and foremost, where do the bromeliads grow? They can actually grow in three different ways, let's take a look.
  • Terrestrial species of bromeliads can grow their own roots in the soil like any other plant.
  • Bromeliad species that grow on rocks are known as the Saxicolous species.
  • The epiphytic bromeliads can be found growing on the branches of a tree. These epiphytic bromeliads or air plants get their nutrition from the surrounding air. Most plants can be seen growing from the branches of trees in the tropical rainforest. Sometimes the branches may also break due to the weight of the growing bromeliads, particularly the older they get.
  • Did you know that the largest genus of the bromeliad family is Tillandsia? These types of plants are perennial flowering plants that are native to the forests, mountains, and deserts of are like northern Mexico and the south-east of the United States.
  • Another interesting fact about the bromeliads is that the flowers bloom only once in their lifespan. Puya raimondii is a famous native species of the bromeliad family that takes more than 80 years to bloom a flower.
  • A bromeliad species, Spanish Moss, was used for stuffing mattresses. Wonder if the Spanish moss gave a good night's sleep!
  • Bromeliads can be classified as three subfamilies, namely Pitcairnioideae, Bromelioideae, or Tillandsioideae.
  • There is a common misconception that bromeliads bloom only one flower. The fact is that bromeliad species produce an array of inflorescence or tiny bromeliad flowers which bloom on spikes. These tiny flowers and foliage have rosette shapes.
  • Pineapples are the only bromeliad species of the genus Ananas comosus sold commercially. If you visit a grocery store next time and see a pineapple, you will know what type of tree it is from and why it looks so unique. Also, the fleshy part of the pineapple that we eat is the flower of the bromeliad plant. After harvesting is done, unlike most other fruits, pineapples do not continue to ripen.
  • Did you know that a pineapple serving of 3.95 oz (112 g) has 54 calories?
  • Bromeliad plants have thin leaves when there is a lot of moisture in the surroundings. However, in dry conditions, bromeliads adapt by growing thick leaves.
  • When grown as houseplants, bromeliads can get as tall as 2-3 ft (0.6-0.91 m) in height.
  • Many bromeliads live fairly long, mostly two to five years. Although the central mother plant dies after the main flower is formed, it can still be propagated in the form of pups without flowers that can easily grow as potted plants or on the ground.
  • The famous bromeliad species foliage makes it one of the most sought-after ornamental plants around the world.
  • Many bromeliads have spectacular colors and patterns. They are available in various colors, shapes, and textures like fine, wiry, or leathery. Sometimes their leaves are funnel-shaped rosettes or leaf cup-like ones. Even the flower stalks are very colorful and attractive.

 

Some Of The Benefits Of Bromeliad Plants

Most bromeliads are terrestrial and grow their roots in the soil, while some grow on their compost piles on the ground. Let's explore some of the different benefits known to be associated with these types of plants:

  • Some orange or purple bromeliads blush before they bloom, and it means that the bromeliad flowering plants with purple or orange-hued foliage changes color when blooming. Bromeliads have many benefits with diversified growth habits, shapes, and colors.
  • Bromeliads supply fiber, and epiphytic bromeliads are air plants that attach themselves to trees, telephone cables, rocks, and even walls of buildings. One special feature of air plants is that they absorb water and nutrients from the surrounding air through trichomes found on their leaves. They use their roots for fixation and balance.
  • Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, and it can digest proteins, so it is often used as a meat tenderizer. This enzyme is also used for debriding damaged tissues and is effective on wounds caused by burns.
  • Other benefits include that bromeliads as house plants can improve indoor air quality.
  • Bromeliads thrive better in bright light, shady areas, and humid air, easily found indoors.
  • Bromeliads are good indoor plants as they can also be grown in containers, and they are pretty tolerant to low light indoors and drought conditions. Bromeliad house plants grow well in humidity. They are in great demand as houseplants, and they have attractively colored foliage in orange or purple hues.
  • On a broad spectrum, bromeliads have many uses as they can be grown on the soil and any habitat.
  • Bromeliads plants are beautiful to look at, and they are used for ornamental purposes as house plants.
  • All pineapples are bromeliads, but all bromeliads are not pineapples. There are more than 2700 species of bromeliads available worldwide.

 

The Ideal Habitat To Grow Bromeliad Plants

Bromeliads can grow well indoors in indirect sunlight. Let's explore what else these plants need to thrive:

  • Terrestrial bromeliads require soil for growth and development, but Epphytic Bromeliads can easily cling to walls or even rocks.
  • The ideal growing habitat of the bromeliad plants includes dry soil with proper drainage and temperatures from 70-75 F (21-24 C)  during the day.
  • Indirect sunlight is enough, and the bromeliads need humid air for good growth.
  • Especially during the summer, using a little fertilizer can be good for these plants and provide additional nutrients.
  • A little bit of fertilizer can also be added to the mist while spraying on the bromeliad leaves.
Bromeliad plants should be kept away from an air conditioner.

Caring For Your Bromeliad Plant

Bromeliads are a delight for houseplant lovers as they don't require must watering. Let's find out how best to care for this beautiful plant:

  • Some bromeliads hold water in a leaf cup called a tank. Certain factors specific to the bromeliads must be kept in mind while taking care of the bromeliads. In an epiphytic houseplant, plant diseases usually do not affect the bromeliads. But excess or scarce freshwater supply to the bromeliads can threaten its growth and development.
  • Insects and mites like scale and mealybugs in the soggy soil can cause the bromeliad roots to rot.
  • Excess use of fertilizer can also be harmful to the roots.
  • Therefore, an ideal soil mix from the garden that does not drain quickly would be good for your houseplant.
  • Some mist can be sprayed on the leaves frequently as they absorb their nutrients from the humid air in their surroundings.
  • Try keeping your potted bromeliads away from the air conditioner. 

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

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Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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Fact-checked by Niyati Parab

Bachelor of Commerce

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Niyati ParabBachelor of Commerce

With a background in digital marketing, Niyati brings her expertise to ensure accuracy and authenticity in every piece of content. She has previously written articles for MuseumFacts, a history web magazine, while also handling its digital marketing. In addition to her marketing skills, Niyati is fluent in six languages and has a Commerce degree from Savitribai Phule Pune University. She has also been recognized for her public speaking abilities, holding the position of Vice President of Education at the Toastmasters Club of Pune, where she won several awards and represented the club in writing and speech contests at the area level.

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