Indoor Plants and Flowers Care HOUSEPLANTS CARE TROPICAL BROMELIADS - Watering Bromeliads

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Bromeliad Houseplants Care
Watering Bromeliads


Watering tropical houseplants, including bromeliads, can be tricky. Improper watering is the main cause of death with indoor plants. Usually this would be from over watering but if you are not caring for your houseplants on a regular schedule, under watering can also be a problem.

Bromeliad, red flower

Bromeliad Guzmania
Red Flower

Advice that gives you watering intervals, amount of water, etc. without ever having seen your plant, are really not helping you. Having cared for thousands of plants as a "Plant Lady", I know that the only way to determine if a plant needs water is to check the moisture level in the soil at regular intervals.

Every plant is different and only you can tell if your plant needs to be watered. I know you love your plants but too much love (i.e. water) can kill them! That being said, please read on, Plant Lover.

The root system of a plant needs air as well as water to remain healthy. When the root system of your plant is constantly saturated the roots will begin to die. Over-watering is generally caused by watering your plants too often, not by the amount of water given when you decide it is time to water your plants.

Proper watering of houseplants is vital for maintaining a healthy root system. It is vital for lush, vibrant foliage. So if you see signs of problems on your foliage, check your houseplants roots for problems.

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To determine if your bromeliad houseplant needs water just insert your fingertip into the soil an inch or so. Moist soil will cling to your skin and is usually darker than dry soil. With larger pots you can pull out a little soil and squeeze it into a ball in your hand. If it is moist, it will hold together.

Learning the weight of your houseplants when they are dry and when they are wet can also help in determining if it is time to water. Just lift your plant immediately after a thorough watering, then do the same when it has been allowed to dry for a time. Notice the difference?

If you have a plant in large grow pot, it is a good idea to use a soil probe to check for moisture in the growing medium. These are not expensive and have the advantage of aerating the root mass as you use it, which is fantastic for your plant's root system.

A good soil probe should be 12 - 15 inches long, made of aluminum and have notches in the side to pull up a soil sample. Moist soil will remain in the notches and dry soil will easily fall out.

Bromeliad houseplants care

Bromeliad Plant
In Grow Pot

A soil probe is one of my most used and most useful tools as an interior landscape technician. If you would like to purchase a soil probe, here is a link...

With larger grow pots it is necessary to let the soil dry down much more than with a small grow pot. Use a soil probe and a good rule of thumb would be to water when the soil is dry in all but the bottom notch.

While over-watering is a big problem, insufficient watering or letting your plant wilt on a regular basis is not good for it. This will most likely cause browning or spotting of the foliage over time so be sure to check them on a regular schedule. Pay attention to visuals signs such as mild wilting, browning tips, etc. and you will soon learn how to gauge when your houseplants require watering.

Watering amount and interval for each plant is different and depends on a variety of factors. These include the type of plant, the grow pot size, the light intensity, the time of year, the amount of foliage, the growing medium, the micro environment and the overall health of the plant.

For example, a plant set next to an air vent is going to require more frequent watering than one that is not. Plants that have been moved to a new environment often use more water as they acclimate to new conditions. A plant with an abundance of foliage is going to require much more moisture than a very sparse plant. All of these things should be considered as you make the decision on whether to water or not.

The correct way to water any container plant is to water thoroughly when you water. You can immerse the entire pot and root ball into standing water until all the air has been displaced from the soil or you can top-water using a watering can. When using the top-water method, make sure to water until the water drains out of the grow pot through the drainage holes.

Plants should always be in a container with drainage holes at the bottom. Make sure that any excess water is discarded so the plant pot is not standing in water. Your plant should then be allowed to dry down as much as possible without causing your plant to wilt before it is watered again.

Neoregelia bromeliad plant

Neoregelia Bromeliad

One of the "secrets" of the interior landscape industry is that we work on a regular schedule. We visit each account on a certain day and we do not see those houseplants again until the next scheduled day. Most of the larger indoor landscape companies work on a two-week schedule. This is usually more than adequate for most indoor foliage houseplants.

So first you should put your own houseplants on a schedule. You can start with once a week and if you find your plants don't need water every week, you can move to every two weeks. It is hard to say exactly how much and how often you will water your houseplants because this will vary throughout the year and throughout the plant's life.

Remember that many plants are in a stage of no or very slow growth in the winter and should be allowed to become somewhat drier. I have had houseplants that did not need to be watered at all in the winter months, after a good soaking in the fall.

Pay attention to your houseplants and you will notice that as the daylight changes throughout the year, your houseplants water use will change accordingly. Please note that some houseplants use more water temporarily as heating systems are turned on in the colder months. Sometimes the water usage is higher throughout the winter months because of the heating system, especially if the plant is situated near a heating vent.

Houseplant questions or problems? You can send a houseplant question but before you do, please read this information on watering your indoor houseplants, how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your houseplants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

Two beautiful bromeliad plants

Beautiful Bromeliads

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