Knowing When to Water Your Bromeliad: Tips and Tricks

Bromeliads are beautiful plants, and their growth is always full of surprises. If you are a new gardener, likely, you don’t know the correct method of watering bromeliad.

The easiest way to tell that your bromeliad needs water is to check the soil using one of your fingers. Dig your finger deep into the ground and see if you feel dampness or moisture. If the soil feels dry, then your bromeliad needs water. Otherwise, there is no need to add water.

There are several ways you can tell if your bromeliad needs water. This article will take you through them all. Additionally, we will notify you how to avoid overwatering and underwatering this plant.

Let’s get started!

A Bromeliad in a watering can pot

Table of Contents

How to Tell If Bromeliad Needs Water?

The most accurate and safe way to know that your bromeliad needs water is by checking the moister level in the soil. You can perform this check using your fingers, but if you want to be more accurate, you should use a moister meter.

A moister meter is a device that allows you to read the relative humidity of the soil without having to go through the trouble of digging your fingers into the soil. This device uses a sensor to measure the moisture in the soil and then displays a percentage or an absolute reading of the soil moisture on a scale.

To use a moister meter, dig the prob of the device deep into the soil until it reaches the bottom. Then wait at least one minute before taking any readings. If the needle turns toward the red zone, your bromeliad must be watered. You should not add water to the plant if the needle is turned toward the blue area.

If you use an electronic moister meter, you will get the reading in percentage. If the device gives a value between 20% and 60%, your bromeliad does not need any water. Values below 20% indicate that the plant needs to be watered, while values above 60% mean that your plant is overwatered.

To learn more about how to water your bromeliad, watch the following video:

Bromeliad watering video

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How Often Do You Need to Water a Bromeliad?

Bromeliad needs to be watered every one to two weeks. They can tolerate up to three weeks without water. Additionally, this plant is susceptible to overwatering. Therefore, giving it water more than once a week may do more harm than good.

But, setting up a rigid watering schedule for bromeliads is also not a good idea. Typically, bromeliad’s watering will depend on the variety of the plant and the season.

During the growing season (spring and summer), bromeliads need to be watered more often because they grow at a higher rate in this period. Additionally, soil dries quickly during the hot days of summer, so the plant will need more water to support its growth.

On the other hand, during fall and winter, when bromeliad goes through dormancy, it will need to be watered less often. In fact, when a plant goes through dormancy, it will try to rest and prepare itself for the next growing period. If you give it a lot of water, you will force it to produce more energy during the rest period, impacting its growth and bloom later.

Additionally, some bromeliads need water a little bit more than others. So, setting up one watering schedule for all bromeliad varieties is impossible. For example, bromeliad varieties like Alcantara Imperialism and Ananas Cosomus can tolerate months of water deprivation. However, other types, like Hoya, will quickly wilt if not watered regularly. 

Finally, when it comes to watering plants, the golden rule says, “check the soil.” Therefore, following the method suggested above about checking the soil using moister meters will help determine how often your bromeliad needs water.

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What Are the Water Requirements of Bromeliad?

Water is essential for bromeliads to grow, bloom and thrive. But you can’t use any water for this plant. Generally, the bromeliad is sensitive to dissolved minerals. As a result, you can’t water it using tap or softened water.

Tap water is not recommended for watering bromeliads because it is often contaminated with toxic chemicals such as pesticides and heavy metals, which can affect the plant’s health.

Softened water cannot be used to water plants because it has a high sodium concentration. Additionally, the softening process deprives this water of magnesium and calcium, two essential minerals for any plant.

To water your bromeliad safely, you should use distilled water, filtered water, or rainwater.

Distilled water is one of the safest ways to water your bromeliads. It is the purest form of water available. Distilled water is free of impurities, making it perfect for your plants. It also has a neutral pH, so it won’t affect the soil’s acidity.

Distilled Water

Filtered water is excellent for bromeliads because it contains fewer chemicals than regular tap water. It also has some beneficial minerals and nutrients needed by plants. The only drawback to using filtered water is that it is more expensive to acquire.

Finally, rainwater is also great for watering bromeliads. The most crucial benefit of rainwater is that it gets collected directly from the source, so it is free of any pollutants. It’s also FREE, so it will help you save some money!

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How Should I Water My Bromeliad?

Bromeliads are very sensitive to overwatering. Generally, it should only be watered once a week during summer and spring and once every three weeks during the cold seasons. If you have your bromeliads indoors, check their water levels daily, and give them a drink when the soil feels damp.

Bromeliads should be watered so that the water completely drains out of the pot and there is no standing water. If this is done correctly, you will not need to worry about overwatering or underwatering.

What Does an Overwatered Bromeliad Look Like?

If your bromeliad has become overwatered, you can tell by the appearance of the foliage. Its leaves may appear to have a yellowish tint or look discolored. Additionally, you can notice that the plant seems to wilt, and it may appear to be drooping. There may also be signs of rot in the plant, such as mushy spots or a foul odor.

Here is a complete list of overwatering signs for bromeliad:

  • Yellow Leaves.
  • Dark Leaves.
  • The Soil Gets Soggy.
  • Stems Bend down.
  • The water is on the surface and has no movement.

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How Does an Underwatered Bromeliad Look Like?

An underwatered bromeliad will exhibit leaves that droop and curl up at the edges. It will have small leaves and a general lack of color. It may even have brown or black spots on its leaves or stem. You may also notice that the plant is struggling to grow, and its growth rate may be slowing down.

Here is a complete list of signs that indicate an underwatered bromeliad:

  • Brown Leaves.
  • Leaves Curling up.
  • Weak and Brittle Leaves.
  • Wilted Leaves.
  • Broken Roots.
  • Stunted Growth.
  • Delayed Blooming.

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Diana Cox

I'm Diana from I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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