It can be many years before a bromeliad blooms and then dies. Until then, she makes few demands on care – with the exception of watering. The most widespread is the terrestrial Bromeliaceae. These are to be watered differently than tied bromeliads. With the following tips for watering, it works perfectly.

lime-free water

Only lime-free water should be used for watering. Bromeliads do not tolerate lime either in the soil or on the leaves. Here, calcareous water leaves unsightly light spots, primarily on the edges of the leaf rosettes. Depending on the variety, it also takes away the shine from the leaves. Using rainwater is ideal. Alternatively, normal tap water can be used if it is stale (at least 24 hours).

Tip: If no rainwater or stagnant tap water is available, distilled water can also be administered if there is an urgent need for water.

water temperature

The bromeliad comes from the (sub)tropics. From there it is used to warm rain, which covers its water needs. Accordingly, it reacts sensitively to cold. Cold water, like hot water, can inhibit growth. Too warm water also provokes burns. Water at the wrong temperature is often to blame if there are no flowers. Therefore: only use irrigation water that has at least 15 degrees Celsius and ideally has room temperature and is at most lukewarm.

No sun

If a Bromeliaceae needs to be watered, this should never be done in direct (midday) sun. If it is too hot, this can quickly lead to burns in combination with the water, which manifests itself in the drying out of leaves and possibly rapid wilting of the flowers. The best time is early in the morning or in the evening, especially in summer, when the sun is at its weakest.

excess water

What a Bromeliaceae does not tolerate at all is waterlogging, which is why this must be avoided at all costs. If it receives too much water that cannot drain away unhindered, rot is usually the result, which the plant rarely survives. Waterlogging should be avoided as follows:

  • Always adjust the amount of water to the water requirement
  • When spraying, make sure that the water flows away from the holding element
  • Only use pots with a drainage hole
  • Dry/drain the saucer no later than 30 minutes after pouring
  • Always use loose, well-drained soil for potted plants
  • In the event of soil compaction, loosen the soil and replace it with fresh substrate if necessary
  • In addition, work coconut fibers into the soil – they absorb moisture from the soil
  • Perlite is an ideal aid to long-term water permeability

Different types

In terms of watering, a distinction is made between terrestrial and attached bromeliads. A terrestrial Bromeliaceae is planted directly in soil and adorns the surroundings as a potted plant. The tethered bromeliad is the species originally found in nature. There it grows mainly on trees, from which it obtains its moisture and nutrients and the roots are therefore not dependent on soil. In local areas they are often attached to woody substrates like orchids.

Tips for soil-bound bromeliads

“water tank”

A Bromeliaceae planted in soil is watered over its ‘water tank’. The plant forms this through the upper, inner bracts, which form a kind of funnel. This is filled with irrigation water and the plant draws as much water as it needs. The soil does not need to be watered, but should still be kept slightly moist. A superficial spraying is ideal here.

water drainage

The “water tank” should be completely emptied once a month to prevent rot. There is no harm in wiping the inside of the leaves with a cloth. In this way, any deposits that often form and settle from standing water can be removed.

watering frequency

How often a pot bromeliad needs to be watered depends on the light conditions, humidity and ambient temperature. In locations with a lot of sun and in warm places, the water in the “tank” evaporates quickly and the water requirement of the plant is significantly higher. Here it can happen that the bromeliad has to be watered once a day. The water level in the funnel serves as a guide. If it is in the lower third, water should be topped up. If it is cooler with higher humidity, the need for water and the amount of evaporation decrease. In winter it therefore usually only needs to be refilled every few weeks.

The soil should only be moistened when it has dried well. The Bromeliaceae copes well with drought, but you should still pay attention to an even soil moisture.

Tips for tethered bromeliads


Irrespective of whether tethered bromeliads have a “water tank” or not, they should in principle only be sprayed with water. They draw the necessary moisture from the leaves.

watering frequency

During the summer months, daily spraying promotes trouble-free growth. If it is particularly hot, it can also be sprayed in the morning and evening. In winter, watering about three times a week is ideal.

Tips for flowering time

When the flower slowly develops, the need for water increases because the petals also have to be supplied with moisture. Here it makes sense to check the humidity regularly and to ensure that it remains at a constant level. The soil of potted plants should no longer dry out well, but should be kept slightly moist.

Watering for flowering

If you want to force flowering in a planted specimen, water can be a major factor in promoting it. That is how it goes:

  • Fill coasters with water
  • Add expanded clay
  • Cover the plant with a translucent film
  • Increased humidity forms and ethylene is released, which promotes flowering
  • In addition, spray the potted plant lightly every two days
  • Only remove foil and coasters as soon as the first signs of flowering can be seen
Note: This tip works even better if the Bromeliaceae are optimally fertilized.

Water after flowering

When the flower has withered, the Bromeliaceae slowly enter the process of dying, which can, however, last for months. If brown, dried leaves appear, this is not due to a lack of water, but is a natural process. The water requirement drops drastically after flowering. In order to keep them alive for as long as possible, it is now important that the amount of irrigation water is adapted to the sinking metabolism and reduced accordingly. Right now, the bromeliads are very susceptible to rot because they are increasingly losing resilience and energy.

Tip: It is better to pour too little than too much and only fill the funnel up to a third.

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