There are over 40 species of bromelia within the bromeliad genus. Whether as a house plant or in a landscape, the bromelia plant is evergreen and has long, spike-like leaves that begin at the ground and form a rosette with the flower rising from the center. It is often referred to as a "pineapple plant." Depending on the species, the foliage ranges from deep green to red and burgundy or variegated. The flowers, which bloom throughout the summer, are long lasting and colorful.
A bromelia plant prefers a pot that is just large enough to accommodate its roots and is filled with rich, loamy soil that drains well. Bromelia should be re-potted in March, before the growing season of the summer. Bromelias like evenly moist soil and regular watering, but not soggy soil. Use your finger to test the soil, and water when the soil is damp dry. Do not allow your bromelia to sit in water that remains in the saucer. During the growing season, fertilize with a liquid organic fish fertilizer by following the instructions on the label. In October, when the bromelia begins its winter dormant period, stop fertilizing. Bromelia plants do not care to be placed in direct sun but thrive in bright, defused light. The main pest that attacks a bromelia is a scale insect that's similar to a mealy bug and difficult to eliminate. In most cases, it may be better to discard the plant and begin again with a new, healthy bromelia.
Bromelia is a tropical plant and typically survives only in landscapes that are in zones 10 or 11. Bromelia plants can grow to be huge, reaching 10 to 14 feet in height and several feet in width. Like the indoor bromelia plants, an outside bromelia needs loamy, organically rich soil that drains well. Watering is crucial for the bromelia, particularly in the first year after planting. Regular, weekly deep watering to maintain an even, moist ground is preferred over frequent light watering or water-logged ground. Placed in direct afternoon sunlight, your bromelia may develop black spots on its leaves because the direct sun is too hot. Partial shade is where your bromelia will grow best.