Are Broms hardy?
Bromeliads are easy to grow and require little attention.
The majority of bromeliads have their own ‘water tank’ at the centre of the rosette of leaves. When watering the plant, ensure the cup is filled and flush it regularly every week to fortnight to clean the water. They don’t need soil to grow as many of them are epiphytes which means they can grow on rocks and trees. When potted or planted in soil the soil needs to be well draining (see below) and moist but not soggy. Depending on the area you are growing them they often won’t need to be watered at all given natural rainfall.
They also gather their nutrients from the leaves, water tank and light. As such they don’t need to be fertilised unless you desire to provide a bit of extra feed. Actually over fertilising can lead them to losing their colour and turning green.
However the best soil for bromeliads is an acidic mix that retains moisture yet drains freely & also provides stability. The roots need aeration & will rot out in a tight or boggy mix. There are many ways to achieve this & different growers have their own favourite mixes. Bunnings has a Bromeliad and Orchid mix which is a mix of bark and soil and works well. Alternatively you can attach many varieties to a log, tree trunk or rock garden without any soil at all.
Ingredients commonly used include peat moss, cocopeat, composted pine bark fines (11-20 mm in diameter), coarse sand, perlite, charcoal, small pieces of polystyrene foam, coarse ash & ‘clinker’.
We use 60% composted pine bark fines, 10% cocopeat, 20% coco bark chips & 10% coal ash. Ag lime & dolomite are added to reach a pH of 5.5 - 6.0. The pine bark assures good drainage, the cocopeat retains moisture & fertiliser & provides stability.
Climate and conditions:
They are native to tropical regions and have evolved to withstand varying temperatures, humidity levels, and light intensities. However, like all plants, they have their limits, and some species are more tolerant than others. If you are growing bromeliads outdoors in a frost-free climate, they are hardy. However, extended periods of cold weather can damage or kill them. If they are damaged they will often throw a pup and regrow through the pupping process. You will need to be mindful of which variety you are purchasing to ensure they can tolerate the climate where you live.
In indoor growing conditions, bromeliads are easy to care for and maintain.