The Q&A Archives: Bromeliad Spider-like Type

Question: I just bought a bromeliad plant that I've never seen before. It has leaves and is shaped like a spider plant, and little purple flowers are starting to bloom. Can you please tell me how to care for it? Thanks for your help.

Answer: I know of two bromeliads with grass-like leaves which produce purple-blue flowers. One is Billbergia nutans, with grey-green foliage and drooping flowerheads with 3" long flowering bracts. It's also called Queen's Tears. The second is Tillandsia. The flowerhead is flattened on this one and the pink bracts produce white-throated purple-blue flowers. Hope one of these descriptions matches your plant!

Bromeliads prefer high temperatures (75F) to bring them into flower, but average household temperatures will suit them after flowering has finished. Provide a brightly lit spot out of direct sunshine and water every 1-2 months. Mist the leaves during the summer months and use liquid fertilizer as a foliar spray every 6-8 weeks.

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