Answer: The plants in the large genus Chrysanthemum seem to frequently undergo reclassifications. Recently, several plants that were previously classified as Chrysanthemum were reclassified as Dendranthema. Chrysanthemum x 'Sheffield' has been reclassivied as Dendranthema 'Sheffield'. Dendranthema 'Sheffield' is hardy to zone 5 and prefers well-drained, average soil in full sun. Growing to three feet, Dendranthema 'Sheffield' has a tendency to form a large, somewhat sprawling clump. To counter this, plants may be pinched once before early July, in order to promote bushier, stockier growth. Plants may be propagated by division, or from cuttings.
If your Bromeliad is rotting at the base, the soil is too moist. If you have a tendency to overwater, you might want to make your own custom potting soil by mixing equal parts of cactus or orchid potting soil with standard potting soil. The cactus mix has sand and gravel; the orchid mix has large bark pieces. Either one, mixed with regular potting soil, will improve drainage. Bromeliads, in their natural habitat, grow under a wide range of conditions and will survive prolonged periods of drought. The general rule of thumb for watering is: water well and allow to dry before watering again.
Many of the bromeliads sold today are "tank type" bromeliads. The rosette of broad leaves creates a "cup" or "vase" in the plants center. These plants hold water in the cup and leaf axils. Plants with cups should be filled as required to keep it from remaining empty for any length of time.
The tank should be flushed out with plenty of water periodically to prevent possible stagnation. This periodic flushing also prevents a build up of salts left when water in the cup evaporates.
If you are growing indoors, you may need to mist the plant about twice a week in addition to your watering in order to prevent drying of the leaves by the low humidity.
The short answer to your question is: if your bromiliad has a vase or cup, apply water there and not to the soil. If your bromiliad does not have a cup or vase, water the potting soil, but allow it to dry out between waterings.
Best wishes with your plants!
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