Ask a Question forum: bromeliads

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DR
Dec 24, 2013 6:53 PM CST
I received a beautiful bromeliad plant that seemed to be doing great in the indirect sunlight where it lived in my house. Then I decided to "give it some sun" about three weeks ago, and ever since it's going downhill -- red leaves turning pink with brown edges. The potting soil always stays very damp, too, though I haven't watered it in quite a while thinking I may have over watered it at some point.

Any suggestions for reviving it?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 24, 2013 7:48 PM CST
Most bromeliads are shade-loving plants, though thrive with a couple of hours of early morning or very late afternoon sun. Sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM is a no-no. During the winter months this can be stretched somewhat, since the sun is so low in the southern sky. I don't know why exposing your plant to sun would have anything to do with the soil staying wet. You should have well-draining soil. Bromeliads derive very little moisture/nutrients from their soil since these plants have fairly limited root systems. This soil is more for anchorage. Bromeliads get their nutrients and moisture through their leaves and more importantly from their "urn". If you are not misting your plant every few days, you need to do so. Plants inside the house are subjected to very dry conditions, and tropical plants like moisture, not dryness.

I would remove your plant from its potting soil and replace the soil with a very well-draining potting soil. This soil can stay somewhat damp but never soggy. Start your misting program and be sure you always keep a bit of water in the urn. Keep the plant away from that mid-day sun.

Now the million-dollar question. Did you get your plant when in bloom? If you did, and apparently the bloom is now gone, is there a pup or two growing from the base of this plant? Once a bromeliad blooms, that plant will always die and the pups are the only way you will have another viable plant. Also, it is important to know what type of bromeliad you have. Is it one where the central leaves color-up? Is it one that puts out a stalk with a spear-like flower? Or is it one where there is a stalk but the stalk will have numerous flowers along that stalk? When we know more about your plant, I think we can arrive at your problem.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Dec 31, 2013 9:17 AM CST
Not knowing the zone of the questioner but it is possible that "giving it some sun" might also mean exposure to colder temperatures as well as too much moisture in the form of rain. To a tropical bromeliad, that could also be the kiss of death.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 31, 2013 10:11 AM CST
Hopefully DR knows these are tropical plants and won't expose her bromeliad to cold temperatures. All my tropical plants are inside GH's for the cold months. They are only outside from April until November.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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