Tropicals forum: Help for bromeliad

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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Jul 24, 2016 10:56 AM CST
We were given this bromeliad as a gift and it was beautiful and healthy, but over the past three weeks it's been brown. We watered it only once when it truly felt dry. Now the soil is moist. It's in a window that only gets a few hours of afternoon sun. Can you help?


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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Jul 26, 2016 12:02 PM CST
In that second picture it looks pretty dry in the throat of the flower, are you watering that?
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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
Jul 26, 2016 4:33 PM CST
@lovesblooms. Two things come to mind. The afternoon sun can be brutal. Be sure the sunlight will not directly fall on your plant until after 4:00 PM. If you have a sheer curtain between the plant and the window, that's fine. These are shade-loving plants. Bromeliads (at least these) are called "Urn Plants" because the upper leaves form sort of an urn. This is where you want to water and always keep some water in that "urn". As odd as it sounds, watering the soil actually does little good. Nourishment is taken in via the leaves/urn, and not via the roots.
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: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Adeniums Plant Identifier
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Carter
Jul 26, 2016 4:56 PM CST
The pattern of the dryness in the leaves doesn't seem to match sun burn, tho. This is a Guzmania hybrid, and of the common bromeliads, Guzmania can be much more finicky than neoregelia, aechmea, or vriesea. Too much water, they rot. Too little water, they pucker & pout. Not enough light, they get leggy, too much light... etc, etc.

If I had to guess, I'd say this is moisture related (more specifically, lack of it). In regards to the soil, sounds like you are doing ok there - don't let it stay wet, but don't let it get totally dry, either. Wet soil is a death sentence. Moist to slightly dry is probably best for indoors - and if in doubt, err on the dryer side. More importantly, as Alice & Ken have said, always keep a little water within the "cups" of the leaves (where each of the leaves attaches to the stem). This is where the bromeliad absorbs most of its nutrients.

I have a Guzmania at my office that gets no direct sunlight, and is only under fluorescent lights all day. I keep its soil slightly moist to mostly dry, and just make sure there is always a little water in at least the lowest leaf cups. It's been happy and healthy for a couple of months now.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Jul 26, 2016 6:06 PM CST
I wasn't watering in the cups--that is a brand new piece of information to me. Thanks!
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Jul 26, 2016 6:54 PM CST
The roots on bromeliads are usually just anchors to hold the plant, they take all their nutrition through the water and detritis in the "urn."
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Jul 27, 2016 7:12 PM CST
Thank you, Alice. Also, my daughter likes your avatar pic. Is it Saint Helena Island?
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Jul 28, 2016 6:12 AM CST
Yes, thank you. It is a sea Island off the coast of Beaufort, SC.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Jul 31, 2016 7:34 PM CST
My family on my father's side is from that area, but I've never been. Beautiful!
[Last edited by lovesblooms - Jul 31, 2016 7:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Aug 1, 2016 6:00 AM CST
I hope you get to visit the area sometime, it is one of the most unique places in the country and you can't drive 3 minutes without seeing a beautiful vista.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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