Ask a Question forum: Bromeliad leaf browning

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Name: Gibbs Jones
Nashville (Zone 6b)
Gibbs0113
Jun 22, 2017 8:32 PM CST
I just bought what I think is a scarlet star bromeliad this week at the grocery store. This is my first plant but already the leaves are turning brown. What should I do? I can add some pics of my plant. First is before it was this past Saturday; today is Thursday, second pic.
Thumb of 2017-06-23/Gibbs0113/e38e96
Thumb of 2017-06-23/Gibbs0113/6e1b48

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 24, 2017 8:49 AM CST
Guzmanias are somewhat fragile plants if they are not cared for properly. It looks like yours was repotted and that may be the primary cause of the lower leave discoloration. This plant does not like to have its roots disturbed.

Watering may also be contributing to the problem, especially because of they repotting. If you added soil and if there is no drain hole in the new pot, then you are at risk for inadvertent over watering. Allow the top inch of soil to become dry before adding just enough water that it reaches that same level of dryness again in about a week.

Finally, it will help if you can keep your plant close to a sunny window.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Jun 24, 2017 9:08 AM CST
The soil surface actually looks a bit dry in the second photo. They do like humid conditions. And in my opinion, your container is really larger than it needs to be. That would make the roots stay wet too long before it dries out.

I have a Guzmania that has soil around the root ball with moist sphagnum moss wrapped around it and filling the container. I water when the moss dries out. When I remove it from the container to check the roots, I find the healthy roots delving into the sphagnum moss.

These plants thrive when the humidity is high as well. Mine overwinters in the greenhouse which is a bit dry so I keep a spray bottle of rainwater nearby to mist the bromeliads daily. If yours is indoors in air conditioning, you may need to spritz with mist also.

Please keep us posted on it...
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Name: Gibbs Jones
Nashville (Zone 6b)
Gibbs0113
Jun 24, 2017 11:47 AM CST
Thank you both for responding! Should I put the plant in a smaller pot and add sphangum moss at the roots? I did repot the plant and added miracle grow soil. Yesterday, I added tree bark and pumice. I also misted the plant. I will most it again today because my apartment is air conditioned low humidity. Thank You!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 24, 2017 12:30 PM CST
While it would have been better to keep it in a smaller nursery pot, there is some additional risk of removing excess soil and downsizing it. It is hard to say which is the better alternative. If you keep it in the existing pot, make sure it dries out sufficiently between waterings. Humidity is not a problem for it and misting does little to increase humidity anyway.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Gibbs Jones
Nashville (Zone 6b)
Gibbs0113
Jun 24, 2017 8:35 PM CST
Thank You! I'm all ears!
Thank you!!

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