Bromeliad plants come in many shapes and sizes, and there is a perfect one for every home. Other popular bromeliad houseplants are terrestrial species that you can grow in an ordinary potting mix. Others are more like desert succulents, requiring a sandy, porous potting mix, such as cactus potting soil.
Our wide selection of bromeliads includes many different types, so you're sure to find the perfect one for your needs. We have epiphytic plants that attach themselves to tree trunks or fallen logs, terrestrial species that grow in the ground, and stem plants that never form a true root system.
Here are the categories of bromeliad plants ideal for indoor growing:
1. Aechmea Bromeliad or Aechmea spp.
Aechmea bromeliad is an epiphytic bromeliad native throughout the Caribbean and from Mexico through South America, and they're some of the most popular houseplant bromeliads. The genus includes such beloved species as A. chantinii or zebra plant and A. fasciata or urn plant.
These large, beautiful plants feature striking flowers and bracts that can last up to six months before the plant fades for good. It's easy and requires low maintenance. It will thrive in any supportive soil mix, and it will also do best in bright indirect light to partial shade. Once during the growing season, feed water soluble or liquid fertilizer to your indoor plant.
2. Tillandsia Bromeliad or Tillandsia spp
Also known as air plants, tillandsia is one of the larger genera in the bromeliad family, with more than 500 species. Most are epiphytes, and in the horticultural trade, air plant is the more common name for them. Tillandsia species are terrestrial, and a few are saxicolous, growing on rocks.
These bromeliads produce violet, blue, white, pink, and yellow tubular flowers. These air plants like lots of light, do well in direct sunlight, and require high humidity. In many homes, they need frequent misting to stay healthy. Lack of misting can cause yellow leaves on your houseplant so you must protect your plant at all cost.
3. Portea Bromeliad or Portea spp
This genus has about nine species. These bromeliads are native to Brazil's Atlantic coast. They are usually epiphytes, rarely terrestrial, but often grow on rocks in their natural habitats. This bromeliad variety produces sharp foliage and extraordinary beautiful blooms in vibrant hot pink, blue, and violet shades that lend these plants an otherworldly mystique.
It's a low maintenance indoor plant that requires a well draining, porous, and rich potting mix. It's also drought tolerant, but you can water it when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry and not let the plant sit in standing water. Fertilize once a year by applying water soluble fertilizer to the soil.
4. Hechtia Genus or Hechtia spp.
Hechtia is a genus of about 75 species of terrestrial bromeliads. They thrive in arid environments and grow in rocky outcroppings or sandy soil alongside other cacti and succulents. Like other bromeliads, hechtia plants have a central rosette of lance shaped leaves.
Unlike other bromeliads, these leaves are generally thick and spiny, similar to other desert succulents. It's a low maintenance plant with careful moisture management. Well-draining, sandy soil is what this houseplant requires to thrive. It also requires full sun to partial shade as less sunlight will slow growth.
Feeding isn't generally needed, but you can promote growth by feeding once in spring with a cactus or succulent fertilizer.
5. Dyckia Bromeliad or Dyckia spp.
Dyckia is among the more common types of bromeliads. They make excellent houseplants and prefer bright light such as a south or west facing window with morning sun rather than direct afternoon light. Most of the dyckia species are terrestrial plants that do well when potted as houseplants.
They have sharply pointed, thick, fleshy leaves arranged in rosettes, although not true succulents, these bromeliads can survive long without water. The leaves can be yellow, gray, green, or red. They bloom with multiple red, yellow, or orange flowers on a long, thin stalk in the spring.
They're among the toughest of bromeliads, thus making them frequently used as outdoor landscape plants in certain climates.
6. Cryptanthus Bromeliad or Cryptanthus spp.
The Cryptanthus genus has only recently been introduced to the bromeliad family. It comprises mostly terrestrial bromeliads that work well as potted plants. They are commonly known as earth stars, they have a unique growth habit that features pointed leaves arranged in low, tight rosettes.
Although they have a reputation for being difficult, these plants will bloom when pleased with their location throughout the year. But the real appeal is the foliage. Depending on the species, it can range from dark green to bright pink to red and can be banded, spotted or solid. It thrives in bright, filtered light or partial shade.
7. Billbergia Bromeliad or Billbergia spp.
They are epiphytic bromeliads that grow attached to trees in nature but can also be grown as potted plants. When grown as houseplants, these bromeliad types are often potted in a mix that includes potting soil blended with bark chips and peat moss, making it easier to water the plants.
The spectacular but short-lived flowers can be purple, blue, yellow, green, or white. The growth habit varies by species, but most have pointed leaves arranged in a rosette pattern. Others have grassy, cascading leaves. Some popular species include B. distachia, B. nutans, B, pyramidalis, and B. saundersii.
It's easy to grow and requires low maintenance. It prefers well draining, porous, slightly acidic potting mix and thrives in bright indirect light. It also prefers moist soil that isn't soggy. Water the plant when the soil has dried completely, keep the plant's central cup filled with filtered water, and do not fertilize as over feeding, preventing blossoming.
8. Vriesea Bromeliad or Vriesea spp.
Vrieseas bloom once or twice a year and produce orange and yellow flowers. While most varieties don't reach more than 3 feet, some varieties reach up to 6ft. Mature plants can also grow quite wide with rosettes of green leaves lined with sharp, brown spines on the tips. They too prefer bright light and well draining soil but prefer less water than the Guzmania.
You can grow them without soil by attaching them to a piece of bark or wood. When using soil, create a sturdy potting media that's half soil and half perlite or bark. Use filtered or soft water to keep the plant's central cup filled, and change water frequently to prevent bacterial growth.
Fertilize once a month with diluted, water soluble fertilizer applied in the central cup during spring and summer.
9. Neoregelia Bromeliad Neoregelia spp.
Neoregelia Bromeliads are large, tropical plants that can grow up to 1 to 2 feet tall. These bromeliads will bloom with beautiful decorations. The cup holds water and provides the plant with nutrients via the decomposition of insects or other organic materials that fall into it.
The species of this genus are also slightly more cold hardy than some other bromeliad types. The most common Neoregelia species is N. carolinae, which has narrow leaves often variegated. When in flower, the center of the cup turns red, and small flowers emerge.
Add a highly diluted amount of balanced liquid fertilizer to the plant's central cup once a month during the growing season. Avoid too much fertilizer, which can turn the plant's foliage into a deep green color. Use a supportive soil mixture that drains easily and doesn't hold much moisture.
10. Nidularium or Nidularium spp.
Another genus of the Bromeliaceae family, Nidularium, is one of the easiest types to grow indoors. All members of this genus produce red, pink, and sometimes white flowers on long spikes. The plant features brightly colored bracts and white, purple, or red flowers.
It's easy to grow and does well in well draining, fertile soil. It prefers bright, indirect, or filtered sunlight. Water about once a week in summer and reduce watering in winter to prevent overly moist soil. In spring and summer, add a water soluble, diluted, balanced fertilizer to the plant's central cup once a month.
11. Pitcairnia Bromeliad or Pitcairnia spp. from the family Bromeliaceae.
It is a large, epiphytic bromeliad native to tropical America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, including Hawaii. They are closely related to Tillandsia, with numerous species often confused with that genus because of their similar appearance. Pitcairnias have adapted well to containerized cultivation, with an extensive range of flower colors.
Grow in full to partial sun, in moist but well-draining, organic soil mix. Water when growing, rather sparingly when dormant. Pitcairnias are more tolerant of neglect than most bromeliads. As with all bromeliad types, they prefer not to be repotted too often.
Canistropsis Bromeliad or Canistropsis spp. is a genus of flowering plants native to Mexico and Central America, with one species extending into the southern part of Arizona. This low maintenance and easy to grow plant requires a peaty, well draining, acidic potting mix. It thrives in partial sunlight. Keep the soil constantly moist but never soggy with frequent watering and misting.
13. Pineapple Bromeliad or Ananas comosus
This is a herbaceous perennial plant species from the bromeliad family Bromeliaceae, native to southern Brazil. This easy-care houseplant is perfect for beginners and available at most garden centers in hanging baskets. It prefers bright, direct sunlight for 8 hours each day to produce fruit. It thrives in well draining, nutrient rich soil.
FAQs on Bromeliad Types for Growing Indoors
Are bromeliads easy to grow?
Yes, they're easy indoors as most species will tolerate infrequent watering and dimly lit areas. They also serve as popular indoor houseplants.
How do you care for bromeliads indoors?
Care instructions vary on the species of bromeliad plant, but a frequently asked question is how to water bromeliad plants. Keep the soil moist and mist daily while watering once or twice weekly.
What are the uses of bromeliads?
Bromeliad plants produce colorful flowers and serve as popular indoor houseplants. They also make great gifts.
Final Verdict on Bromeliads for Growing Indoors
As you can see, there are many types of bromeliads for growing indoors. They make great houseplants and are useful for gifting due to their colorful foliage, flowers, and easy care requirements. Bromeliads are among the best plants for your bedroom as they can also help in purifying the air.