11 Different Types of Bromeliad Plants

There are more than 2000 species of bromeliads you can found in this world. Many of them are originated in South America. They can grow into a beautiful plant that has an amazing aroma.

Here I would like to share with you some different types of bromeliads so that you can learn the differences between them.

Tillandsia

Tillandsia

Spiky isn’t just a goal for a hairstyle look, it describes the leaves on the air plant known as Tillandsia. The air plant, Tillandsia is the genus name of a plant that is part of the Bromeliad family. Tillandsia is an intriguing plant because it can be grown with just air!

Since the Tillandsia Bromeliad Plant doesn’t need soil, it can be grown in a variety of locations. This is the perfect plant for the grower with a creative soul. It is also a perfect plant for those who have a growers’ heart but possess a “brown thumb”. The Bromeliad plant Tillandsia is a hardy plant that needs little attention.

Guzmania

Guzmania

Image source: wikimedia

The Guzmania plant family is well known for its flamboyant colors, mesmerizing blooms, and exotic personality. These are one of the commercialized plant species of bromeliad flower crops of Europe and are gaining popularity in the rest of the world.

Bromeliad Plant Guzmania has exquisite flowers that are extremely beautiful and have a longer life. These are quite sturdy and adaptive in nature as they can settle themselves in a terrestrial environment, though their habitat mostly being epiphytical. This flexible feature makes them easy to be cultivated and nurtured in nurseries too. Most of the Guzmanias enjoy rich moist soil.

Bromeliad Plant Guzmania has spine-free fleecy and crinkled green leaves and the foliage is vase-shaped so that it could hold water for nourishment. The size of this plant varies from 10 cm to 1 meter in height. It is found in assorted breeds like Guzmania ‘Caroline’, ‘Minnie Belle’, ‘Lingulata’, and many more.

This ornamental plant can embellish any vicinity and you are bound to be enthralled by its elegance. The most fascinating peculiarity of Bromeliad Plant Guzmania is its sturdy nature and therefore these are quite easy to grow. They require minimum insecticides and fertilization if the basic growth requirements are perfectly matched.

Bromeliad Plant Guzmania grows wholesome in bright fluorescent light. These should be kept first in moderate light and then in bright but should be saved from direct sunlight. It is advisable to keep your bromeliad plant under three layers of fishnet. Similarly, the temperature should be kept from average to warm year-round. The water cup should be kept filled to 2.5 cms and the roots must also be moist for adequate nourishment.

The propagation of this plant should be done carefully. The most common way of doing this is to separate the suckers as soon as they grow to one-third of the height of their mother plant. This activity also helps to increase the number of suckers in your plant. Another way of propagating this plant is with the help of seeds. But this method is not so frequently used as Guzmanias produce less seeds.

The potting medium also plays a significant role in the proper growth of Bromeliad Plant Guzmania. The potting medium should be such that it neither drains nor deteriorate easily. Using small pots for mature plants helps induce blooming in them.

The plant should be repotted annually. Proper ventilation ensures god air circulation in pant and they bring out their best colors. This also defends the plant against any fungal infection.

Fertilization is more important than any other thing. Guzmania should be fertilized from time to time but should be spared from an overdose. Excess of fertilization steals its brightness and leaves the plant dull and drab. It is advisable to use only half of the prescribed amount of fertilizers to keep them splendid. Bromeliad Plant Guzmania is an awesome gift for anyone and a little care can make it flourish to make your interiors or exterior magnificent.

Aechmea

Aechmea

In botanist terms, the Aechmea Bromeliad plant is a genus of the botanical family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideae, which is related to the pineapple and to Spanish moss. To growers of the Aechmea Bromeliad Plant, it is a beautiful addition to both indoors and in outdoor gardens.

Most of the 150 species that are part of the genus (category ranking between a family and a species) Aechmea are epiphytic (gets moisture and nutrients from the air or small pools of water). Each of them has outstanding foliage.

The Aechmea Bromeliad Plant Care

This plant grows best in tropical weather and care must be given to keep it warm and maintain humidity for optimal results. Even without optimal care, this plant is fairly easy to grow, just don’t leave it outside in the winter or on cold nights when the temperature will be dropping below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In nature, Bromeliad plants grow on the following:

  • Branches
  • Tree trunks
  • Rocks

Aechmea Bromeliad plants can still grow well in containers and are forgiving of a little neglect. Due to their small roots, they don’t need very large pots. The growing medium can be tree-fern bark, cork-oak bar, or half osmunda fiber and half leaf mold compost with a small amount of both charcoal and sand.

Moisture can be maintained with a plate or container of water nearby and by misting with water. Fertilizer at 1/2-1/3 the normal dose about every 2-3 months.

A type of Aechmea Bromeliad plant that is popular is a hybrid of the Bullis Bromeliad, the Alegria. The “bloom” is an impressive stalk with bright red and pink berries. This Aechmea plant can grow as high as 4 feet and have a width of 4 feet also.

Purchasing Aechmea

The Bromeliad plants, including the Aechmea Bromeliad plants, that are purchased in garden centers are 3/4 the size they are capable of reaching maturity. Full-size Bromeliad plants are best outdoors due to their size. To buy a Bromeliad plant that you can enjoy the bloom for the longest period of time look for a plant that has flower spikes coming out of the cup and a plant that is not in full color.

Aechmea Bromeliad plants add interest and color both indoors and outdoors.

Billbergia

Billbergia

Billbergia is an interesting species of Bromeliads. Most of the plants have an upright leaf habit. It has some brilliant blue and red flowers. When they do come into bloom, the bloom will come out of the top.

Generally, the bloom only lasts about seven or eight days. So you got to catch it while it lasts.

There are thousands of different hybrids created by growers all over the world. Some Billbergia can get some size to them where some may grow to about two feet tall. They can be variegated and they produce pups from the base.

There are some interesting species that happens to have a lot of white blotching on them. The Billbergia tend to have a lot of blotching with a lot of different colors. They prefer to have direct filtered sunlight. They don’t tend to do too well if you planted them indoors.

Ananas

Ananas

Ananas is like a bitter pineapple plant. It will produce a fruiting spike that has a pinkish color to it. Over a three-month period of time, a small brown pineapple will develop. It is much more bitter than a commercially cultivated pineapple.

Mostly, the pineapple from an Ananas bromeliad plant is considered an ornamental fruit. The Ananas bromeliad (ananas comosus ‘Variegatus’ bromeliad) is also known as the Ivory Pineapple and the Variegated Pineapple. The bloom will start out as flush red and bloom blue flowers before the pineapple develops.

The edible pineapple is from the same species as the Ananas bromeliad. This bromeliad is grown for its long leaves that have creamy margins and sharp spines. It is among the larger bromeliads, growing up to 3ft high and 6ft across. When they are kept in smaller pots, the size of this plant can be controlled.

The plant won’t produce a pineapple until it is about 5 or 6 years old. After the pineapple matures, the plant will die, but there should be “pups” to propagate.

To propagate the Ananas bromeliad you can put the off-sets (pups) in a pot and grow them. They will appear as the parent plant begins to die. The top of the pineapple can be cut off and put it moist soil. It will root and grow.

Growing an Ananas bromeliad is fairly easy. They like the following:

  • Hot sun
  • Strong light
  • Warm temperatures

Cryptanthus

Cryptanthus

Cryptanthus bromeliads are more commonly known as Earth Stars due to their shape. They are beautiful and incredibly varied plants that naturally grow in tropical areas. There are over 1,200 types of bromeliads within the Cryptanthus genus, with a great variety of foliage.

These types of bromeliads can be found growing within the earth because these are true terrestrial bromeliads. They are unlike the epiphytic types that you will not find these growing within trees or other vegetation, but instead, you will find they are growing within the rainforest soil.

The Cryptanthus bromeliads are available in all sorts of shades, colors, and patterns. They can give you beautiful and tropically delicious displays.

Something that is quite interesting about these types of bromeliads is the fact that the colors can actually be affected by the amount of lighting that it gets. So if the bromeliad is in lighter or darker conditions, that can actually determine the shades and the colors.

A fun fact about the Cryptanthus is that when it reaches a mature size, it will set off its bloom and the blooms will actually come from the center of the plant. Sometimes deep within the plant.

If you would like to propagate the little baby pup, the rule of thumb is that the pup should be at least a quarter of the size of the mother before you propagate it. What you need to do is holding the little baby pup and twist it a little bit. You would pull from there and this would allow the wound area to dry for a couple of days. Once it’s done, you can grow the baby pup in a pot. It may take about a month before the pup begins to grow.

Cryptanthus is coming from the rainforest areas with high humidity and moisture. They are getting a good amount of shading or a nice canopy where they are getting indirect light-dappled. So the variation of light conditions that these
Cryptanthuscan actually handles and tolerate would be from your shadier condition to your moderate and dappled lighting.

Portea

portea

The Portea Bromeliad plant grows in the Brazilian coastal regions of Rio de Janeiro. It is a hardy and robust bromeliad with large spines on its leaves. This plant can grow to over three feet high when it is in bloom. It likes full sun. The Portea Bromeliad plant is among the most decorative of the Bromeliad plants.

Appearance

The bloom is a beautiful combination of delicate lavender, blue-gray, and coral pink. The leaves are narrow with spines on the edges and they are yellow-green. The leaves provide a perfect backdrop to the colorful blooms of the Portea bromeliad plant.

The flower stalk is a rosy red color and maybe as high as 4 feet. It is a unique addition to outdoor gardens where climates permit them to remain outdoors year-round. It also produces bluish-colored berries.

History

It is part of a small bromeliad genus that only includes six species. The bromeliad was named after Dr. Marius Porte who was a French plant collector. He introduced this bromeliad that originated in Brazil towards the end of the 19th century.

Availability

Of the six different species, the bromeliad Portea Leptantha is a rare and endangered species. Other species are easy to obtain. The plant can be purchased from nurseries, department stores, grocery stores, online, the bromeliad society, catalogs, and bromeliad plant growers.

Growing the Portea Bromeliad

Though the Portea bromeliad plant prefers full sunlight, in some climates it will also grow in bright light. This bromeliad will need ample room to grow because it is one of the larger bromeliad plants. The plant can be grown indoors or outdoors.

In climates that get too cold in the winter, the plant will need to be brought inside during the colder months. Part of the year it can spend its days outside and its nights inside.

The leaves are not frosted tolerant, but they will tolerate some low temperatures. When the plant will be spending time inside and outside, it will need to be planted in a planter. It likes warm temperatures and evenly moist soil. It should be protected from sunburn.

Pests and Diseases

There are few pests that attack bromeliad plants. They are most susceptible to scale insects, which are small round or oval insects that quickly multiply and create yellow spots on the leaves. Insect attacks on bromeliads are controllable.

The Portea bromeliad is an addition to a garden that will stand out among the other plants, especially when it is in full bloom. In large rooms in a pot, this bromeliad can fill an empty space with color and interest. A full-grown plant may be too big to give as a gift, but the younger and smaller plants make wonderful gifts that are hardy and easy to care for plant.

Low temperatures, overwatering, sunburn, injury, fungi, and insects can cause a bromeliad to be infected with the disease. Sometimes chemical control will be needed.

Any bromeliad collection will become more complete by adding the dramatic and impressive Portea bromeliad plant. Be sure to shop around to get the best price when buying this bromeliad for yourself or to give as a gift.

Catopsis

Catopsis

The Catopsis bromeliad plant grows on twigs of trees in the sun. It is thought that this bromeliad plant is actually carnivorous. The tank of the Catopsis bromeliad attracts more insects than similar-sized bromeliad plants. It is native to southern Florida.

This bromeliad is usually found growing on trees and occasionally on rocks. They grow in dense shade and on rare occasions they will grow in filtered light. In 1864 was the first recorded description of the Catopsis bromeliad. There are 18 species of Catopsis bromeliads.

The leaves are soft and spineless with chalky scarfing (powdery substance) on the waxy leaves. The scarfing can be white, gray, or silvery and the leaves can be green to yellow-green. The inflorescences may be simple or branched and can also be erect or pendant.

The Catopsis bromeliad plant has white or yellow flowers that will rise above the leaves. The male and female flowers are on separate plants. It is one of the bromeliads that have no registered hybrids.

In addition to Florida, the Catopsis bromeliad grows in the following places:

  • Mexico
  • Greater Antilles
  • West Indies
  • Trinidad
  • Central America
  • Northern South America

Growing Catopsis Bromeliad Plants

It grows well in 50% orchid bark mixed with 50% potting soil that has peat in it. The bark can dry out and collect salts, so it should be flushed occasionally. The Catopsis likes bright filtered light and doesn’t tolerate drying out. It does well in hanging baskets. During warm weather, it can be outside. For hot dry weather, it would be best to keep this bromeliad plant inside.

Carnivorous or Not

It would depend on the definition of carnivorous. This plant has the following “carnivorous” traits:

Attracts insects

The Catopsis bromeliad does this with its special nectar; it is not by accident that there are so many insects in its tank.

Retains insects

This bromeliad stores or traps the insects in the pool of water.

Ability to use nutrients from the insect

The Catopsis absorbs the nutrients in its leaves once the insect decomposes. Some define carnivorous plants by other means like a more dramatic “eating” of the insect-like with the Venus Fly Trap.

Catopsis Bromeliad Plant Care

They prefer high humidity. In the summer watering should be done 3-4x per week depending on the dryness of the environment. In the winter it can be cut down to 2-3x per week. Their leaves are thin so they are unable to store water and dry out fast.

Weak fertilizing weekly usually is successful. It is among the smaller of the bromeliad plants. The Catopsis can be propagated from “pups” (small plants that form at the base) or from seed. Pups can be removed when they are 1/3 the size of the parent plant. Between October and March is the best time to do this.

This bromeliad makes a unique gift because of the possibility of it being a carnivorous plant. It is a good houseplant because of its easy care and it can be mounted in interesting ways.

Neoregelia

Neoregelia

The Neoregelia (nee-o-ree-jeel’ya) Bromeliad plant is yet another beautiful Bromeliad plant that belongs to the Bromelioideae subfamily. What makes the Neoregelia bromeliad plant so popular of the wide range of plant sizes, colors, blooms, and leaf textures that the Neoregelia is available in.

To some, the brilliant colors of the blooms and the leaves remind them of a firework in the sky when looking down on this bromeliad when it is in full color.

This Bromeliad plan is usually a medium-sized with a compound head is set in the middle of the rosette and the flowers have blue or white petals. The leaves come in a very wide range of colors and also a wide range of sizes. The brightly colored leaves retain their color year-round.

There are some plants like the Neoregelia pascoaliana that are very small and only grow to about 12 cm high and 2.5 cm in diameter. The Neoregelia Bromeliad is often used for hybridizing because of the amazing plants that result from it. They can grow in pots or they can be grown terrestrially (on land) or lower limbs of trees in shaded areas.

The Neoregelia Bromeliad plant is originally from eastern Brazil,. It has become very popular in the United States and in Europe. There are approximately 50 species of this Bromeliad plant with many varieties. The Neoregelia Bromeliad plant has over 500 registered cultivars.

These are some of the different kinds of Neoregelia Bromeliad plants:

Neoregelia ampullaceal
The size of this type of Bromeliad is small. It featured leathery green leaves with wide dark bands. When this Neoregelia Bromeliad blooms, the white and blue flowers are hidden deep in the vase.

Neoregelia carolinae var. tricolor
a Bromeliad plant with cream and pink striped leaves. Before blooming, this Neoregelia Bromeliad turns pink.

Neoregelia carolinae (Nidularium meyendorffii)
a medium Bromeliad that appears to be a flattened rosette. Right before this Neoregelia Bromeliad blooms, There is bright red in the middle of the rosette. It creates a beautiful backdrop for the lavender flowers.

Neoregelia spectabilis
This Bromeliad plant is also known as the fingernail plant. It has dark green leaves with a silver band underneath and is strap-like. This Neoregelia Bromeliad has leaf tips that are red. The red bracts (specialty leaf) highlight the colors of the Bromeliad blooms. The blooms of the plant are lavender-blue.

This is an easy-care Bromeliad plant that grows well both indoors and outside. They need warm temperatures, with filtered light or shade. For climates that get cold, this Bromeliad should be planted in pots when growing outside so that the pots can be brought inside when the temperatures get cold. The Neoregelia Bromeliad does best with well-drained soil and even moisture.

When ordering Neoregelia Bromeliad online, consider the weather where the plant will be delivered. Even if you are home to accept the plant immediately, it will probably be transported in trucks that are not heated or cooled. Order them during times of the year when the temperatures are moderate.

The Neoregelia Bromeliad will stand out in any garden or as part of indoor décor and is an excellent choice when choosing a Bromeliad plant.

Nidularium

Nidularium

Nidularium is also known as little nest bromeliads. It is a genus of the Bromeliaceae family. It is a perennial evergreen plant that can grow in tropics, subtropics, and Mediterranean climate.

This type of bromeliad is originated from Brazil. The most popular type of Nidularium is known as the blushing bromeliad which is featured white flowers that are surrounded by bright red bracts.

This is a tropical plant and it loves to grow in moisture and humid environment. It usually grows on the branches of trees, on the ground, or even on the rock.

They tend to bloom with nice and beautiful flowers. But the size of the flower rosette is usually very small. You can plant them indoor if you want to. Just make sure you place them in the area where they can get enough sunlight.

The Nidularium can die in two different ways: either it gets overwatering or due to lack of moisture in the leaf. Therefore, you need to have good control on the water for this plant.

Vriesea

Vriesea

Vriesea Bromeliad is also known by other names such as Flaming Sword Bromeliad, Painted Feather Bromeliad, or Zebra Bromeliad.

Native to Central and South America, there are approximately 250 known species of Vriesea Bromeliads and dozens of hybrids. Some Vriesea Bromeliad owners are drawn to the attractive foliage while others are drawn to the Vriesea Bromeliad plants that have brightly colored flat flower spikes. The Vriesea bromeliad is closely related to the Tillandsia bromeliad.

Like with all bromeliads, the blooms are very dramatic. V. vulcana, V. fenestralis, and V. Favorite are blooming varieties. The V. fenestral bromeliad has green bract and yellow flowers that smell like rotting fruit to attract bats.

In the wild, bats pollinate the B. fenestalis bromeliad. Some of the Vrieseas Bromeliads are more known for their foliage than their blooms. Two of them are the V. hieroglyphics, which has banded leaves that are beautifully colored and the V. fenestralis, which has leaves that are long with purplish mottling.

Proper care of your Vriesea bromeliad plant will assure a healthy, thriving plant. Remember the following for Vriesea plant care:

Light
The type of light that the Vriesea bromeliad grows in will affect the bloom colors. It grows best in a shady area or indirect light. The brighter the light that the plant is put in, the brighter the color of the foliage.

Water
The Vriesea bromeliad will need the central cup kept full and the water should be changed frequently with spring water. Liquid fertilizer can be added to the water sparingly.

Temperature
The temperature that this bromeliad grows best at is 55 degrees F or above. The plant will tolerate colder temperatures for shorter periods of time.

Environment
The Vriesea bromeliad likes a humid environment. This can be created by placing the pot on a tray with water and rocks or by misting regularly. Grouping plants together will create a more humid environment for the plants.

Propagation
It does not seed. Propagate by separating the pups from the mother plant and plant them in their own pots. There are some popular varieties, like the sword plant that grow pups from the flower stalk. This can make propagation more challenging and it is best to wait for the plant to be more established before removing the pups.

Growing Medium
Use rapid draining soil or medium. With proper care, the Vriesea bromeliad will grow to be medium to large-sized plants. A mature plant can grow to 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide.

The Vriesea bromeliad plant is available for purchase from February to October and usually will bloom sometime between April and July. Once the Vriesea blooms, it will die. The pups will mature and bloom and the cycle will be repeated. It can be grown outside in plant zone 9 (a and b), zone 10 (a and b), and zone 11, but the Vriesea plant is more commonly grown indoors.

The Vriesea bromeliad is a great plant to purchase for your self and to receive or give as a gift. It is hardy and because of its beautiful and unique foliage, it looks good with or without blooms.

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