Most bromeliads only bloom once. Since they grow by adding new leaves from the center, growth becomes impossible after flowering since the inflorescence blocks new leaf growth.
When your bromeliad is large/mature enough to bloom and you would like to encourage quick growth, make sure it is fertilized and watered well with the proper amount of light and warmth. A small addition of Epsom salts may help to promote growth and blooming.
Cut off the flower head when it ceases to hold color.
Pups can form at any time, but most start after the bromeliad begins to bloom. The pups can be separated when they reach about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the parent plant. If the pup is forming roots, it will be more likely to survive on its own. The longer the pup remains on the parent plant, the quicker they will reach maturity. Remove the pups by cutting with a sharp knife or clippers as close to the parent plant as possible.
The type of potting mix depends on your type of bromeliad. Most common bromeliads enjoy a light, well-draining mix. A standard mix consists of mulch/pine bark nuggets, perlite, and composted peat or professional potting mix (a soil-less mix).
Bromeliads typically do not need large amounts of fertilizer due to their slow growing nature. The best course of action when it comes to fertilizer is to use a slow, time-release fertilizer lightly sprinkled around the base of the plant. Never distribute fertilizer directly in the cup of tank bromeliads because it will burn the foliage. You can also utilize liquid fertilizer at 1/2 to 1/4 of the recommended strength, spraying several times per season.
Tank bromeliads, ones that have a rosette of overlapping leaves, should have the rosette kept full of distilled or rainwater. Flush out the tank every couple of months and refill it with fresh water to clear out any organic debris and decrease the chances of fungal rot. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
The type of bromeliad will determine the amount of light. If the varietal’s leaves are soft and flexible, especially if they are spineless (Guzmanias and Vrieseas), they grow best in lower light areas. Bromeliads with stiffer, spiny leaves (Aechmeas and Neoregelias) or Tillandsias enjoy hard light.
If your bromeliad begins to lose its bright color, it may not be getting enough light. When your bromeliad’s color begins to fade or bleach, or if brown sunspots form on the leaves, it is getting too much sun.
Hard water can cause a white substance to form around the outside edges of leaves near their base on tank bromeliads. This is caused by the high mineral content in your water, which can form deposits of this white substance that can injure the leaves. Another cause could be excessive fertilizing.
Your bromeliad is too dry.
If your plant has already flowered there isn’t much you can do. Bromeliads only bloom once and produce pups, which grow and take nourishment from the parent plant and then bloom themselves.
If your bromeliad has not yet bloomed, check to see if the growing conditions are adequate for the type of bromeliad you own. (See above questions.)
Scale and mealy bugs are the most common pests for bromeliads. For small cases, wipe down the affected area with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. If your bromeliad(s) have a larger infestation, try mixing dishwashing detergent or baby shampoo with water and spraying the infected areas and then rinse the plants with clean water. Do not use oil-based insecticides.
LINKSTimber Press - Books on bromeliads
Barnes And Noble Bookstores - Books on bromeliads
San Diego Bromeliad Society
North County Bromeliad Society
Bromeliad Study Group of Balboa Park
Bromeliad Society International
Bromeliaceae – Eric Gouda
San Diego Gardening Clubs & Societies – Local gardening clubs
San Diego County Flower & Plants Association
The Huntington Botanical Gardens
Fairchild Tropical Garden
Ganna Walska Lotusland
Quail Botanical Gardens
L.A. County Botanic Garden
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:: Pineapples and other Bromeliads
Bromeliad Society of San Francisco
The New York Bromeliad Society Links Page
Bromeliad Society of Broward County
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Harry P. Leu Gardens