Most bromeliads come from tropical areas. A considerable number of bromeliad species originate from the tropical rainforest canopy. These natural environments influence the performance of plants under different circumstances.
Knowing which natural habitat your bromeliad species, can help you select the ideal place for growing the plant both indoors and outside. Now to address the dilemma, can bromeliads grow in water? It’s time for us to find out.
Can bromeliads grow in water?
If grown in the proper circumstances, epiphyte bromeliads (air plants) can be grown in water. While terrestrial bromeliads can’t grow and survive in water for too long, as they need soil to absorb nutrients. As there are over 3000 species of bromeliads, each functions differently.
Can you propagate bromeliads in water?
There are different species of bromeliads some of which grow on tree trunks and then there are some that grow in water and soil. You can propagate certain air-based bromeliads in water.
Bromeliads may be divided into two types: Epiphytes and Terrestrial
Bromeliads with epiphytes:
The term epiphytes is derived from the Greek word for air. Air plants, also known as epiphytes bromeliads, are a kind of bromeliad. They evolved in such a way that they can now grow without soil.
Instead, they take root in the trunks of neighboring trees and spread out from there. Their leaves are responsible for absorbing nutrients and moisture from the environment.
That’s why you can propagate such epiphytic bromeliads in water
Bromeliads of the terrestrial zone:
The term “terrestrial” refers to the ground. This is a collection of bromeliads that naturally occur in soil. Terrestrial bromeliads, such as the pineapple, are an excellent illustration of this.
As their roots are the main mechanism for absorbing nutrients, they can’t be propagated in water.
Can you root bromeliad pups in water?
You can root epiphytic bromeliad pups in water but that requires additional attention and care as it may not be accustomed to the setting.
A pup is a bromeliad plant’s offset. Pups may develop at any time but are most often formed after your bromeliad has flowered.
Once a mature bromeliad attains a robust bloom and a solid base, the parent plant (referred to as the mother) ceases leaf production and begins generating new plants.
When bromeliad pups reach 33% to 50% of the mother plant, you can cut them. The existence of roots is another strong indication that the offsets may thrive on their own. Root development is not required for a pup to survive, so do not panic if they do not yet exist.
Once you’ve taken out the pup you can place it in water and allow it to grow. With air bromeliads, you will have to water it regularly as it attains its nutrients through the leaf base.
How to propagate bromeliads in water?
Propagating can be done in two ways. The first one being the seed propagation and then
Selecting a place:
Identify the place where you will take your cutting from the main plant and mark it. Even while not all cuttings that are rooted in water have root nodes, the majority of them do, therefore look for the root node on your plant.
Cutting the node:
Clean, sharp scissors or a clean, sharp knife should be used to carefully cut just below the node. Approximately 1/4′′ below the node. Before cutting the node sterilize your knife or scissors or whatever sharp object you are using.
Place it in a glass:
Place the cutting in a clean glass to protect it from contamination. Then fill up the glass with room temperature water so that water covers the node region.
Changing the water:
Every 3-5 days, replace the water with new room temperature water to keep it fresh. Plant water generally gets dirty quickly mainly because of indoor pollutants. So you will have to change the water according to its merit.
Allowing it to grow:
Keep an eye on your roots to see how they develop! This may take anything from a few weeks to many months, depending on the plant type.
Transferring the plant:
When your roots have grown to about 3′′-5′′ in diameter, it is time to plant your cutting in soil. If it’s an epiphytic bromeliad then you can place it on a wood platform or water pot as well.
How long do bromeliads last in water?
Epiphytic bromeliads can last in water for a few months if you water the leaves and the leaf base regularly. Other types that need soil to survive won’t last more than a week or two in water.
Many of the bromeliads sold now are bromeliads of “tank type.” The rosette of wide leaves forms a vase or a cup in the middle of the plant. These plants have water in the axils of the cup and the leaves. Plants should be filled with cups and should not stay empty.
Flush the tank out regularly with lots of water to avoid stagnant water in the cup. This periodic flushing also prevents salts from building up when water is evaporated in the cup.
Water should be taken from the cup if the temperature is expected to dip below 40°F. This procedure prevents the cold damage that occurs on each leaf as a brown line at the water level.
5 advantages of growing bromeliads in water:
There are many advantages to include aquatic plants in your indoor garden. Here are five advantages of growing plants in water, such as the bromeliad.
Water plants need less maintenance:
While having a big fancy garden may be appealing to some, it requires additional effort. The most time-consuming job is watering, and if you tend to overwater your plants, growing plants in water is a low-maintenance option.
Growing plants indoors in a soil pot can cause disarray in the house if you have pets as they often dig up soil. Also while changing the soil, can be a bit tricky. But with your bromeliad, you can simply change the water without much trouble.
There are fewer pests:
Houseplant pests such as fungus gnats are very frustrating. They deposit eggs in the soil of potted indoor plants and feed on soil fungus as larvae. Without dirt, there is no such issue.
Increase your plant count:
‘Plant propagation in water is a simple method for propagating indoor plants such as bromeliads, begonias, coleus, and spider plants. Numerous tropical plants develop roots when their stems are cut and put in water.
It may take weeks or months, but the rooted plants may ultimately be transplanted into a container of soil or left in water.
You can present a few stems of indoor plants in vases, glasses, or other containers for their aesthetic simplicity. Hanging them from the roof or attaching the container to the wall is also an interesting look for your home.
How do you take care of bromeliads in water?
You can follow these tips to take care of your bromeliads in water –
Removing parts of the bromeliad:
Eliminate overgrown plants, yellowing foliage, and spent flowers. If floating plants grow to cover more than 60% of the surface area of the pond, remove and compost the excess foliage.
Netting the water garden:
In the autumn, you may want to cover the water garden with netting to keep leaves out of the water. If leaves do blow into the water, remove them to avoid oxygen suffocation during decomposition.
Algae buildup is a potential issue in water gardens. Additionally, a good filter or clarifier prevents the growth of algae. You can plant your bromeliad in the water fountain for better aeration.
Watering the bromeliad:
Simply keep the water at the proper depth to prevent plants at the water’s edge from drying out and to keep the roots of submerged plants covered. Before the water level in your water feature drops several inches, refill it.
Make sure you water the bromeliad leaves, as they absorb nutrients through them
Can bromeliads grow without soil?
Epiphytic bromeliads are also known as air bromeliads can grow without soil. These bromeliads have roots but only to attach themselves to a platform i.e. tree, objects on water.
They receive nutrients through the leaves.
Can you drown a bromeliad?
It is possible to drown your bromeliad if you water it too much. When the soil doesn’t have enough pore space, the water gets stuck, and as a result, air can’t pass through the water.
If your bromeliad stays drowned for too long, it eventually loses life.
How often should I water a bromeliad?
Due to bromeliads’ preference for dry conditions in the house, you should only water your plant each week or so. Water both the cup and the soil, being careful to keep the cup just half full to avoid rot.
To sum it up, epiphyte bromeliads (air plants) can be grown in water when maintained under the right conditions. While ground bromeliads cannot grow and live in water too long as the soil is needed to absorb nutrients. Since there are over 3000 bromeliad species, each of them works differently.