Question: I enjoy bromeliads of the various types. What special kind of potting soil and care do they need?

Answer: There are many kinds of bromeliads, some terrestrial and many epiphytic. The latter group is more popular as flowering houseplants. Since they grow natively suspended in air from tree trunks, they have very modified root systems. You’ll also notice that their leaves are arranged as cups, or vases, that hold water for long periods of time. You should use a loose, highly organic potting soil. Keep it moist, but remember that their root systems will not be as well developed as those of other terrestrial types. You will also need to water the plants within those vases. Include a very diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer periodically, both in the soil and in the vases. Don’t over-feed bromeliads, however, and don’t keep them in low-light conditions, or they won’t develop their richly variegated colors.

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