Fertilizing Bromeliads

Fertilizing bromeliads can encourage lush, full growth. Potted bromeliads will occasionally need soil nutrients to be replenished. Bromeliad plants, however, are light feeders. These plants typically only require a small boost in nutrients during the spring and summer growing season. Bromeliads are slow growers and easy to overfeed.


Why Fertilize Bromeliads

You can fertilize bromeliads to improve the overall health of the plant or to promote lush foliage. Only apply fertilizer once a month during the plant’s active growing season between spring and summer. If in bloom, consider using an orchid fertilizer at one-fourth the label strength. A general-purpose fertilizer likely contains too much nitrogen, so review the label prior to application. Nitrogen generally supports foliage development, so too much can suppress the plant’s ability to bloom. You shouldn’t fertilize your bromeliad during its winter dormancy period. Doing so may burn the plant’s foliage and/or roots. 

How Often To Fertilize Bromeliads

A water-soluble fertilizer can be used to feed potted bromeliads each month during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Feed the plant at its base since adding fertilizer to the central cup could burn new leaves. Never add slow-release fertilizer pellets to the central cup formed by the leaves. 

How To Tell If Bromeliads Needs Fertilizer

Weak, pale-looking foliage is a good indicator that your bromeliad needs fertilizer. Limp leaves and a yellow tint will appear. The plant may look normal besides having a lighter color. Elongated leaves are generally a sign that your plant needs more light.


Best Fertilizer For Bromeliads

Before fertilizing your bromeliad, it’s a good idea to look up the specific requirements for that species. Select a water-soluble fertilizer with a low nitrogen content. Alternatively, you could use time-release fertilizer like Osmocote on the soil (not in the central cup). Other great choices, especially when a bromeliad blooms, are Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Orchid Food and Better-Gro Houseplant Bromeliad & Orchid Food 11-11-18 Fertilizer.

Bromeliads Fertilizing Tips

  • Only fertilize during the growing season (spring and summer)
  • Dilute liquid fertilizer to quarter strength
  • Use slow-release pellets for terrestrial bromeliads
  • Don’t fertilize during winter


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers. 

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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Author Chris Link - Published 6-23-2023