Soil, water, and sunlight are the basic ingredients needed for raising a healthy houseplant. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about bromeliad plants and their light requirements, so you can select an optimally sunny location in your home or office for displaying these lovely tropical houseplants.
- Bromeliad Plant Light Requirements — The Essentials
- The Role Light Plays in Bromeliad Plant Health and Growth
- Typical Light Conditions Bromeliad Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats
- Do All Bromeliad Plants Typically Need the Same Light Exposure?
- Signs Your Bromeliad Plant Is Receiving Too Much Light
- Signs Your Bromeliad Plant Isn’t Receiving Enough Light
- The Best Light Exposure for Bromeliad Plants Grown Indoors
- Grow Healthy Bromeliad Plants With Just the Right Amount of Light
- Bromeliad Plant Light Preferences FAQ
- More Bromeliad Plant Care Guides from Petal Republic:
Bromeliad Plant Light Requirements — The Essentials
To provide an indoor bromeliad with optimal light, choose a location with a south or west-facing window that receives moderate to bright filtered sunlight. Avoid scorching direct sunlight and color-diminishing low light.
The Role Light Plays in Bromeliad Plant Health and Growth
Plants and their green-colored chlorophyll cells rely on solar energy from the light they receive to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen through the process called photosynthesis. This process is how plants, including bromeliads, get the energy and nutrients needed to grow, bloom, and reproduce.
Common Plant Light Requirement Terminology and What It Means
- Direct Light – Direct light comes through unobstructed south-facing windows. It can also be found in front of east-facing windows in the morning and west-facing windows in the afternoon and evening.
- Filtered (Indirect) Light – Filtered light can be bright, medium, or low. The main thing is that the light passes through sheer curtains or has a chance to be diffused throughout a room before reaching a plant. Filtered light is also sometimes referred to as indirect light.
- Bright Light – Bright light is not direct sunlight, but it’s still quite strong. You’ll find this light condition right next to a window where your plant won’t receive more than an hour or two of direct sunlight.
- Medium Light – Find a spot about halfway between the windows and back wall of a room, and you’ll find medium light that’s diffused a little as it’s passed through your windows and space.
- Low Light – Places with no natural sunlight and locations that are more than 7 feet away from a window have low light conditions. Certain types of plants can thrive without sunlight or minimal light exposure.
- Mixed Light – Some plants prefer to receive a mix of light throughout the day. So, instead of getting 6 to 8 hours of bright light, a plant preferring mixed-light might thrive in a few hours of bright light and a few hours of medium light.
- Artificial Light – Some plants can thrive under artificial lights as long as they produce a full spectrum of light. These are a perfect option for supplementing light in low-light spaces.
Typical Light Conditions Bromeliad Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats
Bromeliads are all native to the American tropics and subtropics with one exception that’s found in West Africa. In their native habitats, they all receive about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.
However, different species of bromeliads receive various types of light in their natural habitats. Some grow on tree branches, some grow in the ground, and others grow in rocky areas with various degrees of forest around them, creating varying degrees of direct and/or filtered sunlight.
The type of light your bromeliad will be healthiest in will likely range from medium-filtered light to bright and direct sunlight. For the optimal results, research your bromeliad species before determining where you will place it in your home or office.
Do All Bromeliad Plants Typically Need the Same Light Exposure?
Bromeliads offer a host of benefits to would-be growers and are fairly tolerant of different light conditions. However, bromeliads with softer, more pliable leaves prefer less sunlight than their counterparts with more rigid leaves. Place a bromeliad with stiff, solid leaves in bright, indirect light and a bromeliad with flexible leaves in medium sunlight for the healthiest plant.
If your bromeliad doesn’t look as brightly colored as it should or has lost its leaf variegation, it needs more sunlight.
Signs Your Bromeliad Plant Is Receiving Too Much Light
Bromeliads generally prefer medium to bright sunlight, but they can receive too much light and burn. When your bromeliad is sitting directly in front of a window, it could receive too much direct sunlight and scorch.
Signs your bromeliad is receiving too much sunlight include:
- Brown-tipped leaves
- Brown spots on the leaves
- Yellowing leaves
- Curling leaves
- General wilting
Signs Your Bromeliad Plant Isn’t Receiving Enough Light
Bromeliads can generally tolerate a wide range of light conditions if acclimated properly. However, bromeliads usually prefer to receive at least medium sunlight. In low light or full shade conditions where the plant is not receiving enough light, its leaves will turn yellow. Sometimes, a sun-starved bromeliad will also grow long, floppy leaves.
Additionally, with too little sunlight, a bromeliad with variegated leaves or leaves that have brightly colored centers (such as those found on Aechemea and Neoregelia bromeliads) the leaves might turn a solid shade of dark green.
The Best Light Exposure for Bromeliad Plants Grown Indoors
Depending on the species at hand, indoor bromeliad plants prefer to receive natural sunlight that ranges from moderate to bright, indirect light. If grown under artificial lights or fluorescent lights with little natural sunlight, your bromeliad should get between 14 and 16 hours per day.
The Best Place for an Indoor Bromeliad Plant
Position your indoor bromeliad in a south or west-facing window that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Placing your bromeliad directly in the window could lead to scorching.
Additionally, avoid drafty locations or places too near heating or cooling vents that could dry out your humid-loving bromeliad.
Do Bromeliad Plants Need to Be Rotated Periodically?
Like other plants, bromeliads tend to lean toward the sunlight. To prevent a bromeliad from leaning, growing unevenly, or even tipping over in its pot, rotate it 90° every week or two.
Do Bromeliad Plants Need the Same Light Conditions Year-Round?
Most bromeliads can tolerate a fair range of light conditions, so yours should be okay if the level of light it receives varies somewhat throughout the year.
Grow Healthy Bromeliad Plants With Just the Right Amount of Light
Most bromeliad plants do not require 100% perfect conditions to thrive. Take a look at the conditions your species of bromeliad prefers, and do your best to find a location in your home or office that will provide the right light. Keep an eye out for signs of too much or too little light and adjust accordingly. Soon, you should enjoy a beautiful bromeliad blossom that lasts for 3 to 6 months!
Bromeliad Plant Light Preferences FAQ
Is Bromeliad a low-light plant?
Bromeliad plants are tolerant to a range of indirect light conditions and will grow just fine in moderate to bright environments.
Can bromeliad grow in artificial light?
Artificial growth lights can be used in rooms that receive minimal to no natural light exposure to help develop Bromeliad plants’ growth indoors. Just be sure to use a low-level setting and ideally don’t expose the plant to direct artificial light for extended periods of time.
Can Bromeliad live in shade?
The natural habitat for most Bromeliad plants is in locations that receive moderate to bright light conditions throughout the day. However, different species of bromeliads receive various types of light in their natural habitats. Some grow on tree branches, some grow in the ground, and others grow in rocky areas with various degrees of forest around them, creating varying degrees of direct and/or filtered sunlight.
How much light does a bromeliad need?
Bromeliad plants do best when they receive 5+ hours of bright indirect light each day.
How do I know if my Bromeliad is getting too much sun?
Signs your bromeliad is receiving too much sunlight include brown-tipped leaves and/or spots, yellowing and/or curling leaves, and general wilting of the plant.
More Bromeliad Plant Care Guides from Petal Republic:
- The 17 Best Types of Bromeliad Plants to Grow at Home
- When and How to Water Bromeliad Plants
- Feeding and Fertilizing Bromeliad Plants
- The Best Soil and Potting Mix for Bromeliad Plants
- How to Prune a Bromeliad Plant
- Where to Find the Best Bromeliad Plants for Sale
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.
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