With its diverse array of hues and textures, colorful foliage, dramatic flower spikes, and beneficial properties, the beautiful bromeliad graces any indoor garden. While these spectacular plants may look complicated to cultivate, they’re actually easy to grow under the right conditions. Along with light, soil, and water, growing conditions must take temperature and humidity tolerances into account. Here’s what you need to know about providing optimal temperatures and humidity for your bromeliads.
- Bromeliad Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials
- Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges Bromeliads Enjoy in Their Native Habitats
- Signs Your Bromeliad is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Bromeliad Plants
- How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
- Caring for Bromeliad Plants in Spring and Summer
- Caring for Bromeliad Plants Over Winter
- Bromeliad Temperature and Humidity Tolerances FAQs:
- Wrap Up
Bromeliad Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials
Bromeliads are native to tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America, where they grow in warm, humid conditions. When grown indoors, Bromeliads thrive in temperatures that range from 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most can’t live in temperatures under 40 degrees F. They prefer indoor humidity levels from 50 to 60 percent.
Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges Bromeliads Enjoy in Their Native Habitats
Bromeliads are native to tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America. A member of the Bromeliaceae, or pineapple family, these plants have been cultivated in the Caribbean for hundreds of years. Columbus brought the plants back to Europe after his 1493 voyage, and they quickly spread throughout other tropical regions of the world.
The Bromeliads’ natural habitat stretches throughout South America, Central America, and Florida. Above the topics, the only bromeliad found growing in the wild is Tillandsia usneoides, also known as Spanish moss. Within these native habitats, Bromeliads thrive in relatively warm and humid conditions.
As a general rule, all types of Bromeliads grow best in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees F. Though they can tolerate some temperature fluctuations, most plants won’t grow in temperatures below 40 degrees F.
A few cold-hardy exceptions exist. Bromeliads in the genus Puya are native to mountainous regions of the Andes, where they grow in desert regions and even survive the snow. These Bromeliads can tolerate temperatures down to 20 degrees F. Other cold-tolerant species include those in the genus Dyckia and Hechtia, and Bromeliads with thick foliage.
Bromeliads can grow in warmer temperatures, as well. However, when temperatures rise above 80 degrees F, the plants generally need more humid conditions to stay healthy.
In most cases, indoor air isn’t humid enough to reach these optimal levels. You may need to mist regularly, set plant containers in a tray of pebbles and water, or invest in a humidifier to mimic the Bromeliads’ native tropical environments.
Signs Your Bromeliad is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
If a Bromeliad is exposed to low temperatures, the foliage may wilt and shrivel. If left at cold temperatures for extended periods, the plant will fail.
Though most Bromeliads can handle temperatures higher than the optimal range — 55 to 80 degrees F — plants exposed to higher temperatures for extended periods will require more water and higher humidity levels. You may notice signs of heat stress, such as brown spots on foliage and browning tips at the end of leaves. If humidity is too low, you may also notice leaf browning.
Conversely, Bromeliads that live in conditions that are too humid may experience a condition known as heart rot. Many plants have a leaf cup or “tank” at their heart that holds some water. If the soil around this tank gets too soggy, the heart may start to rot.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Bromeliad Plants
When growing indoors, Bromeliads thrive in a temperature range that falls between 55 and 80 degrees F. Some thicker-leaved species can tolerate lower temperatures, but most Bromeliads prefer warmer conditions.
The ideal humidity range for indoor Bromeliads doesn’t fall below 50 percent. Higher humidity is better; however, keeping your home’s indoor humidity at 60 percent or more may be challenging.
Monitor ambient humidity in your home with a tool called a hygrometer. This portable tool measures both humidity and temperature to find the ideal spot for your Bromeliad.
Be aware that placement within the home can affect humidity and temperature levels. For instance, many Bromeliads thrive when placed in naturally humid spots in the home, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, or kitchens. Humidity may drop too low when placed by a west- or south-facing window with strong light exposure.
Avoid placing Bromeliads in drafty spots, such as near vents and doors. Keep them away from A/C units, which may cause temperatures to drop to less-than-optimal levels.
How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
Unless the humidity levels in your home naturally hover around 50 to 60 percent, your Bromeliad plants will likely benefit from added humidity. There are several ways to boost humidity levels in your home.
One of the simplest ways to up humidity is by grouping your Bromeliads together within the home or placing them in groups with other plants. Putting plants together ups the amount of water vapor transpired by the plants’ foliage, increasing humidity.
You may also mist your Bromeliads regularly. Misting the air around your plant’s foliage will help raise the humidity; just be sure to mist often and consistently.
Another simple solution is to place your Bromeliad’s container on a dish or tray. Fill the tray with pebbles, then fill it with water. As the water evaporates, the humidity will rise around your plant.
The easiest way to increase humidity is to place a humidifier in the room with your plant. It’s an efficient way to keep your Bromeliad happy.
Caring for Bromeliad Plants in Spring and Summer
During the spring and summer months, your Bromeliad will likely enjoy rising temperatures. Just watch to ensure that your plants’ soil doesn’t dry out too quickly, as it tends to do in higher temperatures. Now’s all the best time to consider pruning your bromeliad if needed.
If your Bromeliad is near a south– or west-facing window, conditions may grow too hot and dry. You may want to move your plant to a north– or east-facing window in summer. Avoid placing plants near A/C units or vents, as temperatures may drop too low for your Bromeliad’s health.
Caring for Bromeliad Plants Over Winter
During the winter months, monitor your Bromeliad carefully to ensure humidity levels are at adequate levels. Homes tend to get dry during the winter, so you may consider providing additional humidity for your plants.
Avoid placing plants near heating vents, radiators, or drafty areas to avoid fluctuations in temperatures. If plants are near north- or east-facing windows, be sure they’re receiving enough light each day. In addition, your bromeliad plants won’t need any fertilizing during this season.
Bromeliad Temperature and Humidity Tolerances FAQs:
What temperature is too cold for Bromeliad plants?
Bromeliad plants are native to the tropics, where they enjoy warm temperatures year-round. In the home, these plants thrive in temperatures that range from 55 to 80 degrees F. Most Bromeliads can’t handle temperatures below 40 degrees F.
What temperature is too hot for Bromeliad plants?
Many types of Bromeliads can handle some fluctuations in temperature over the 80 degrees F upper limit. But if temperatures rise above 90, take care that your Bromeliad has adequate humidity to compensate.
Are Bromeliad heat-sensitive?
While most Bromeliads prefer temperatures from 55 to 80 degrees F, most can handle some heat fluctuations. Just be sure to provide adequate humidity and moisture. Bromeliads are cold-sensitive, however, so avoid situations where temperatures fall below 40 degrees F.
Can I leave my Bromeliad plant outside?
When temperatures fall within a 70 to 80 degree F range during the day and humidity is high, your Bromeliad may enjoy spending time outside. Bring them back inside if temperatures fall below 55 degrees F overnight.
How do I know if my Bromeliad is healthy?
A healthy Bromeliad has colorful, lush foliage. Leaves look full and erect, rather than droopy, wilting, or browning. Watch for signs of problems, such as pale or yellowing foliage.
Bromeliads add a touch of drama to any room with their bright colors and stunning textures. These tropical beauties are an excellent choice for indoor areas that maintain 50 to 60 percent humidity throughout the year. Keep your Bromeliad happy by maintaining steady 55 to 80 degrees F temperatures within the home.
If you’re looking for your next bromeliad plant to add to your collection, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering bromeliad plants nationwide.
Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.