Bromeliad plants are very nice because they provide a bit of an exotic flair to your home. People have been caring for them as houseplants for quite some time, and they’re definitely getting popular.
One of the reasons why they’re so popular is that they’re not that hard to take care of. These plants are considered to be fairly low-maintenance, and this means that you probably won’t encounter too many problems when caring for them.
However, a plant being low-maintenance doesn’t mean that nothing can go wrong at all. If you discover that your bromeliad leaves are turning brown or yellow, then you might be worried that you made some huge mistake.
What can you do about bromeliad leaves turning brown or yellow? Is there a specific reason why this might happen to your bromeliad plant?
Keep reading to dig into all of the details about why this happens with bromeliad plants. Once you understand why the leaves are turning brown or yellow, it’ll be easier to prevent it from happening again.
1 – Watering Your Plant Too Much
One of the most common causes of yellowing is watering a plant too much. You probably know that you can’t water plants too much or they will run into issues, but you might have made a mistake with your bromeliad plant.
When the soil moisture is thrown off, it’ll start to cause the leaves of your bromeliad plant to yellow. You might have been watering your plant before it had the time to truly dry out, and this is what caused the leaves to start yellowing.
It’s going to be important to be more careful when you’re watering bromeliad plants in the future. If you want to do things right, then you’ll need to check the soil with your fingers before you decide to water the plant.
The ideal time to water a bromeliad plant is when the soil is almost completely dry. When you’ve confirmed that the condition of the soil is right, then you’ll be able to water the plant just fine.
You’re also going to need to water the plant until you see the water flowing out of the drainage hole in the plant’s pot. The water that flows onto the saucer that the pot is placed on will need to be discarded or it could cause problems for your plant.
Many people forget to discard the drainage water and allow the plant to sit in the water for too long. This could be very problematic since it can lead to root rot, and that might wind up killing your bromeliad plant.
So long as you’re more careful when you’re watering your plant, it’ll be easy to turn things around. Try allowing your plant to dry out a bit before watering it again, and you might notice that the plant will bounce back to normal over the course of several weeks.
2 – Not Watering Enough
Unsurprisingly, not watering a bromeliad plant enough can lead to significant issues as well. You know that watering too much is dangerous, but not watering enough can easily kill a plant.
If you’ve been waiting too long to water your bromeliad plant, then it might start having its leaves turn brown. When you notice that the leaves are brown, dry, and crispy, it’s a sign that your plant desperately needs water.
It could be that you forgot to water it several weeks in a row or that you weren’t thorough when watering the plant. Above, it was mentioned that you’re supposed to water the plant until you see water flowing from the drainage hole in the pot.
If you only give your bromeliad plant a bit of water, then it might not be getting enough moisture to survive. Failure to turn things around could lead to the death of the plant, and you certainly don’t want that.
Be a bit more careful about watering the plant from now on. Be sure to check the soil and don’t let the soil become bone dry before you water the plant again.
A change in your watering habits could help the plant to spring back to life. It might be good to allow the plant to soak up water from underneath through the drainage hole when it’s turning brown.
You could allow the plant to soak up water this way by filling a basin with around 4” of water. Let it sit in the water for 45 minutes so that it can get the moisture that it desperately needs.
You also want to ensure that the top three inches of the soil become moist. This means that you might need to water it from the top before you stop and let the plant start drying out.
Only do this when the plant is in bad shape and turning brown. Return to normal watering practices after this.
Hopefully, the plant will start to return to normal after you’ve been watering it correctly for some time. So long as you’re paying attention, it’ll be easier to avoid making mistakes such as this.
3 – Humidity Issues
Plants can start to experience leaf browning or yellowing due to humidity issues as well. This is a known problem for bromeliad plants that are kept in environments with low humidity levels.
If your home has very low humidity levels, then you might notice that your plant will dry out faster than it normally would. This can cause the soil to get too dry, and you might wind up seeing the leaves turn brown.
When you don’t solve the humidity issue, things will just get progressively worse. It usually starts with the leaves browning around the edges, but it’ll progress with the leaves turning completely yellow.
Eventually, the leaves will turn brown, and then you’ll see the bromeliad plant’s leaves start to drop. You’ll need to take action to stop things from getting worse once you notice that there is an issue.
You can increase the humidity levels in your home by going out to buy a small humidifier. Many houseplant enthusiasts buy humidifiers to help protect their plants during the winter months.
The winter can be especially bad in certain areas, and some homes will get very dry. A small humidifier placed in the room that you keep your plants in will work wonders.
You could also mist the leaves of your bromeliad plant with water every so often. People have reported good results by using standard misting techniques, but this will involve a bit more effort than just using a humidifier.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s just important to be mindful of the humidity levels in your home. Try to turn things around so that your bromeliad plant can thrive.
4 – Not Getting Enough Sunlight
Not getting enough sunlight will have an impact on your bromeliad plant too. All plants are going to need a certain amount of light to survive, and bromeliad plants simply don’t do well in very low-light environments.
You’re supposed to grow these plants in medium or bright indirect sunlight, but they can survive in environments with somewhat low-light conditions. If you want the plant to be as healthy as possible, then you’ll want to ensure that it has at least medium indirect sunlight.
When you place a bromeliad plant in conditions with very little light, it might wind up developing yellow leaves. If this happens, then you might be able to get it back to looking normal by placing it in a spot that has more appropriate lighting.
Try to find a good spot in your home where the bromeliad plant will thrive. Placing the plant near a window where it can receive indirect light that isn’t too harsh will be ideal.
Placing the plant in full sun would be a bad idea, though. When bromeliad plants are placed in direct sunlight, it’s possible that the leaves will burn.
Direct sun exposure should be kept to a minimum or you’ll be dealing with significant foliage-burning issues. Getting the light conditions right shouldn’t be too hard, but you’ll still want to find a suitable spot for the plant.
5 – Pests Could Be the Cause of Yellowing
There is the potential that the yellowing of the leaves could be caused by pests. There are certain types of insects that will infest your plant and drain it of moisture.
Spider mites are the most common type of pest that you’ll have to deal with when caring for bromeliad plants. These annoying bugs can drain the moisture from your plant, which will cause its leaves to turn yellow.
You might notice that the fronds of the plant will turn yellow as well. Sadly, insects such as this can be a big problem for your plant, and it could even kill the plant if nothing is done.
You’re going to want to try to recognize problems with pests before things get too bad. Insects are more likely to infest plants this way when the plants are in weakened states.
This means that you might have to deal with insect issues when you’ve made other mistakes such as not giving your plant the right lighting conditions. You might wind up spotting spider mites, scale, or mealybugs on your bromeliad.
Thankfully, it isn’t all that tough to get rid of pests like this so long as you’re proactive. There are many types of insecticides that you can use to get rid of them, and you’ll want to do your best to avoid issues such as this in the future.
6 – Some Yellowing Issues Might Be Completely Normal
Yellowing isn’t always something that you need to worry about. There are times when your bromeliad will be growing and new leaves will pop up.
You might wind up noticing that the older leaves are turning yellow. Generally, the older leaves toward the bottom of the plant should be the most likely ones that will experience yellowing.
If you notice something such as this, then it’s completely normal and is part of the growth cycle of the plant. Bromeliad plants need to shed their old leaves so that the energy can be sent to the new leaves that are growing.
When you’re new to caring for bromeliad plants, it’s going to be easy to get alarmed by seeing yellow leaves. While it’s true that yellow leaves can be bad if any of the issues above are in play, it’s also true that it could be completely normal.
It’s going to be up to you to determine if the leaves that are yellowing are old or not. If this is part of the natural process of growth, then you don’t need to do anything at all.
Just don’t mistake natural leaf yellowing that occurs during growth with the other issues above. You don’t want to think that things are fine when there are really mistakes that you need to correct.
Flowers Might Turn Brown as Well
If you see this turning brown and you don’t know about this, then you might worry that you made a mistake. This is also just another natural thing that can happen with these plants when it’s the right time.
Now that you know everything about bromeliad plants and why they might get brown or yellow leaves, it’ll be easier to figure out what to do. There could be mistakes that you’re making that need to be corrected, but it’s also possible that some of the yellowing and browning could be natural.
Just be mindful of what you’re doing so that you don’t make mistakes and harm the plant. You want to ensure that you’re watering the plant properly so that it can get what it needs to thrive.
You’re also going to want to pay attention to the sunlight conditions and humidity levels since those can have an impact. These plants aren’t hard to take care of, and you’ll do well so long as you’re doing the normal things that you should do to take care of plants.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.