Growing Guzmania

Guzmania are a type of bromeliad native to South and Central America. Though popular as an easy to grow indoor plant, they are also suitable as an outdoor container plant in summer months.


Prefer bright, indirect light, Southern exposure in winter months only. Outdoors, find a sheltered shady spot.


Adapted to withstand drought, water when top 2” of soil has started to dry out. Guzmania foliage forms a unique ‘vase’ that in nature is essential to storing water. However indoors, after watering, be sure to tip your plant over to empty out any water that has collected in the centre of the plant. **Avoid using metal containers to water bromeliads, they are very sensitive to metals.


Prefer a humid environment, place plants on pebble trays or mist regularly.


Guzmania are not heavy feeders, and will only require fertilizing once every 3 months, with a half strength application of orchid fertilizer such as Schultz Orchid 15-5-5.

Getting Your Guzmania to Bloom

Most Guzmania are bought in flower, which can last for months. Once finished, the bloom can be cut off at the base. Though the main plant will not flower again, it will likely produce up to 2-3 ‘pups’ (new plants). These pups can then be divided from the main plant, repotted and allowed to grow to maturity and bloom. Pups should be divided away from the main plant when they are about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the mature plant. Pot up into a well drained indoor potting mix such as Pro Mix Premium Potting Mix.

Forcing a Bloom

Once the newly potted pups have matured to full size, you can ‘force’ them to bloom. Empty the ‘vase’ of the plant of any water and encase it in a large plastic bag accompanied by a slice of apple, kiwi or banana. These fruits give off ethylene gas, which will help force the plant into bloom. Keep the plant in the bag for 10 days and then remove the covering. With a little luck, the plant should bloom in six to 10 weeks.