How To: Trim Your Bromeliads (and Enjoy It!)

12709bromeliad2.jpg Bromeliads are some of the most popular house plants, and with good reason. They come in a beautiful array of colors and foliage; they reproduce on their own, growing cute little baby bromeliads right in their very pots; and they will basically live forever with relatively low maintenance. Sometimes, though—every few months, if our specimen is typical—they need a little attention to their coiffure. Find out how to pamper them after the jump:

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Before

See those yucky brown tips? They aren’t a sign of poor health, just the natural dying off of the bromeliad’s older leaves. But let’s face it: they’re not so attractive. Fortunately, getting rid of them is easy. It takes us back to the days of cutting out shapes in grade school art class. It’s gleefully destructive, but also a nice hands-on outlet for our creativity.

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First, get rid of any totally brown (aka dead) leaves around the base of the plant. You can just strip these right off.

Now comes the fun part. Use a regular old scissors—no gardening tool required. Cop a squat with your plant and hold the dying leaf just below the browned tip. Now shape the tip into a curved V, just like the other healthy leaf tips. You are using your scissors to replicate the natural shape of the healthy leaves. Amazingly, this causes no damage to your plant, as long as you don’t get carried away and start cutting healthy growth. Trust us, once you get started, it’s hard to hold yourself back!

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After the Trim

When you’re finished, give your plant a nice bath, drawing a damp towel gently down the length of each leaf. And voila!

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More bromeliad varieties: via San Francisco Foliage

Special thanks to our friend and horticultural guru Jason Dewees.