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Bromeliads

Bromeliads are colorful and exotic plants from the Americas. They are from tropical rainforests to coastal desserts.

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Bromeliads are grown for their variegated and colorful foliage. Bromeliads have spectacular flower spikes and are quite easy to grow.

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They are virtually pest and disease free and require little feeding as many are drought -tolerant.

Growing Habits

Most bromeliads are epiphytic (grow on trees) or lithophytic (grow on rocks), they require very little soil, hence the common name ‘air plant’.

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Bromeliads may be grown by mounting onto wooden slabs, or pieces of driftwood, using wire, fishing line or in small pots using a well drained potting mix.

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Growing Conditions

Bromeliads prefer light and bright with high humidity conditions. A well lit fernery or under trees over the wrmer months and in a sunnier position in the cooler months will be ideal for your bromeliads. They may be kept indoors when they flower.

Watering a Bromeliad

Only use a mist spray on the mounted epiphytic varieties every few days in the warmer months. Reduce this to once a fortnight by mid-winter. Misting is especially important for plants to when kept indoors for a lengthy periods of time because the humidity levels are generally very low to sustain healthy growth.

Constantly fill vase like leaf centres of potted varieties again those kept indoors for lengthy periods of time require more frequent misting.

Fertilizing  and Propagation

Epiphytic bromeliads may be dipped n a weak (1/4 strength) solution of Fish Emulsion every 2 months. Fill the vase centres with a similar strength solution.Plants usually flower after 3-4 years however once a rosette flowers it will never do so again. Offsets, or pups, provide us with new plants and next years flowers.

Here are some common available varieties:

  • Aechmea – vase plants tough grey foliage with pink and blue flowers

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  • Billbergia – and the Queens Tears, good in pots
  • Cryptanthus – Earthstars small, often with variegated foliage

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  • Guzmannia – long flowering pot plants, yellow, red, orange spikes
  • Neoregelia – the leaf vase itself bursts into summer color

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  • Tillandsia – diverse range of epiphytic species:
    • Spanish Moss: tangled mass of silver threads and
    • T. cyanea (pink quill) spectacular pink paddle like spike with large blue flower

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Enjoy your Bromeliads.

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