A unique and beautiful plant, bromeliads do well in our tropical climate and will add colour and character to your garden. Check out our tips on caring for these unusual plants…
Coming in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours (pineapples and Spanish moss are two very different varieties), bromeliads are epiphytes, which means they live on other plants but are not parasitic, and usually live in the forks of tree branches in tropical climates.
Depending on the specific variety, bromeliads can be great indoor plants or flourish best out in the garden, so they are suitable for nearly any garden type. So for a touch of the tropics consider featuring these plants in your home or garden – wherever that may be!
The most common varieties grow in rosettes of large leaves around a central cup, which is designed to hold water – but if you keep a bromeliad potted indoors, the plant will adapt, so it’s best to keep it in rich, fast-draining soil and not fill the central cup at all (if kept outdoors the centre reservoir should always be kept full of water).
A bromeliad produces offsets (known as ‘pups’) after flowering, and these can be divided and re-potted – a great way to fill your garden with more bromeliads or produce the gift of a plant to others!
Wait until the pup is about one-third of the size of the mother plant, then remove the bromeliad from the garden bed and place on a flat surface. Clean excess soil or bark chips away, then use a knife to cut the pups away from the mother plant – leave a short stem on the pups and clean away any dead or damaged leaves. Partially fill a hanging basket with potting mix and place in 2-3 pups before backfilling and watering in with diluted seaweed solution.
Ensure you keep your bromeliad in a light, airy place (most varieties prefer indirect or filtered light with a little morning and afternoon sun), such as under a tree, in a bright window or under a sky light.
Fertilise with a long-term slow release fertiliser at the rate of a teaspoon to a full pot – while generally bromeliads are fairly easy to grow, this will give great results.
So add some character and colour to your garden with these fantastic tropical plants!