Bromeliad Treasures

Once regarded purely as a collectors item, bromeliads have become the friend to landscaper and gardener alike.

Bromeliads provide so much diversity that it is possible to find a plant for virtually every position imaginable in a garden. Full sun, full shade, on a rocky escarpment, on the trunks of trees, in pots on high rise balconies or even decorating a dining room table as a centre piece… there is a bromeliad to meet your needs.

Professional landscapers like bromeliads due to their resilience to tolerate neglect, their long lasting flower or foliage colour tones, their high impact visual appeal and their impressive diversity.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s the trend to native gardens resulted in the Bromeliads being regarded as second rate garden plants. Prices plummeted as few people were interested in purchasing these plants. These days, collector specimens can fetch very high prices (some costing a few hundred dollars) however there is now a range of plant varieties available from most garden centres at reasonable prices.

Perhaps the most common types of bromeliads to be used in landscaping are the ones that form a classical rosette of leaves that are blotched, striped or coloured. The flower inflorescence is either a small cluster of blossoms in the water well within the rosette, or a tall spike with vibrant coloured sheaths and blossoms.


Top list - Full Sun Large Plants
Aechmea blanchetiana
Aechmea mexicana
Aechmea callichroma
Alcantarea glazouiana
Alcantarea imperialis
var. rubra

Top list - Full Sun Small Plants
Neoregelia compacta
Neoregelia
‘Sheeba’
Neoregelia olens

Top list - Large Plants For Part Shade
Neoregelia ‘Gee Whiz’
Neoregelia ‘Green Apple’
Neoregelia richteri
Werauhia sanguinolenta
var. rubra

 

Modern landscapes benefit from the strong architectural shapes of bromeliads. They can be potted into stylish planters for impact at the entrance of a home or within the courtyard. These plants are a favourite for office foyers, apartments and shopping centres… a good indication of their toughness.

Tropical styled landscapes can always benefit with a bromeliad or two... or a few hundred. Luckily the plants self propagate themselves quite easily so it is possible to create large swaths of bromeliad plants over time.

Apartment dwellers with limited space can also appreciate these plants. As a pot plant, most varieties will last up to 2 months in flower, some even longer. Even the air plant oddity Tillandsia glued onto a piece of stone or shell will make an interesting plant or ‘pet’.

 

Note: Mosquitoes love to breed in water, particularly within bromeliads.

There are a number of methods used to reduce and remove mosquito larvae from your bromeliads add a pellet of Nomoz into each bromeliad’s well

blast the centre of the plant with a jet of water from the hose to flush out old water and any larvae add a drop of organic detergent to each bromeliad well.

 

 

Bromeliads are well suited to tropical, subtropical and temperate climate gardens. To learn more about bromeliads, check out subTropical Gardening magazine www.stgmagazine.com





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