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Bromeliads

The Bromeliad Family (Bromeliaceae)

Bromeliads can be grown in containers, on tree trunks or slabs as epiphytes or in well drained, preferably high organic soil. They are generally low growing rosettes, grown for their colour (flower and foliage), hardiness, and unique form and texture.

General Cultural Hints

  • If in doubt, provide good light but not direct sun.
  • In dry climates, mist foliage in hot weather.
  • Generally prefer temperatures above 75 degrees F.
  • Don't water (or reduce watering) in cool weather when growth stops.
  • After flowering the rosette which produces the flower often dies but is replaced by offshoots - this is natural.
  • Brown or dead leaf tips indicate lack of humidity.
  • Brown patches on foliage may be sunburn.
  • Scale and mealy bug sometimes a problem.

Some Types of Bromeliad

AECHMEA

Generally very hardy, widely grown, size shape and colour extremely variable amongst around 200 species, tolerant of full sun or shade.

ANNAS

8 species, all with spiny leaves. A. comosus (The Pineapple) is the most widely grown, both as a commercial crop and in home gardens. Hardy in well drained but moist soil. Takes up to 2 years to bare fruit.

BILLBERGIA

61 species, foliage generally taller, tubular and with less leaves than other bromeliads, stalks bearing tubular flowers spring from the centre of the plant, very hardy, tolerate full sun.

CRYPTANTHUS (Earth stars)

26 species, form low flattish rosettes, hardy, grow in sun or shade, dry or wet, foliage colours variable, flowers white.

GUSMANIA

158 species, native to wet humid forests, usually growing on trees, flowers yellow to red and orange, avoid cool areas, best in wet tropics.

NEOREGELIA

94 species, great variety in foliage colour and texture, vary from small (3 cm diameter) to large plants (over 1 metre diameter).

NIDULARIUM

42 species, medium size plants, flowers red, white or blue, leaves have fine spines.

TILLANDSIA

Plant size can vary considerably, Difficult at high altitudes, most gave bluish tubular flowers.

VRIESEA

Approx. 290 species, very adaptable though commonly native to tropical rainforests, ideally part shade, spineless leaves, cold tolerant, foliage variable in texture and colours.

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