Garden Bloggers Foliage Day -Bromeliads

I fell in love with Bromeliads years ago when I lived much further north. As a part of my Landscape Architecture practice, I produced Interiorscape Designs for Regional Shopping Malls. Everyone liked to use Guzmania Bromeliads in the Mall plantings because the flowers lasted for 3 months. I became intrigued by these plants at the time, but it was hopeless for me to grow them as houseplants. Little did I know 30 years later I would have a mad Rainforest Garden full of all kinds of Bromeliads.

When shopping for Bromeliads, the first thing that you find is the named varieties are outrageously expensive. Given my complete lack of knowledge about growing Bromeliads outside I wasn’t about to spend $50 on a plant that I might kill in short order. Then, I found an unusual local custom – at South Florida garage sales, people commonly sell passalong Bromeliads, the problem is, for the most part no one has a clue what the plant is. So, I am learning the hard way. Even without knowing the Bromeliads name, the foliage is always really interesting, as are the people you meet along the way.

I have a number of Blushing Bromeliads in my garden. These can be Aechmea or Neoregelia types and I don’t really know which is who. However, in the spring they blush by turning red in the center and start to produce pups. I would hazard a guess this is because the rainy season will begin shortly and the smaller plants survival rate goes up with ample water. The rest of the year the foliage is nearly all green.20170421_130341-120170421_12594220170421_125909

Below is a pup on a Blanchetiana Bromeliad. I think this is a Lemon. They are available in Lemon, Raspberry and Orange. After flowering the mother plant begins to die and produces pups. Some do this without flowering. I will cut the pup off with a bit of root and replant it. The Blanchetiana is an Aechmea type that is fairly common in South Florida, they are usually about 4 feet tall and will spread much further than 4 feet. The Bromeliads at the top of the post are Blanchetianas.


Stripes and spots:

Most of these are Neoregelia, some type of Fireball variety. The spotted ones hold their color for most of the year. The striped ones turn red in the winter. The darker purple ones are Hallelujah Billbergia with white spots and Luca with green spots. Hallelujah has probably the strangest flower of all – red, white and blue; it is a bit much with the foliage.


This last one is one of my favorites. Locally called Painted Fingernail, I think it is an Aechmea variety, literally tough as nails. It is growing in the full sun Hellstrip in my front yard, no irrigation. The foliage is olive in full sun, but the green deepens and the fingernail is darker fuchsia in the shade. And it thrives in both places, there are always good reasons for a passalong.



22 comments on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day -Bromeliads

  1. Christina says:

    That was a fascinating post, thank you. I can only dream of growing plants like this; you have obviously learned a lot; do you now feel confident to spend more on a plant are are there so many interesting varieties available at garage sales that you don’t feel the need to purchase elsewhere? Thanks for joining GBFD with such an interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve says:

    You are right the colours in the leaves are fantastic. Bromeliads are some thing I would struggle with even in a greenhouse!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FlowerAlley says:

    Wonderland yard you have there, Queen. Variegation has always fascinated me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never had much luck with them and they should be able to grow here. So they like dry or wet soil? Also, rabbits tend to eat them. I don’t know why…good fiber?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very cool. My son and I put together a 40 gallon tadpole tank with a waterfall. It is very humid and will be a great place to experiment with tropical plants. We planted our first bromeliad in there yesterday, the learning begins. Thanks for your info!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They’re gorgeous, Amy. Are those little flowers in the centre of some of them?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Until just now I knew absolutely nothing about these exotics, wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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