WHAT BROMELIADS CAN GROW OUTSIDE?
All of them. They are better off
outside! Compare the two habitats:
a. Natural habitat: rain water,
humidity and dew, nightly cool-down, good light,
b. Home habitat: no dew, no
cool-down, less intense light, poor air circulation, and
ARE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
a. Fungus: none, under normal
b. Insects and snails/slugs: no
insects other than scale (in the North); snail damage
c. Animals: rodents may eat
d. Toxic chemicals: major danger:
copper and copper ions Avoid contact with water runoff
lumber, with algaecides containing copper compounds, and
e. Sunburn: bleaching out of red
pigment, bleaching out of chlorophyll, burn spots
f. Bases of outer leaves develop
brown (dead) areas. Plant remains healthy.
DO YOU GO ABOUT MOVING THEM OUTSIDE?
a. Get them used to the intenser
b. Leave them in their pots.
c. Sink the pots in the ground or
leave them above ground.
d. Make sure the pots will drain
4. HOW DO YOU CARE FOR THEM OUTSIDE?
a. Check periodically to make sure
they have water. They will stay moist longer than the
the medium is mostly peat moss.
b. Make sure the water from the hose
is neither too hot nor too cold.
c. Be careful about sprayingwhen the
sun might burn the leaves.
d. If you like to fertilize, your
plants will benefit most from it during this summer
period of high
activity. However, for compact size and best color
fertilize neoregelias and billbergias
if at all.
IN WHAT WAYS CAN THEY BE DISPLAYED EFFECTIVELY?
Hang them up! Many broms are natural
candidates for the hanging basket: (stoloniferous Neos,
Aechmeas such as orlandiana, fosteriana, nudicaulis,
Aechmeas with pendent inflorescences:
Foster's Favorite). Baskets can be hung on shepherd's
crooks to decorate a walkway. Neos, especially,
can be better appreciated if one looks down into them.
Tillandsias can be hung from
trees or on a fence. They can also be fastened to trunks
Put them in a planter! Single accent
plants in the center, or a grouping. Contrast with
foliage plants-licorice plant, artemisia, Wandering Jew,
Put them in the border!
Use them as accents in under-tree plantings!
They can make mulch under a tree easier to look at.
Ground covers can make a striking foil. Some excellent
groundhugging plants are Ajuga
Blue Bugle), Lamium (Dead Nettle) Thyme.
Put them in a garden bed! A succession of
color is possible in a garden shaded by trees during the
summer. It will get sun until the leaves come out. In
February and March species crocus bloom, followed by
Iris reticulata, scilla, chionodoxa, hybrid crocus in
late March, in April the hyacinths and tulips
bloom, as their foliage is yellowing, the ground
cover-Ajuga repens-begins to leaf out and
send up its spikes of deep purple flowers. When
they are through blooming, the spikes can be cut off,
the foliage of the spring bulbs removed, weeds
pulled, and, now that the danger of frost is past, the
bromeliads (in this case Neoregelias) can be put
into the ground. They are already colorful
but their color intensifies through the summer,
thus providing a beautiful exotic display until
Make a mini-garden! A
small desertscape with succulent bromeliads and cactus.
tillandsias grow on cactus in their native habitat. A
moss garden with cryptanthus and ferns.
Mount them on rock! What a centerpiece
for a rock garden! The specimen to be mounted must
be firmly held to the rock (with wire, e.g.) so that it
will be able to send out its own roots and attach
itself. Use porous volcanic rock. Billbergias and
aechmeas do well on rock.