A cousin of the tasty Hawaiian pineapple, the exotic Bromeliad (Bromeliad) adds a tropical touch to outdoor gardens during the summer. An unusual tropical plant that adds exotic color and texture to interior décor, Bromeliad plants can be moved into patio containers or outdoor garden beds in early summer when nighttime temperatures are dependably above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Native to tropical South and Central America, West Africa and the South Pacific islands, Bromeliads belong to a family of plants of more than 3,000 species diverse enough to include wispy, aerial-growing Spanish moss and spiky-fruited pineapples. Bromeliads store water in a reservoir formed at the base of their tightly-overlapping leaves. In their natural tropical environment, rainwater and water condensing from humid air is channeled into this reservoir by the angled shape of the plant’s leaves.
The spiky green foliage and striking, bright-hued, leafy blooms of this unusual plant give gardens a deeply exotic, other-world appearance. Bromeliads make stunning container plants and eye-catching focal points in summer garden beds. Consider making a Bromeliad the centerpiece of a stunning succulent garden. Surrounded by fleshy-petalled Succulents, spiny Aloe Vera, the green florets of Sempervivum, also known as Hens and Chicks, and stubby trails of Burro Tail, Bromeliad provides sharp color and textural contrast to lower-growing succulents. Large rock boulders and flat slate shelves can be added to succulent gardens to create multiple levels and interesting niches from which succulents can peek.
Easy to care for, tropical Bromeliads should be watered well but allowed to dry between waterings. Take care not to over-water. When air humidity drops below 50%., Bromeliads should be misted daily during active growth. For best display, fertilize once a month. Bomeliads require medium light, about 3 to 6 hours of filtered sunlight daily. These interesting plants grow beautifully in containers under slat-roofed patios or in garden beds under lacey-leaved trees like Locusts.