Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bromeliads, how best to plant them

I have acquired two new bromeliads, three if you count the one I got from the clearance rack about a month ago.   That was flowering, and I figured would put a new pup soon - but that is when they are often put on the clearance rack, discarded.   I have done that before, and then suddenly one day begin to wonder what happened to that plant, only to discover that it must have gone to bromeliad heaven or dissolved into a pile of slime or something, but really is no-where to be found.

I know I had one of these matchstick bromeliad - I have a photo of it blooming on my blog, but where did it go? 
This one with the zigzag sides is different I am sure I have not seen one like it in my garden before - have no idea what the flower would look like, but think it might be a viresia? 
 The other tall ones like this have flowered occasionally with a beautiful flower.  Once again I have proof, looking back on my blog.  How often do they flower though?  Should I pull off the new pup or leave them cleaved together as they are - mother and child?
My bromeliad bed sits there, multiplying and occasionally putting out a bit of color, but in all honesty is not my favorite part of the garden.  

  I have mixed in other plants occasionally, added a few rocks in what I think is an artistic design before removing them knowing that is not what I am looking for.  I guess I need to remove the older "parents", and clean up some of the dying fronds.   I am not sure I want to keep them in pots, but really not sure what will make this area look  a little more artistic and a little less like a pile of bromeliad dumped between the grass and the stones.    
I am going to sink some stepping stones into the grass to create a path alongside, and think this might be a good time to improve the look of this bed.  Any ideas?


Marisa said...

If you are curious about the flowers on your prickly brom, I posted photos of the same one in flower a couple of weeks ago here As to how often they flower, it is only once then they die, leaving pups in their wake. I usually pull off the pups when they are a third the size of the adult (some people cut). My brother has a theory that more pups are produced if you remove existing ones rather than leaving them on the parent. Just make sure if you pull off the pup that you pull slowly downwards so that you get a little of the tissue of the adult that will help them develop roots. Hope this helps.

Louise Michie said...

Not all bromeliads need the same growing conditions. You need to match them to their requirements and not place them all together in the garden.
I suggest you make a journal with a page for each variety that you acquire. It is easier than it sounds. Photograph the plant in bloom if possible, but at least get a good shot of the leaves. Identify it, with the help of the internet or a library book. List its ideal growing conditions. Write where you have planted it in your garden. This will help you sort the shade lovers from the full sun types. Once sorted you will have greater success with propagation. Good luck.

orchid said...

Oh, bromeliads!!! Your garden always amaze me with plants I don't know, my Aussie friend☆☆☆ Many usual ones.

PS> Thank you very much for your comment for my post. Yes, I heard that "edamame" is soybean picked young. But I am not sure what is regular or not (^^;)
Good Luck for growing them as well!!!

Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

David said...

I'm in the same boat and have researched some of the soil mixes and whether or not to keep them in pots vs. in the soil. Since you don't get freezes, you have more options. I'm going to use crushed volcanic rock mixed with a little bit of garden compost and a little bit of large pine bark mulch in clay pots. This will hold water but give the roots lots of air as well. I'm still experimenting. I always plant large bromeliads in smaller than usual pots since they LOVE being overcrowded. They're used to a tiny niche in a treetop so maybe it reminds them of 'home'. LOL :0)
As far as pups are concerned, they need to be at least 1/3 the size of the mother before dividing.
As far as landscaping, I'm also in the same boat and need to do this as well. My suggestion is to have space between the rosettes and leave only one rosette of each of the big types and three clustered rosettes of the small varieties. Replant all the extras in another part of the garden to deal with later. The space in between plants will give each bromeliad some visual definition and excitement. If you can find some white variegated types to put in between the darker or redder leafed varieties, that too will give more visual variety to any landscape. I wish I had an example, but like I said, I need to do this exact thing to my bromeliad garden as well. They are all filled with pups and need to be divided. Maybe someday soon. Have fun and be sure and post photos of what you come up with. I'm sure your creative mind will figure out some nice ideas for the stepping stones as well. And... maybe it will become your favorite garden bed! Who knows? David/:0)

Tara said...

Hi,I have Bromeliads in my front garden and they just seem to keep on growing.We get frost but these guys keep on going.
So,happy you won my giveaway and guess, what I'm having another,pop on over..xx

Rohrerbot said...

I don't have any ideas because I like your plan. I wish they would grow here. I always seem to kill mine from watering too much:)

Missy said...

I use cymbibium mix with some coconut fibre or peat moss added to pot most of my broms. Also you need to use pots with multiple holes in the base. I've planted some in the ground but find unless you plant them in bark and/or rubble they can get waterlogged in wet weather. Sometimes I half-bury the pot (with crusher dust or gravel under it)and sometimes just put a rock or mulch around to hide the pot. A favourite is to hide the pot behind clumps of mondo grass or liriope. They hate being water-logged. They rot.
As Marissa said, once they flower the mother plant dies but sends up pups. You usually end up with at least two or three new plants.

africanaussie said...

Thanks for reminding me Marisa, I went and had another look! I have in the past killed a pup by not removing enough of the mother plant with it, so that is good advice.. well heeded.

africanaussie said...

Louise Michie,
thanks for that advice - it is just so unlike me to catalogue them like that! Great idea though if i can stick to it.

africanaussie said...

I am so lucky to live in the tropics where plants like this grow so easily. It is very hard to find out exactly what type of soybeans they are - I guess because they want to keep it a secret!

africanaussie said...

I have been thinking the same thing - that they need to be spread out a bit more to showcase each plant. the common "hurricane" type look so beautiful when they are flowering en mass though.... I also find that planted so close together they don't get weeds and weeding between bromeliada can be painful.

africanaussie said...

thank you so much, I am honored.

africanaussie said...

I think they are one of the species of plants that can be killed by kindness - they really like to be ignored.

africanaussie said...

I have seen your idea of the pots inside the other pots and think that is a great idea. Your bromeliads are also more spread out as David suggested, I am thinking I might have to remove a bunch of mine so they are more spread out....

Adam said...

I have restricted space and I find bromeliads don't always mix well with other plants when planted in the ground. I have attached them with some coconut figure to tree trunks and branches and they look very natural and are doing really well.

africanaussie said...

Oh yes I agree that they look nice on tree trunks - especially the more common "hurricane" bromeliads.

Susan said...

You've got a nice selection of broms in your garden. I've got a lot of damp areas in my garden too that broms just don't like. I keep my favorites in pots hanging from trees.


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