So you’re shopping for a bromeliad and want to plant it yourself. You might be scouring the stores to find the perfect plant, but it’s possible this will not be the first bromeliad you bring home this week. The juicy pineapple that you picked up from the grocery store also belongs to this family of flower.
Bromeliads are characterized by a tank of water protected by fat leaves and brightly colored flowers. They’re beautiful, exotic, and surprisingly easy to care for. They do well in a range of temperatures and planting materials, and can be grown both indoors and out depending on your climate. By following these tips, shopping for a bromeliad couldn’t be easier.
There are many different species of bromeliad available for purchase. Each display unique flower shapes and colors, and will contribute to the style of your house accordingly. And they’re not hard to find. As exotic as these plants are, they’re found at most nurseries and are fairly inexpensive. Expect to pay around $30 if you buy you’re your local gardening store. An enormous range of varieties are available online for much cheaper—under $10 per plant—but ordering plants off the Internet is always risky.
The first thing to think about when buying your bromeliad is size. You can buy a bromeliad to fit on a shelf or a bromeliad that doubles as a tree. Consider the species you want to buy, and make sure you take color into account as well.
If you’re looking for something that will be comfortable growing in a 5 inch pot, take a good look at the Aechmea gamosepala. At their largest, these bright flowers rarely take up more than a square foot, and their flowers are brilliant blue and purple.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, Aechmea lamarchei might be the plant for you. These outdoor bromeliads grow to about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. They’re terrific for landscaping and can live outside in climates that don’t sink below 20 degrees. Just make sure frost isn’t allowed to settle on their leaves or bright red flowers.
Quesnelia testudo fits nicely in the mid-range. These beauties can grow to about 18 inches tall. They have brilliant pink blooms and are great for landscaping as well. They’re also much better at dealing with cold. These bromeliads can survive climates that hover around the upper 20 degree range for extended periods of time.
After you get your bromeliad home, the next to think about is planting. Bromeliads grow in many different materials—some better than others—so first consult your nursery. Bromeliads grow in gravel, perlite, sand, peat and leafmold mixtures, to name a few. Just make sure your material has enough chutzpah to keep your bromeliad upright, good aeration and drainage, but enough moisture-holding capacity to supply water to your plant without getting soggy.
Keep these things in mind when shopping for a bromeliad, and you’re sure to come home with a plant perfect for you. Growing bromeliads is exciting and rewarding; an exotic adventure in a gardening pot.