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A forum for growing fruits and rare tropical and temperate fruits, and tending our orchards

Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:02 pm

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Hey everyone,

I've recently become interested in growing bromeliads. Couldn't help but notice some beautiful colorful ones that got me interested.

I've got two different kinds of neoregelias


this one neoregelia lila ( i think)
Image

and this one neoregelia donger
Image

these two were given to me at the same time, one stayed inside for a few weeks while the other went outside in sun right away. I love the pink coloration Image

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:59 pm

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Does anyone have experience with these?? They seem like easy care plants with good cold hardiness, I don't see why they aren't grown more widely. especially outdoors

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby Silas_AllSpice » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:44 am

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Great Plants! Have a couple Neos, and several Tillandsias in my own collection atm.

To answer your question, I think a big reason most Bromeilads are rarely seen hare in the Bay Area is simply due to perception... the notion that, because most Bromeilad-type plants are seen in the house plant sections of a/b/c garden center, they must be too tender to survive outdoors in our area. While there are plenty, which will not stand anything below say 34F-ish for any length of time, there's a whole list of species within most of the larger bromeliad genera which survive some degree of cold exposure, as long as they are protected and the duration of cold exposure is brief.

Another thought is that Bormeliads, especially the tank-types, have to live in shady, steamy places where the "tank" is constantly filled with water. While this part of the statement is true, there are a number of species which like lots of sun.. even Tillandsias. Some species grow in the Atacama Desert.

While I have lost a few species: most notibly Aechmea "Del Mar" last winter, and Tillandsia dyeriana, a stunningly beautiful bromeliad which looks like a Heliconia when in flower, but must be kept warm all year, most of my collection has done well thus far. My biggest challenge has been keeping the birds from stealing all of my Spanish moss clumps. Still, it does fine here and blooms at least twice a year. Still awaiting blooms on Tillandsia duratii though.

The only big concern with bromeliads like Neos or Alcanterias planted en-masse below say a large live oak, like they are in Florida, is Mosquitoes... This was a sometimes contentious topic back in FL.

Overall, i think people would warm up to trying them more in their landscapes if they could see examples of thriving specimens in a neighbor's landscape, or attached to some trees in the demo garden areas at a nursery.

Fyi, Bromeila penguin (Heat of Flame) is the nastiest plant i have ever had the pleasure walking into, lol. The fruit of this species are edible, tasting sort of like tiny Pineapples.

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:17 am

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Silas_AllSpice wrote:Great Plants! Have a couple Neos, and several Tillandsias in my own collection atm.

To answer your question, I think a big reason most Bromeilads are rarely seen hare in the Bay Area is simply due to perception... the notion that, because most Bromeilad-type plants are seen in the house plant sections of a/b/c garden center, they must be too tender to survive outdoors in our area. While there are plenty, which will not stand anything below say 34F-ish for any length of time, there's a whole list of species within most of the larger bromeliad genera which survive some degree of cold exposure, as long as they are protected and the duration of cold exposure is brief.

Another thought is that Bormeliads, especially the tank-types, have to live in shady, steamy places where the "tank" is constantly filled with water. While this part of the statement is true, there are a number of species which like lots of sun.. even Tillandsias. Some species grow in the Atacama Desert.

While I have lost a few species: most notibly Aechmea "Del Mar" last winter, and Tillandsia dyeriana, a stunningly beautiful bromeliad which looks like a Heliconia when in flower, but must be kept warm all year, most of my collection has done well thus far. My biggest challenge has been keeping the birds from stealing all of my Spanish moss clumps. Still, it does fine here and blooms at least twice a year. Still awaiting blooms on Tillandsia duratii though.

The only big concern with bromeliads like Neos or Alcanterias planted en-masse below say a large live oak, like they are in Florida, is Mosquitoes... This was a sometimes contentious topic back in FL.

Overall, i think people would warm up to trying them more in their landscapes if they could see examples of thriving specimens in a neighbor's landscape, or attached to some trees in the demo garden areas at a nursery.

Fyi, Bromeila penguin (Heat of Flame) is the nastiest plant i have ever had the pleasure walking into, lol. The fruit of this species are edible, tasting sort of like tiny Pineapples.


Thank you for your response!

Initially, I had thought the same thing, that all bromeliads, because they were sold in the house plant section were ultra tropical and would need heat.This is the biggest reason I never had an immense interest in them.

Recently I happened to see bright red neo var. donger on ebay.. and upon reading about them noted their cold hardiness and tolerance to full sun.. So impressed I wandered to the local home depot.. where I was in luck to see that literally had just set up a new shipment of Neo's and "del mar" I picked up the neo lila, and was considering purchasing a "del mar" and was given the donger by a sales person ( the offsets were on the floor the orignal plant having been sold or thrown out) the sales person told me they were trash bound if I didn't take them.. No problem there! lol.

I thought they might need acclimation to full sun, but i noted I put one in full sun immediately and it hasn't burned but instead started morphing to a brilliant red/pink!

about mosquitoes, I could see this as a problem, When I watered the neo "lula" I noticed there were mosquito larvae they came up in the center cone.. very interesting stuff.. Will have to see what can be done about this.

I googled the t. dyeriana and thought they were pictures of a heliconia.. how impressive.

the last one you mentioned does resemble pineapple. which I have grown. they seem to be trouble free and easy to grow, but as I recently learned from studying bromeliads, they respond well with liquid fertilizers directly in the crown! I had been feeding them only on their roots, after I changed this ( a couple of weeks ago) I noticed an immediate increase in growth rate,

I love learning new things.. I'm excited to be able to try more bromeliads out. Do you recommend any in particular besides the ones you mentioned?

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby Ahem... » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:31 pm

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BayAreaTropical25 wrote:Hey everyone,

I've recently become interested in growing bromeliads. Couldn't help but notice some beautiful colorful ones that got me interested.

I've got two different kinds of neoregelias


this one neoregelia lila ( i think)
Image

and this one neoregelia donger
Image

these two were given to me at the same time, one stayed inside for a few weeks while the other went outside in sun right away. I love the pink coloration Image

Some of my favorite plants!
Ahem...

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby Oolie » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:07 pm

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Just pineapples. They're something vigorous once they decide they want to live.

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby Silas_AllSpice » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:49 pm

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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:16 am
Location: San Jose,CA
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Bay Area,

Yeah, I was pretty disappointed when my T. dyeriana collapsed. Tried to save a couple offsets the mother had produced but, even a couple nights outside at my apartment which was approx.15 min east of Indian Rocks Beach ( in Florida) was cold enough to kill it and by "cold" I mean a couple nights in the mid 50's. Anyhow.

As far as recommendations... the possibilities are endless and, like orchids or things like Plumerias, collecting Broms can become addictive since there are always new cultivars popping up. Me myself?? Neos, Aechmeas and Billbergias are 1, 2, and 3 on my bromeliad list since there are so many awesome species and cultivars to choose from. I especially like species which form colonies such as Neoregelia ampullacea or ones like "fireball" since they can fit almost anywhere and look cool hanging from a slab of cork or a branch. I also like the "Matchstick" types of Aechmeas since they produce blue flowers and are generally considered to be quite hardy.

Others I want to add are Vriseas, Alcantereas, and Hohenbergias... Still, there are things like Dyckias, Hechtias, and Deuterocohnia which looks like moss.

Than of course, there are the Puyas.. which are nothing short of incredible when seen in full bloom. Id always thought the flowers on these would be small or not much to look at but boy was I wrong lol. and talk about Hummingbird magnets... there must have been at least half a dozen, or more, fighting over all the Puyas in the desert garden when I visited The Huntington back in April.

The big thing is finding the hardiest species/hybrids to start off with, than working with the more challenging stuff. Strangely enough, it wasn't until I had moved to Florida that I really got interested in Bromeliads and pursued growing some alongside orchids on a bench I had set up outside my apartment.

Really, among all the groups of intriguing plants on this planet, Bromeliads have to be some of the most incredible. They were also a big inspiration for Avatar. At least this is what I was told by a gentleman from Rainforest Flora while visiting their booth at the Pac.Orchid Expo a couple years ago. -Nathan-

Re: Does anyone grow bromeliads?

Postby chicomoralessxm » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:14 pm

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Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:37 am
Climate Zone: 10-12
Just wondering where can i get some tropical bromeliads
at a really good price? anyone has pups for sale?


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