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Landscaping with bromeliads

28 posts in this topic

We are pushing bromeliads hard nowadays in our landscapes because in SW Florida they require:

NO irrigation

NO fertilizer

NO pest control

NO trimming

and they look beautiful year-round. That's music to peoples' ears in this economy!

Here is a planter we just re-did for a customer. It used to have half-dead leafy bushes that looked terrible

DSCN5859.jpg

And another planter bed we did on Sanibel Island with an Androlepis skinneri. All ZERO maintenance plants (except the impatients)

Androskinnerikaim.jpg

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A few of mine on my back lanai table:

DSCN5894.jpg

DSCN5885.jpg

A really cool neo (don't know the name)

DSCN5884.jpg

Aechmea 'Star of Linda'. This one has an incredible pink bloom!

DSCN5893.jpg

Neo. Picasso

NeoPicasso12.jpg

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Canistrum seidelianum

Canistrumsandelianumtop.jpg

Ananas lucida variegated

Ananaslucida.jpg

Aechmea chantinii 'De Leon'

AecblackchantiniiDeLeon.jpg

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Neo. 'Tossed Salad'

Neotossedsaladsun.jpg

Aec. Albo-Mexicana and Aec. Bromelifolia

AecMexicanaandPurple.jpg

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:greenthumb: I approve of this message! :) Although I wouldn't say they are zero maintenance -- they have to be cleaned up and divided occasionally, but if you are selective, that can be a very infrequent job.
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Very nice JD...That Aec. chantinii 'De Leon' is really cool.........

I'm a big fan of the chantinii group, and have a couple i will post elsewhere so i don't bugger up your post.

Rusty

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Nice stuff JD.

I'm going to concur with Kim about the "zero maintenance" aspect. Don't get too complacent into thinking that broms don't get bugs, don't like feeding, don't need water, and never need pruning. Sure their requirements for these are minimal but they will really shine for you with a little TLC.

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Very nice... I am still working towards building my collections back up... I used to have quite a few and then disaster strike :angry: . Now, trying to get the canopy up before start collecting again....

Regards, Ari :)

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Kim, I understand your viewpoint, but nowhere in my post did I say "no maintenance". I don't know about broms in CA, but here in FL the dead leaves quickly turn into mulch and the dead mother plants (after flowering) decompose and turn into mulch in a matter of weeks leaving no trace. I think it has to do with our heat, humidity, water, etc.

Gonzer, Ours breed mosquitoes every once and a while, but it basically isn't a problem. Other than that they're pest free! As far as fertilizing, it turns them all green here (lose their beautiful colors) which is bad, the dew that collects on the leaves in the morning is enough to water 95% percent of the broms we sell, and as far as pruning refer to my comments to Kim.

Both your points are well taken, but you guys are also both in CA :P

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We are pushing bromeliads hard nowadays in our landscapes because in SW Florida they require:

NO irrigation

NO fertilizer

NO pest control

NO trimming

and they look beautiful year-round. That's music to peoples' ears in this economy!

And another planter bed we did on Sanibel Island with an Androlepis skinneri. All ZERO maintenance plants (except the impatients)

I guess there's something here I didn't understand... :)

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I actually thought broms were a bit of high maintenance... don't get me wrong, I love them... but splitting them up is the 'big' job. Neos pup all the time, and especially the big neos, you have to take the pups, otherwise they will grow at weird angle and never get the full rosette look. Also, I water them twice a week (except during monsoon).

So, yes... I agree with Kim... I wouldn't say they need 'No' maintenance... Yes, I live in the tropics...

Regards, Ari :)

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Please understand, I love bromeliads, and your photos nicely demonstrate their beauty. I am always impressed by a Florida-grown Androlepis skinneri. But bromeliads do grow, bloom, pup, and die, requiring occasional cleanup, and in a dry climate they must be watered. Still, compared to something like roses, they are very easy and no waiting for them to bloom to look good -- the foliage color and form are beautiful all the time. :greenthumb: :greenthumb:

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Ari, You are correct, but if you don't split them up, you still get the "natural" look and they still grow just fine and look beautiful.

Kim, I think we're on the same page :)

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I used to have a fairly large bromeliad collection at my house in Fort Lauderdale. Most of the plants I had imported from Brazil over the years and many were collected out in the bush. I ended up with a forest of bromeliads growing in beds around the yard. The good thing is that they are relatively easy to clean up and replant. Although it is easy to get cuts do to the spines on many if you are not careful. When I sold my house I invited the folks from the Boca Raton bromeliad society to come and take what the wanted. Than in fact is how I met Kitty of Palm Talk. I only have two of my bromeliads from there growing here in Brazil now.

One thing I started to be concerned about was dengue fever which is a local problem in most of Brazil. Since the dengue mosquito is a domestic insect it would seem that bromeliads would provide a perfect home. But, according to research done in Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere bromeliads are not good habitats for mosquitos. So, I am not too concerned about this now. I do flush out the cups occaisionally when watering them though.

dk

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JD, to keep your broms colorful and vibrant use a low nitrogen/high P-K fert. Cactus Juice ® (1-7-6) works wonders for the health of your collection.

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JD, to keep your broms colorful and vibrant use a low nitrogen/high P-K fert. Cactus Juice ® (1-7-6) works wonders for the health of your collection.

Gonzer, thanks for that heads up on Cactus Juice....i found a place online where i can order it and plan to try it!

....i know that a higher N component isnt good for some genera, but have tried a very dilute application of what i use on my orchids, that being dilute as well, and as long as the plant is young i have seen some great results in growth, and the colour doesn't seem to be diminished as long as i hold back the urge to PUSH...granted, there are lot's of examples where 'growing 'hard' yields better conformation and colour.

Thanks again for the tip. look forward to trying it.

Rusty

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Gonzer,

I just may try that with a few of them. I usually prefer to let them grow off nature though. Many of the growers we buy from fertilize them as juveniles to get longer & broader leaves, then take them off the ferto to bring the color back just before they sell them and well before they've flowered.

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Hi All

Yeah I love my broms too.

JD-your nice one is Neo Luna Variegated.

I have found when the clumps get big they do attract scale, so keep an eye out for that.

Cheers

Dennis

neos3.jpg

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I used to have a fairly large bromeliad collection at my house in Fort Lauderdale. Most of the plants I had imported from Brazil over the years and many were collected out in the bush. I ended up with a forest of bromeliads growing in beds around the yard. The good thing is that they are relatively easy to clean up and replant. Although it is easy to get cuts do to the spines on many if you are not careful. When I sold my house I invited the folks from the Boca Raton bromeliad society to come and take what the wanted. Than in fact is how I met Kitty of Palm Talk. I only have two of my bromeliads from there growing here in Brazil now.

dk

And I still have the descendents of those bromeliads in my garden! Some don't even look like they did when I dug them up. And a few, no one has been able to identify. Don certainly was inspirational in adding to my large collection of bromeliads!

I use them and ferns for ground cover. Bromeliads in dry areas and ferns in wet areas. I love the fact that I can put in a few and in a couple of years, no longer need to weed or mulch that area. And since my goal is to eliminate all but a small patch of lawn, they are perfect plants. I do thin them occasionally. But I usually "plant" mine in a pot in the mulch. that way I can just pull the pot out and work on them, then replant the pot. And I have plants to share or sell.

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Dennis, Thanks for the ID! I'll make a tag for it tonight. Love your picture of broms. Looks like they're all variegated... good man!

Kitty, I agree with every word you said in your second paragraph :)

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I've always been fond of Aechmea 'Bert', it's just got pizazz.

DSC_0031-1.jpg

gratuitous random blossom shot

DSC_0038-1.jpg

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Aechmea 'Bert" is one of the best for trees. I have them on my pine trees and they will just keep getting bigger and bigger. And they take almost full sun.

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I have been meaning to get Aechmea 'Bert'... but I kept on forgetting to get them whenever I go to the brom place...

Regards, Ari :)

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Hi again

JD-here is a pic of my Luna....Flowering at the moment. Hope I get lots of pups for Xmas!

Luna.jpg

Bert variegated is also stunning, though I removed a pup on Saturday and its a novar!

Bertvari.jpg

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I think we in Florida have been free of scale problems. We do have a destructive weevil from Honduras that's largely destroyed the native Tillandsia bromeliads. Other bromeliads seem vulnerable, but so far I'm not seeing problems.

I'm doing nicely with Neoregelia and Aechmea, mostly under an oak in an old, established bed that seems extremely popular with moles. Anything with roots runs afoul of their activities (apart from a few native vines that have to be pulled periodically). This fall, I cleared the bed and potted the surplus rosettes for a nearby botanical garden to sell at their fall sale.

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Dave, from a personal view how bad did the weevil affect the Tillandsia pop.?

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PalmsZA, Love the variegated Bert...

What would this be:

DSCN5755.jpg

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JD, i always have a hard time telling the difference between 'Bert variegated' and 'Reverse Ensign' ( the fosteriana part of Bert should be a dead giveaway, but...) ...sorry, an untrained eye at work.....

Rusty

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