With spring time on the horizon, it was time to start sprucing up my landscape garden. I try to make the garden interesting using a variety of plant materials with differing form, texture and foliage color. My latest planting incorporates bromeliads into the landscape. There are countless species to select from, their form, leaf color, texture and flowering are extremely unique and incredibly beautiful. Fortunately, there is a fantastic nursery in north San Diego County specializing in bromeliads and tillandsia, www.birdrocktropicals.com
Visits are by reservation only, but well worth it. Although I’m a horticulturist, bromeliads are a specialty species I had little actual knowledge on species planting and maintenance requirements. I have a very difficult planter area that is full shade in the winter, full sun in the summer. Another planter changes varies from shade to part shade seasonally.
I received a great education while guided through the nursery, learned a great deal about bromeliad breeding, potting and maintenance. Another great tip they provided was leaving the plant in the container while planting in the landscape. Bromeliads, similar to orchids, are tropical understory plants. They are adapted to very poor, thin tropical soils and do not like heavy, clay poorly drained soils. Unlike typical ornamentals. they also prefer contained environments, smaller plants do not like being potted into large containers. They should remain in smaller containers until they grow multiple pups, filling the container to the point where watering becomes difficult.
Another advantage of planting them in their containers is being able to remove them if the environment becomes to shady or sunny for the individual plant. I’m excited about these beautiful plants, hoping they grow and multiply!