Bromeliad: houseplants of the month for March
Exciting shapes and tropical colours: a Bromeliad brings the beauty of the rainforest into your home as a foretaste of spring.
The Bromeliad emerges from a green fountain like a cheerful colourful flame. Tough, easy to manage, flamboyant appearance – Guzmania, Aechmea, Tillandsia, Vriesea and Pineapple plant are real statement plants in your home, thanks to their eye-catching shapes and brilliant colours. And although they may look very exotic, they’re no prima donnas: Bromeliads are easy to manage, carry on looking beautiful for a very long time (up to 6 months!) and are incredibly tough, so they’re suitable for green fingered novices.
Bromeliad are the textbook example of ‘design by nature’. Funnels, cups, feathers, spoons or a confusion of antennae – they offer them all. Those strong shapes make them the perfect plants for the current interiors trend in which the decor is calm, but there are a couple of eye-catching features to lend atmosphere. For a fresh and contemporary effect, you can create a new equilibrium by using masculine shapes in feminine colours and vice versa.
Benefits of Bromeliad
Vriesea produces oxygen at night, and is therefore very suitable as a bedroom plant. All bromeliads help improve the air quality in your home. The infeasibly bright colours help you feel cheerful, and with their unusual shapes they are extremely surprising houseplants that you would hardly believe were real.
Caring for Bromeliad
- Bromeliad like a light spot, but not in full sunlight.
- Water the plant by pouring water into the cup. There’s no need for extra plant food.
- If you want to give your Bromeliad a special treat, dance around it with a plant spray on a warm day.
- From mid-May Bromeliad will also be happy on your patio or balcony.
Look at the leaves
Bromeliad with thick leaves like a dry environment, bromeliads with thin leaves prefer a damper spot. That means that Tillandsia is a classic bathroom companion and Aechmea is a windowsill warrior who can tolerate some central heating. The varieties with grey hairs prefer being dry and in full sun.
In the wild Bromeliad grow in both the Andes mountains and the warm rainforests of South and Central America. There are some 2800 species. Bromeliads probably originated in the Cretaceous period, some 65 million years ago. Fossil specimens have been dated to 30 million years ago. That ancient Bromeliad did not differ much from the plants you can find at the florist and garden centre today: it really is a piece of natural history in your home.
- There are bromeliad that grow on the ground (terrestrial) and bromeliads that grow on trees (epiphytic) in order to get more light.
- Tillandsia is an epiphytic bromeliad which can also grow on telephone wires, walls and trees. It has no harmful effect on the tree, because it draws moisture and food from the air with both its roots and its leaves.
- What most people think are flowers are actually coloured bracts. The real flowers are very small.
- The Incas, Aztecs and Mayans used virtually every part of the flower for food, protection, fibres and ceremonies.
- In the 18th century Belgian traders brought the first specimens to Europe, where Bromeliad were viewed as highly exotic.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 23 February 2017