We at Transforming Gardens love using bromeliads in our landscape designs and garden makeovers.
Our team frequently use them as accent plants, or group them together to get the effect of bold, contrasting forms, texture and colour, that add a touch of the exotic to the landscape.
Alternatively, we plant the bromeliads in groups and mix with a palette of neutral plants around them with soft, green foliage, like Liriope, , Philodendron’Xanadu’ and Alternanthera.
Using these ‘foil’ plants in the landscape accentuates the bold ‘pizza’ colours of the bromeliads.
Transforming Gardens recently sourced an Alacanterea, as an accent plant in a design, for a garden in Hope Island, Gold Coast.
Affectionately dubbed ‘Geoffrey’ by our team (see below), we used this beautiful specimen to meet our clients’ needs of providing a ‘wow factor’ to their residential entry statement.
These plants soak up the sun and create one of the most eye-catching species in the plant kingdom.
Alcantarea is a group of extremely large Bromeliads, some reaching sizes of 1.5m across with flower spikes 2.5m high. In their natural habitat they are often found perched on the beautiful high rocky cliffs of Brazil.
They require an extremely free draining mix and are tolerant to most positions, with some varieties performing well in either full sun, or part shade. The best colours are usually achieved in high light. Foliar feeding with a liquid fertilizer produces good results. Thrive or Powerfeed works well.
The care of bromeliads is easy!
Bromeliad leaves form rosettes or whorls and once they have flowered they die.
However, these dead whorls serve a function, generating energy and feeding this energy into the new rosettes-the pups.
Our maintenance team, never remove these whorls until they are completely dead, or remove the pups until they have produced a few roots.
We at Transforming Gardens have the privilege to care for 1.5 acres of these stunning plants, at a property in Parkwood, Gold Coast.
Recently, we rationalized, replanted and redeveloped several areas of the garden to meet the client’s design brief, while they were undertaking major renovations on their home.
The meandering garden path, (see below), runs down past the pool area, on to the Tennis Court, framed by swathes of bright pink, yellow and red ‘broms’,which are frequently in flower.
Some of the leaves are lime green, dark brown, speckled or striped and the flowers of all forms and shapes last for weeks.
The property is an absolute delight to care for.
It brings joy not only to the owners, but to our garden maintenance team that works there.
Note: Bromeliads are epiphytic. In layman’s terms they are a plant that can grow harmlessly upon another plant (such as a tree) and derive their moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it. Hence they don’t need deep soil. They’re just like grass – they’re surface feeders.
And don’t forget – different varieties of bromeliad like different amounts of sunlight and shade.
Get the light level right and you’ll find them one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden.