A Bit About Bromeliads
Photo: Katie Elzer-Peters
What are those alien-looking plants you see in the greenhouse at the garden center? They're bromeliads! These unique plants are called epiphytes (which means a plant that lives on another plant). They're not parasites—they don't use the tree they're growing on for food, they only use it for support. Bromeliads collect water and nutrients in their rosettes of leaves.
How to Grow Bromeliads
Bromeliads are easy to grow as long as you don't overwater them. Bromeliads planted in pots primarily use the soil to anchor themselves (in absence of a tree!). Water those bromeliads by pouring water into the cup formed by the rosettes of the leaves. Sometimes you'll find an interesting piece of driftwood with "air plants" glued onto it. Those are bromeliads too. To water those, either mist them a few times weekly with water from a spray bottle or dunk the entire piece of wood, bromeliads and all, in a bucket of water or run it under the tap. Most bromeliads like bright, indirect light. Grow them near a sunny window. A bathroom window is also a great place for bromeliads, because they'll thrive on the steam from the shower.
Grow an Incredible Edible Bromeliad
One of the sweetest, most tasty fruits is actually a bromeliad. I'm talking about pineapples! These are the edible bromeliads. If you want to try growing your own pineapple, save the top the next time you buy one. Cut off the leafy top and carefully remove any fruit still clinging to the bottom of the leaves. Then strip off the bottom inch of leaves. Set the pineapple top on the counter for three or four days to "cure."
Next, place the leaves in a glass of water. Change the water every three or four days so that it stays clean. Once you see roots appearing, plant the leaves in a pot filled with potting soil. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Then watch your pineapple grow!
|Garden Recipes||Greenland Gardener Products|
|Growing Fruits||How-To Tips|
|Raised Bed Gardening||Seeds|
|Trees and Shrubs||Vegetables|