Friday, July 26, 2013

Bromeliads in the garden


One of the many things I found myself wishing for while in San Francisco was a climate where I could grow Bromeliads outdoors year-round. They can, I can’t. However this inconvenient little truth doesn’t keep me from enjoying many of the plants in this family…I just have to employ the seasonal shift. Inside for the winter, summer vacation in the garden (and of course there are a few I've ended up putting in the ground, and just hope for the best).

I was thrilled to come home from San Francisco and discover my Billbergia 'Hallelujah' was going to bloom.

A friend noted,when I pointed it out, "that flower doesn't seem to go with that plant"...it is a rather shocking color combination.

There are several bromeliads crammed in the large container next to the 'Hallelujah' including a large Vriesea imperialis, a couple of Neoregelia hybrids and a Quesnelia arvensis (front center) which was a gift a few years ago from the Rainforest Gardener.

There is also a small IKEA NOID bromeliad...

The color and pattern on this Neoregelia hybrid is a fav.

On the opposite side of the shade pavilion is another bromeliad grouping complete with a Tillandsia xerographica in a cage...

The glowing green color of this one is especially vibrant just before nightfall.

The broms in the tree are doing well.

And look! Another bloom on the way, from a tillandsia this time. Do you see it?

Right there...

I do take most of my tillandsias outside for the summer time. Some of them thank me with bright colors.

This Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice' is in a container. It's burgundy-ness seems compromised.

This one is in the ground (has been for a year and a half) and remains true to it's 'Burgundy Ice' name.

Here's a tiny pup Pam sent me last year. I can't remember if she said it was a puya or a dyckia but I do know she called it hardy and it sailed through last winter.

Hechtia podantha, this one has spent it's life with me in a container.

However this Puya coerulea has been in the ground since 2010. Once upon a time there were three but this is the only one to have survived.

I'm kind a hoping to see a bloom someday.

Also in the ground, but just planted this spring, Puya chilensis. My research says this one isn't quite as hardy as the P. coerulea so I'm not sure if I'll leave it or not.

It only cost me $5 so maybe I'll call it an experiment.

Plus I have a back up P. chilensis in a container.

This one is Puya mirabilis and was also a $5 steal. Since it's in a very protected spot right next to the house I think I'll leave it in the ground and see how it does over the winter (that's it on the far right).



There are many more plants from the bromeliad family in my garden (most in containers) but I didn't want this post to get too long, perhaps I'll feature them someday down the road...

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

33 comments:

  1. A large and beautiful family of plants! Ah the Nichols Garden with it's gorgeous bromeliads...le sigh. Your tree planted broms take me back! I've always loved your orange caged specimen as that silvery gray is perfect with the cage color!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! The Nichols garden was over the top with bromeliads! That's a new caged specimen, after the last one bloomed it sort of just disintegrated. Sad.

      Delete
  2. Photo 6 is not a Neoregelia hybrid but a Hohenbergia correia-araujoi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Don't you just love those incorrect nursery tags?

      Delete
  3. I fell in love with Bromeliads in San Francisco too. I had one many years ago that I bought from Lowes. It was blooming, and I didn't realize at the time that they are monocarpic, so it died after blooming and I mistakenly thought that it was me and I just couldn't keep it alive.

    Now, I know a little better, and I'm trying them again, but I'm trying to find ones that aren't blooming, which is a challenge. I've bought six or seven of them just since the Fling (a couple are blooming). I made a real dopey move though, I put them in full western sun, and many of them now have sunburned leaves. D'oh!

    That Billbergia has such a psychedelic flower, I love it. I love your Tillandsia in the orange cage too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never had good luck with supermarket broms (or box stores). But someone bought me a fancy blooming one from a florist a few years back and it had enough "pups" around it that with the blooming one ceased to be beautiful I just cut it out and the others grew to fill in the gap.

      Also not all of them are monocarpic, in fact (in my experience) there are more that are not.

      Delete
  4. I didn't know that Tillandsias and Puyas were in the bromeliad family. I have only one token member of the family - a small Puya alpestris that lives indoors all year round. Maybe it would like a summer vacation in the garden!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would! It would look so nice with your other deck specimens.

      Delete
  5. I love all your bromeliads! I too dream of luscious bromeliads year round in the garden! oh the dream! Yours are stunning! I love how you talk about back ups with your puya. I do the same things with plants. Buy two, experiment with one, and keep a back up :). Usually this ends up with me planting the back up and crossing fingers and toes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually didn't realize I already had a Puya chilensis at home when I bought the second, oh well! My back ups usually only result when I find deals too good to pass up.

      Delete
  6. AnonymousJuly 26, 2013

    Great post. Finding bromeliaceae that tolerate cold wet winter conditions is tough, that P. coerulea looks good for the PNW.

    Puya dickyoides has proven profoundly hardy here in zone 7 NC -- a remarkable feat given the cold wet winters. I Imagine that it would perform equally well if not better in the PNW. A much prettier plant than most internet photos can convey. While somewhat drab green in the summer, it takes on a nice grey/silver cast with red and purple tinting in the fall through spring and flowers reliably.

    Dyckia velascana is another really nice cold/wet tolerant bromeliad that is quite pretty.

    Both have done well in the ground for years -- light shade to full sun and really dry berms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for these names, I will look into them and hopefully track a couple down!

      Delete
  7. Looks like you are well and truly hooked on this beautiful group of plants, and you have a good selection of different types. You might get lucky with the Puya chilensis you know, worth a try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I'm thinking that's the route I'll go, plus I'm starting to hear rumors of a mild-ish winter...

      Delete
  8. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! As you know I adore bromeliads. I still think you need to grow Neoregelia 'Big Mac' it's really 'dangerous' with some big spikes on the leaves. My Billbergias haven't bloomed yet. I've got a couple 'Boracho' and one 'Hallelujah'. Love the flowers in that one! beautiful! Your Neo. hybrid looks a lot like my Aechmea chantinii black. Love them all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes of course I was thinking of you as I wrote this post! I'll keep my eyes peeled for a 'Big Mac'...even the name is fun!

      Delete
  9. I love this family of plants...it was love at first sight when I first saw them. You have such a beautiful garden...certainly a plants lover paradise. I´m always delighted with pictures of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lisa. It is indeed filled with plants I love!

      Delete
  10. About that flower as a mismatch with the plant: I'm of the opinion that Mom Nature makes no mistakes but she does like to give us a little shock every now and then. I like it! Your garden is looking its spiky best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, she's a smart cookie! (and thank you!)

      Delete
  11. I love that your garden doesn't need blossoms in order to be beautiful and interesting. The composition of the lime and orange with all the different foliage is so pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blooms are definitely a treat...but you're right I don't think they are required.

      Delete
  12. Because of you, now I have so many bromeliads..mostly in the tank, others are crawl the tree. Great post and my bromeliads threat here is only the unfriendly sun..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow thank you, this is great to read.

      Delete
  13. I only have one bromeliad, languishing in my kitchen window. I think it's going outside today! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! (remember to keep it out of the direct sun)

      Delete
  14. A bromeliad friend in Floraida sent me a small collection this spring (Ananas nanas (miniature pineapple), Quesmea ‘Lymon’, Aechmea distichantha, Dyckia fragrans, and Dyckia ‘Sabertooth’). So far, they have handled the heat no problem (with the shade of a crepe myrtle), and he promises me they are the most cold hardy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you, aren't gifts like that the best? Steve (the Rainforest Gardener) generously sent me a group of 4 different plants. Sadly I've only managed to keep the one alive but it is doing wonderfully!

      Delete
  15. The pup I sent is a dyckia, Loree. You have quite a collection going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the answer to that nagging question. I know I have the labels somewhere!

      Delete
  16. I checked out your plant list.....my jaw dropped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really need to update that list, it's been awhile.

      Delete
  17. Wait, there are puyas we can leave in the ground?!? This is very exciting news.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!