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Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)

Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) are a diverse family of plants endemic to Central and South America. They are a durable, colorful and exotic plant that grows well indoors or in a pot. The pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family, but so are 3000 other species ranging from tiny air-plants to terrestrial plants reaching 10m in height.

Around half of the bromeliads are epiphytes, meaning they attach themselves to the truck or branches of trees and shrubs. Epiphytes are not parasites, as they gather the moisture and nutrients they need from the air and what they catch falling from above. If you don’t have a tree handy, they can be mounted to a piece of (untreated) wood or cork bark.

Bromeliads typically last only three or four years, and flower only once. Before the plant dies, it produces ‘offsets’ or ‘pups’ that will grow into new plants.


  • well-drained, acidic soil (e.g. orchid potting mix)
  • water from the top, not around the base
  • occasional (6 monthly) dilute fertilizer
  • bright light, but not direct sunlight

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Do you have bromeliads in your garden? Tell us about your experience.

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