Well, the bro bug has bitten me. I think it’s been brewing for a while… probably since I saw a living wall video and another woman who planted beautifully colored bros on a tree on youtube.
I had a few older plants in my yard that were doing very well. So, I divided and transplanted them. You can read more about that here. Last month, I attended the University of South Florida’s Bromeliad Bash and purchased a few lovely plants there.
Since they were sold out of the one plant that I really wanted (aechmea blancetiana orange), I looked online and ordered one from Grower Jim’s on etsy. I also ordered a grab bag of four grower’s choice bromeliads. They shipped USPS, which means we had to drive to the post office to pick them up since our mailbox is a mile down a dirt road.
They were well packaged and healthy.
All of the plants looked great. Since the blanchetiana requires the most sun, I planted it in a morning sun garden of crotons, perennial peanut, hibiscus, a pindo palm, ti plants, rubber ficus, one crape myrtle, a queen emma croton, yellow lantana, gingers, a mine no yuki camellia, and a humungous white bird of paradise.
I decided to position the other four plants under the partial to mostly shaded area of a big oak (across from the large shade garden with the bird house).
Here are the planting instructions:
These instructions say to plant bromeliads in fast-draining soil. Keep slightly moist until established. Offsets have usually been shaded by the mother plant and may need acclimating to sunnier conditions. Maximum color will develop with higher light and maturity.
Unfortunately, I planted the bromeliads and went inside only to return to a missing plant. My son’s dog, Maui, removed the quesnelia arvensis and I can’t find it. I’m heartbroken over the fact that this plant came to me to die. Yes, Maui is always my son’s dog when he’s bad. Hopefully, he placed her in a shady location. Since they don’t need soil, she has a fairly good chance of survival as long as she was chewed up and she wasn’t left in the hot sun or buried somewhere with Maui’s other treats.
So, I ordered a replacement. While on etsy, I also purchased three Billbergia pyramidalis bromeliad offsets, and found another etsy vendor who sells plants from her lanai locally in Lakeland. Since her inventory was very, very inexpensive, I ordered several more bromeliads: three Queen’s Tears bromeliads (bilbergia nutens) and three Flaming Summer Torch (billbergia pyramidalis) bromeliads. I’ll take the six pyramidalis plants and put them around their own tree. I’ll also compare the plants from both vendors to see if purchasing at the higher rate is well worth the extra cost. In addition, I removed more pups from some of my existing stock. I really should get more involved in the local plant swap community!
Until next time, happy gardening!