Established in 1959


What are Bromeliads?

These fascinating tropical American natives come in a wonderful variety of sizes, 
shapes and foliage colors. They seem very strange and exotic, but one of our most 
common fruits, the pineapple, is actually a bromeliad. Many bromeliads are epiphytes (ie they live on other plants but do not parasitize those plants), living up in the forks of tree branches and surviving mainly on the moisture and nutrients they obtain from the air.

There are bromeliads for every situation - some make very good indoor plants, while others can be quite spectacular grown in the garden.

  • Aechmea: The plants in this genus are mostly epiphytic. One of the best known is Aechmea fasciata or 'Silver King', which has long lasting, pretty pink flowers and is often used as an indoor plant.
  • Ananas: The commercially grown pineapple, Ananas comosus is a member of this genus.
  • Billbergia: There are around 60 species of Billbergia, which are colorful and 
    well suited to growing in the garden around the base of trees. They clump up 
    quickly to form good flower displays, although the inflorescence (flower head) on some species is short lived.
  • Cryptanthus: This is a terrestrial group from Brazil, which needs plenty of room for root development. They are best suited to warm climates.
  • Vriesea: Plants in this genus have interesting and varied foliage, and sword like eye-catching flowers. They are easy to grow and are good bromeliads for beginners to try.
  • Tillandsia: True air plants, tillandsias range in size from the tiny T. bryoides (1cm or 0.4") to the giant T. grandis which can grow up to 3 meters (9') tall. Also in this group is T. usneoides, commonly known as old man's whiskers or Spanish moss, which looks like spider webs hanging from the trees. Apart from its ornamental uses, this material can be used for padding in upholstery.

Where most people in North America require green houses to grow their 
Bromeliads, we here in ZONE-10 can grow them in our backyards, without the 
threat of frost (usually). This makes South Florida Bromeliad Heaven.

When we consider planting Bromeliads in our garden, we need to choose a location.
In Dr. Jeff Block's program (May 2009), he showed that you need to remember bromeliads don't just grow in pots, planters or in the ground. Some grow up in or just mounted on the trees. Good placement allows you to enjoy your plant's best features. Other plants - orchids and ferns, compliment your Bromeliads.
In our area, we have many Orchid groups to choose from. But there is only one Fern
Society. If you are interested in ferns to go in your garden along with your bromeliads, check out the 
Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society web site at