Categories: General Gardening, Photos
As fellow air plants, bromeliads are natural orchid companions in the garden. Many tank bromeliads have fascinating blooms. They earn their nickname by holding water in their leaves, which helps them survive dry periods. This one grows in our garden, and its brilliant, hot pink flower spikes reveal small blooms that look like shiny, purple ribbons.
This tank bromeliad was a gift from our friend Kim many years ago. It’s been very happy in its new coastal home. We used to have it tied into the forked branches of a small tree, but it’s become much too big for that. Now it lives in a very wide flower pot, without any soil, fully exposed to the sun, wind, and salt spray. And it’s been blooming like crazy. We’ll separate it into smaller plants if it ever stops flowering.
The next photo below shows a smaller, younger version of this plant. The stiff, curved leaves are joined at the base and hold water. For that reason, if you’re in a mosquito-prone area, be cautious with tank bromeliads. With our cool climate, we don’t have much of a mosquito problem. Still, I check mine regularly by slowly filling a few tanks with water while I watch to see what floats to the top. I’ve never found any baby mosquito wrigglers yet. But the little purple and yellow flowers seem endless.
To learn more about bromeliads, check with Bromeliad Society International.