Monday, February 21, 2011

The Broms Are Coloring Up For Spring

Beneath the oaks lies the perfect environment for growing bromeliads.  These areas have been left to self-mulch after the annual leaf-fall.  Here in central Florida the leaves fall not in the fall season but in spring.  The new leaves emerging along the branches push the old leaves off and the ground is showered with oak leaves. 

Many new varieties of bromeliad have been placed around My Garden Path during the past few years.  Some have bloom spikes but others bloom deep in the cup of the leaves and only the leaves show color. 

The dappled sunlight shining on and through the brom leaves shows off the color to best advantage.  Sometimes just the tips of the leaves have color, looking like painted fingernails.

Other species have in your face color right in the middle of the plant surrounding those hidden flowers deep in the cup. 

Most of the bromeliads around the path have been passed along to me from other gardening friends.  Some came from my mother's garden. 

Being gifts from family and friends make these beauties even more special to me.  A few have been purchased but very few.  Most are pass-along plants.  The most prolific multipliers have already been passed along by me to others.  Sharing plants is a great way to spread the love of gardening.

All of the bromeliads in my garden made it through the winter freezes quite well.  A few had some damaged outer leaves but most were unaffected.   These plants would look lovely growing along some of the lower branches of the oaks.  (That's an idea dancing through my mind.)

It seems that different broms bloom at different times throughout the year so there are other brom blooms yet to be enjoyed at My Garden Path.  These that are coloring up for spring are very much appreciated.


  1. Great post, NanaK! I love, love, love bromeliads! Your photos showcase your collection beautifully. Is that 'Lila' in the fourth photo? I am so happy I finally have matchsticks in my own garden like the rest of Florida. : ) They have the most stunning blooms, tiny though they are.

  2. I wish more bromeliads could handle our cold winters in North Florida....great collection here.

  3. NanaK: You have a wonderful brom collection! I love both the flower spikes, or the foliage color of neo broms. I recently bought some matchstick brom, and have not seen the flower yet. Yours looks so lovely!

  4. I'm always tempted to buy a bromeliad but have no clue how to grow them, and it's probably too cold for them here anyway - or maybe not. Yours are beautiful. Interesting observation about the falling oak leaves of spring. I never thought about the new growth pushing the old leaves off, but that's exactly what tea roses and other Old Garden Roses do.

  5. You seem to have the perfect place to grow the Bromeliads under the Oak's filtered light. A lot of Bromeliads don't like the full intense sun which is mostly what they get stuck with here. I think they would grow just fine for you in the Oak branches. In Central America it is hard to find an established tree without some kind of Bromelaid growing wild it it's branches.

  6. Floridagirl - Yes! That's Lila. I loved her when I first saw her on your blog and when I saw her at Selby Gardens I snatched her up. That is such a great fuschia color. And, I have a great-niece named Lila!

    Darla - I do love being able to grow these broms all year and not worry about the cold weather bothering them. A few get frost-bitten on the edges but nothing bad. I believe you have the "queen's tears" in a pot? Mine are starting to bloom. Your grouping should be showing off real soon!

    Ami - I have had the matchsticks since last Feb. and this is the first blooming for them. They were a pass-along and I didn't realize what they were until they bloomed!

    sherryocala - There are plenty of cold tolerant bromeliads that will grow in your area. I'm trying to keep to those myself but I do have a few that are more susceptible to the cold. And, yes, I have one of everything in my garden! I have been trying to bring some order to my chaos and make it more of a garden rather than a plant collection, but it's not an easy task!

    sanddune - At least you don't have to worry as much about the cold damage in your area. Someday I will get those broms up into the trees, but for now it's just an idea. I do have one wild one growing up too high for me to really see it well.

  7. NanaK,
    You have captured the beauty in those broms from the sunlight so nicely. I'm loving all your varieties. They have to be one of the MOST care-free plants in our central Florida gardens.

    I consider them a fabulous groundcover and don't know what I'd do without them. Most of mine are also pass-alongs. Some from you!!! *hugs* I SO want to get some up in the trees this spring, too. Has been on my to-do/wish list for several seasons. Now is the time... but now is the time for so many other to-do's. Alas. We'll get it all done eventually, right?
    Have a fabulous day. Meems

  8. Hi Kay...You've got quite a large collection of beautiful broms. And, lots of wonderful trees to grow them under. Glad to hear yours fared well through the winter. They are one of my favorite passalong plants.

  9. Meems - You are right about the list of to-dos being long this time of year. I'm going at it a little slower this year and hoping that I have to re-do less.

    Susan - Most all of the bromeliads made it through winter unscathed. A few do show a bit of leaf damage but not enough to worry about. I know they are some of your favorite pass-alongs because I got several from YOU. The matchsticks were from you and I didn't even know what they were until they bloomed. I'm loving their blooms and they seem to be lasting quite a long time.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.