Ornamental Bromeliad Tree

Segment: Ornamental Bromeliad Tree
Episode: Autumn 2020, Ep 3
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
TX Date: 7th March 2020

If you want a quick project to try at home, you could try and create an ornamental bromeliad display.

  • Paper bark is the perfect medium for air plants and aerial gardens – a trunk is great for a bromeliad tree.
  • Bromeliads have a unique adaption where they require roots only to stabilise the mother plant – the plant has evolved to capture all moisture through a vase shaped foliage structure that holds water and captures leaf debris.
  • To start, grab an assortment of bromeliads and airplants – these plants are often discarded on verge pick-ups. You can split your own plants as they produce pups or babies.
  • Tie your bromeliads to the bard. You can wrap coco peat or rotted leaf litter around the base and tie them to the tree in the forks, on branches or even on the trunk.
  • Garden twine is perfect for tying the plants to the branch – you don’t have to worry too much, as the bromeliads will produce wiry roots that will grab hold of the paperbark and get a tight hold after a year or so.
  • The goal is to have your bromeliads upright so that the makeshift vases fill with water.
  • The best way to water your plants is to set up a misting system above the tree. Holman’s patio kit is the ultimate watering system for plants like this, using little water but creating the most amazing environments.
  • It’s important to feed your plants – though don’t get too carried away. A diluted Seasol liquid feeder with some Powerfeed sprayed over the foliage once a month is all they will need.
  • These plants flower, and they look amazing when they do.
  • There are many varieties of bromeliads – there are terrestrial species, which grow better in the ground, and epiphytic species, that thrive in tree canopies.
  • Bromeliad varieties include Aechmea, known for their bowl-shaped rosettes; Billbergia, similar to Aechmea but with its rosettes just having a few leaves; Guzmania, which are tank bromeliads, as are the 100 or so species of Neoregelia.
  • Tillandsia is the largest group in the family, with considerable diversity across the 550 described epiphytic species.