Bromeliads: Lions, Tigers and Pups

It’s crazy that 6 months have past since my last blog. I’ve been inside with my houseplants all winter and now the daylilies are starting to push up from the ground. Although, it is a snow weekend, so I decided to do a little blog on my bromeliads.

I got into bromeliads a couple years ago after reading that they were good companion plants for aloe, snake plant and yucca because of similar shape.

Vriesea Hieroglyphica

The habitats are different, but they tolerate being potted neighbors pretty well. Broms are tough for tropical plants.

I live in the high desert of Colorado. The yuccas and aloe are close kin to our Native plants. The broms do OK outside in the summer shade if you add some humidity boosters. Sunburn can be an issue in our climate.

Bromeliads remind me of my Grandma Hartt. She had several. She got them from a plant store in Denver. The first ones I got were a tribute to her collection.

The problem with daylilies is that you learn about mail order plants. That’s cool, but makes for endless choices in shapes, sizes and colors. I’ve gotten several beautiful ones locally, but the online ones bring so much more variety to my collection.

I also love the unique patterns. This is what really makes my collection unique from my other plants. Lions, tigers . . . Very unique markings. I grow them for foliage more than the incredible blooms. BTW, they don’t die after blooming. These bitches give birth to pups. Hoping to sell the offspring on my Esty site in a few years.

Guzmania – commonly found in grocery stores

My colors now are more muted than summer. My broms will be happy for more sun, although the bugs move in. Bromeliads are pretty resilient even though spiders seem to enjoy hiding in them.

I love plants with colorful foliage. I need to update you on my begonia winter project at some point. I’m a creative. I think I just like color. My winter houseplant color raises my wellbeing in the cold, dark months.

Neoreglia High Voltage

Please enjoy my small collection of (now) high desert bromeliads. I should plan a follow up when they are in full color in the fall after the summer sunshine.

The Last of August

I’m sitting in my tent, dosed in natural melatonin. There is cool air . . . It feels nice. Desert camping was hot all but about 2 hours a night. It will get down to 50 or so tonight. Good sleeping weather.

Purple Grasshopper 8.31

This shift also means only 3 blooms today. Honestly, it is a little bit nice to not have a million photos to take. But, I already miss the excitement of checking the garden for Premieres.

Frans Hals 8.31

Today brought travel to the 4-corners region. If you know Colorado, you know that means a drive over the San Juan Mountains. 10 k feet above sea level.

Ruby Stella 8.31

The largest city in the area is Durango and I wanted to see if their nursery had any nice succulents or air plants. The best route is over Red Mountain pass, which is high, curvy and no guard rail. I got vertigo and was sick for 2 days last time I drove it, so I take the longer route now. Adds an hour but oh well. I use to drive Red Mountain in chains in a blizzard at night. Those days are gone.

Animas River 8.31

So, I ended up with 2 bromeliads – one in bloom and one with 2 pups. I also got a small red desert rose (succulent) and another cool succulent. I was thinking of what I read about not having too much variety. The bromeliads are the same family as air plants so they bring familiar features.

My new baby red Desert Rose 8.31

I want air plants and succulents/cactus to be my core plants. The other major groups I’ll keep are orchids, begonias, poinsettias, amaryllis, calathea, African violets. I have a few others, but I’m giving a lot of miscellaneous plants away. Since you can decorate most plants with air plants, that should help blend things in together.

My white Desert Rose in bloom – taken a few days ago.

I have my new plantlets in the hatch covered by a blanket. The bromeliads are far from their natural habitat. The succulents won’t care. No clue what I’m doing tomorrow. It’s a nice problem to have.