Gardening is an excellent hobby for good health and for the creation of lovely home decor. Bromeliads are decorative and simple, and over 3,000 species are more than capable of sprucing up planters, garden beds, and other green displays. Some of the most compelling reasons to choose bromeliads are the plants' drought resistance, container friendliness, and ability to thrive in limited light. Bromeliads also improve the quality of the air around them, and they come in many dazzling colours.
1. Bromeliads can sustain drought conditions
Over-watering is not really a hazard when growing bromeliads, as these beauties essentially thrive off neglect. As hardy as they are low maintenance, bromeliads are remarkably resistant to drought and grow well outdoors in most areas of Australia, whether conditions are semi-arid as they are on much of the continent or full desert as they are in the inland west. The plants need to drain fully before re-watering, and it is only necessary to water occasionally. For optimal health, the soil or container should have good drainage.
2. Bromeliads are buckets of fun
As long as it has adequate drainage, almost any plant container is appropriate for a bromeliad. This is a big advantage when rearranging a garden as the years go by, as well as for easy maintenance of the plants. Containers generally help prevent the spread of fungi and diseases between plants and throughout gardens, and they are easy to conceal, if desired, by burying them just under the surface. One container can hold several varieties of bromeliads at once, and that opens the door to some eye-catching multi-colour arrangements.
3. Low light, no problem
Bromeliads in the Vriesea, Nidularium, and Guzmania families all evolved under the dense canopies of tropical rain forests, where light was sporadic and often in short supply. As domesticated plants, they do well in environments with low light, such as indoors in offices or homes, as well as in shaded areas like covered porches and entranceways. The species have colourful foliage and bloom attractively with minimal light and maintenance.
Plants to brighten shady corners
Vriesea "Splenriet" have streaked leaves, and after a few years, the plants produce vibrant red sword-shaped flowers that bloom throughout the year. Guzmania plants are the most shade-tolerant of the species, which is the characteristic that makes them a favourite in shopping malls and other indoor public spaces. The Guzmania plants also burst upward with fiery red bract when in bloom.
4. Bromeliads clear the air
In the normal process of photosynthesis, typical indoor house plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with water vapour and oxygen during daylight hours. Research by organisations such as the Plants for Clean Air Council indicates that bromeliads remove pollutants and release oxygen by night. This makes the plants ideal for bedrooms, as a steady flow of purified air can help improve the quality of sleep. Combined with more traditional types of plants, bromeliads fill the nighttime gap in a round-the-clock system of natural indoor air purification.
5. Bromeliads blush and bloom
Bromeliads may only bloom once in their annual cycles, but those blooms sometimes last for several months. After the blooms subside, the plants generally focus their energy on generating "pups", or offshoots that are easy to clip and propagated for entirely new bromeliad growth. Even in times without vivid blossoms, many bromeliads boast gorgeous foliage that always displays attractive colours and patterns.
For festive foliage over flowers
The flower of the Neoregelia is not the most spectacular, but its foliage features blushing hues toward the centre of the plant and fascinating dark streaks and stripes on the leaves. Cryptanthus, also known as "Earth star", is a succulent bromeliad admired for its foliage more than its flowers. Bold stripes adorn the leaves, and the plant comes in many colours, including the bright pink Cryptanthus Elaine. The "Cherry Cola" Dyckia offers a purplish burgundy glow from thick, jagged, seemingly toothed leaves.
How to buy bromeliads on eBay
Consider the level of light and moisture where you intend to plant or position your bromeliads, as well as the colours you prefer and whether you want perpetually vivid leaves or brief, brilliant blossoms. Then enter the term "bromeliad" into the search window on any eBay page. Read each item description for details on the environmental and care requirements of the plant for sale and examine any photos for a sense of its appearance. Also be sure to check the feedback scores of sellers prior to purchasing.