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How to Grow Bromeliads?
Bromeliads range from the edible pineapple to the eerie Spanish moss along southern bayous. The native habitat spans steamy jungles, sea coasts, mountain slopes & deserts. Any plant grows best under the conditions which closely duplicate its natural habitat. Success in growing Bromeliads is a matter of filling the light & water needs as determined by this natural habitat. These are the main groups of Bromeliads and the POTTING, WATER & LIGHT requirements for each; AECHMEA-pot-mount-dry, moderate, GUZMANIA-pot, moist,mod.,low; ANANAS-pot,moist,bright NEOREGELIA-pot-mount,damp,low to mod; BILLBERGIA-pot,dry,mod; TILLANDSIA-mount,dry,bright; CRYPTANTHUS-pot,dry,low; VRIESEA-pot, moist,mod,low.
Many varieties may be mounted on driftwood, bark slabs, cork or other porous material. Secure plant to mount with fishing line, fine wire, staples, or small nails, allowing room for future growth. Cover base and roots with damp sphagnum moss secured with wire.
For potting, we recommend a mixture of 2/3 Nursery Potting soil and 1/3 coarse Perlite. Place plant in a pot, fill mix around roots and press it down firmly to support the plant. Setting the base of the plant too deep keeps moisture around the crown and encourages rotting. most Bromeliads are ‘air plants’ in nature and should not be over potted. They enjoy being somewhat rootbound (a pot filled with roots).
Use fertilizer at 1/4 strength recommended on a package at about monthly intervals. Fertilize at a time you would normally water the plant. In warmer weather, fill the leaf cups of the ‘vase’ type plants. Drench soil of potted plants. Mist fertilizer solution on leaves of mounted or hanging plants. When plants show signs of blooming, feed with 1/4 to 1/3 strength fish emulsion.
Plants with a ‘vase’ (cup-like area in center of leaves) should have water in the vase at all times. Dump old water before adding more. Mounted plants should be misted 2-3 times a week in summer, less in winter. Water potted plants according to requirements listed above. Rain or distilled water is best. Tap water should be allowed to stand for 24 hours before use. Never use softened water. Give plants a monthly shower in a sink, tub or outside in the rain if temperature permits.
Staghorn Ferns are native to parts of South America, Africa & Australia. They also are Epiphytic, growing on trees by attaching their hair-like roots to the bark to absorb water & nutrients. They also absorb moisture through the fronds (leaves). The fronds have a protective, furry coat. DO NOT wipe it off. To clean leaves, take the plant outdoors and spray it lightly with a hose. Staghorns are grown in a ‘picture frame’ made from redwood and moss. If you hang it on an indoor wall, cover the back with something waterproof to prevent damage to the wall. Do not place in direct sun. In native habitat they are shaded by other foliage, receiving diffused light from all directions
Water once a week in the winter & as needed in summer. Soak thoroughly when you water by laying in sink, bathtub or on the patio and spray gently. Set it upright to drain and rehang.
Feed with Master-Gro Acid Food every six weeks following directions on label. Water thoroughly after each application of fertilizer.