Common name(s): Bromeliad

Scientific name: There are 8 subfamilies and 72 genera. 

Plant family: BROMELIACEAE (includes Pineapple and Spanish moss)

Origin: Native to the Americas, from the southern United States to Argentina

Description: is a diverse family of flowering plants that includes over 3,000 species. They come in a range of sizes and shapes, from small epiphytes to large terrestrial plants. Most bromeliads have stiff, waxy leaves that form a rosette at the base, and many have brightly colored inflorescences.

Growing Conditions: grows well in bright, indirect light, with temperatures ranging from 65-80°F. It prefers high humidity and should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist. It is a epiphyte, so it can be grown in a pot with a well-draining soil mix or attached to a piece of bark or wood.

Wildlife: provide important habitat for a range of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. Some bromeliads have evolved specialized structures, such as water-filled cups, that provide a home for tadpoles and other aquatic creatures.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens:

Location in Gardens: Can be found all over the garden

Additional Information: Bromeliads also have a unique way of reproducing, with many species producing offshoots or “pups” that grow from the base of the plant. In some cases, these pups can be removed and propagated to create new plants. Bromeliaceae is one of the largest plant families and of great economic value. The Pineapple we buy in the grocery store is a multi-million dollar agricultural business and belongs in this family. Bromelain, an proteolytic enzyme that aids in the digestion of protein. 

How to grow in Central Florida: Bromeliads are tropical plants that are well-suited to the climate of central Florida. Here are some general tips for growing bromeliads in this region:

  • Light: prefer bright, indirect light. They can be grown indoors near a window or outside in a spot that receives filtered light, such as under a tree.
  • Water: should be kept moist but not waterlogged. Water them thoroughly when the soil or growing medium is dry to the touch.
  • Soil: can be grown in a well-draining soil mix or in a soilless mix, such as peat moss or coconut coir. They also grow well in epiphytic conditions, meaning they can be grown mounted on a piece of wood or tree bark.
  • Fertilizer: do not require a lot of fertilizer, but you can give them a weak, balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season.
  • Temperature: prefer temperatures between 60-80°F. They can tolerate higher temperatures but may need more frequent watering.
  • Pests and diseases: are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but you should keep an eye out for spider mites and mealybugs, which can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.