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Monday, February 22, 2010

Bromeliads- tougher than they look- low water

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Bromeliads are so 3-D, AVATAR spectacular it's hard to realize they are actually, for So Cal, rather practical plants. True, they don't like direct sun, though they tolerate a bit of morning sun. But bromeliads needn't be just houseplants. They can be part of a living wall between one apartment balcony and another (more on this later.)  These  Bromeliads  are very happy in low light or afternoon shade.

 They just look fussy--they aren't. I have one of the grey striped ones, (A. fasciata) that blooms every now and again with a pink flower, sends out pups and has been living in the same pot for about 20 years (no kidding.) It's beyond tolerant. it's practically one of the immortals. There is no soil in the pot, just its own roots.

 Here it is, somewhat scruffy, but indomitable. My sharp-eyed readers will have noticed the pup emerging underneath the leaves.There is no stopping this guy...He's hit the end of the pot and is growing side wise.
The Guzmanias are not as brawny as this, but still pretty resilient. They just need to be kept in morning sun, or less, and watered occasionally in their cups. (Drunkards one and all.)

Right now it's blooming time and they can be found---- for the price of a bouquet of flowers-- at Home Depot , and OSH and local nurseries. A good investment.

The Guzemanias hail from the forests of Ecuador and Columbia, where they can be found at 1,000 fee---  cold at night. Nor do they mind  filtered sun. Their one flaw is that they don't make pups very often.Their varnished Mid Century Modern  look  is not to every one's taste, but for those of us who treasure a touch of flamboyance---Guzmans have got it.

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