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Frugal Gardening - How to Grow and Propagate Beautiful Bromeliades

By Edited Jan 29, 2016 2 4

External Flower of Bromeliade

The exotic Bromeliade grows with many vibrant colorful leaves. Some small flowers hide in the cup, where, others have protruding spike flowers. Grow these both in the home or your garden. A beautiful and rewarding plant for anyone to grow.

Frugal Gardening Bromeliades

This one has external flower when we were growing beautiful Bromeliades

My first experience in growing these failed. Snails were having a picnic on my plants so I threw most of them away. Then after visiting a local garden center I realized my mistake when I saw the many beautiful varieties. I became hooked on growing them.

Where do They Grow


Bromeliades will grow anywhere in Australia. Both indoors or outdoors, on the mountains and even in the jungle or desert. They will grow if attached to a tree, like ferns in the forests or in pots. Therefore, anyone can grow them.

You can choose from more than two thousand varieties of these beauties. One of the first, well-known bromeliades is the pineapple which is the only known food variety of bromeliade.


Frugal Gardening Bromeliade 1

Beautiful internal flower

The amazing colors of these plants will surprise you, even without the added feature of flowers. The leaves on some plants grow up tall while others display a lower growth with more vibrant colored leaves. Some flowers are not as visible as they sit inside the rosette of the plant. 

When growing these intriguing little plants indoors, they need plenty of water and light, with good drainage.

Buying Your Bromeliades

When visiting the garden center and see them in flower, resist buying them. They will not reproduce anymore as Bromeliades do not live long. Instead, buy a small plant, this one will flower and then produce many pups for you.

Propagating and Separating Pup from Adult Plants

Frugal gardening: Separating pup from Bromelliade

After the plant has flowered you will notice small shoots (pups) start to grow up from beneath the adult plant. Leave these until about 4-6 inches high.

Take the plant out of garden or pot and carefully cut each pup off. Place each one in separate pots or straight into the garden. Press firmly into the ground or pot. Then give each one a good watering, do not use a saucer under the pot.


Growing Bromeliades in Pots

The beauty of growing these is the amount of varieties and colors available. You can buy the correct potting mix from garden centers although this is more expensive. Instead, pot these plants in a good mixture of potting mix that allows good drainage. Sphagnum moss is great as it adds acidity to the soil and helps to hold the water yet allows good drainage preventing the roots from rotting. Or try a mixture of perlite and vermiculite.

Keep the soil below the leaves as they may rot if planted deeper. I prefer to use darker colored plastic pots (although) if too hot it could damage the roots. Place them in semi shade in the hotter months. Use a larger pot than where the leaves extend, this allows room for the new plants to grow once the plant has flowered. Or you can grow different varieties in a larger pot to make a more colorful display.

Planting in the Garden 

These plants also grow well in the garden in the right mixture of soil. A good place to do this is under a patio, making a feature of them in one corner. They  will look great as there are so many colors, the more varieties you use the better the display.

Attaching to Tree or Bark

Frugal Gardening- Bromeliade attached on tree

You can make a feature of these by fixing  on to trees or on bark hanging in a tree. Yes, you can grow these little beauties on to the sides of trees, on rocks, or driftwood pieces, in fact virtually anything at all. It will soon attach its roots to the new object.

  • You will need:
    Sphagnum moss
  • Plastic covered wire, cable ties,  or thin wire

Place in position then apply some sphagnum moss. Put the roots of the bromeliade on that then apply more sphagnum moss to cover roots and fix with wire or ties on the branch, bark or even on a rock. Make sure it is firmly attached to the object so it won’t fall off in the wind.

Water well in the beginning. Make sure the plant is upright so the water stays inside the flowering cup and keep the center clean. Bromeliades love it when it rains which is far better than tap water with the added chemicals. 

General care and knowledge

Pests and Diseases

  • Snails and slugs – Pick them off (place snail pellets in container with holes inside if you have pets
  • Caterpillars - Pick them off
  • Mealy Bugs - Treat with Malathion
  • Aphids – Spray with Malathion
  • Fungus – Remove affected areas to avoid it spreading

Reminder Tips

  • Do not over water - keep upright
  • Good drainage is important
  • Fix firmly to tree branches and tie plants with plastic covered wire
  • Bromeliades are easy to grow indoors or outdoors
  • Plant firmly in garden or pots or in ground


Bromeliades are expensive, so be frugal and swap different varieties with your friends and gain a bigger collection and save money.

Creating a living bromeliade tree



Dec 31, 2015 6:06pm
What wonderful tips! :)
Jan 5, 2016 7:31pm
Thanks for stopping by AngelaParkerFables. There are so many beautiful varieties. Well worth growing
Jul 21, 2016 5:52pm

I love bromeliads. but they don't do well here when it's frosty. I used to grow them in Zimbabwe and found that after they flowered, they made pups and then died off. So don't throw your flowering plant away! Just give it some time and it will throw out a couple of pups.

Aug 10, 2016 7:47pm
Mine are not growing as well now that we shifted. The ground is so hard and it is either freezing or roasting hot so not so good for them to grow although I still have three plants with new pups. thanks for your commentsEileen
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