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These fascinating tropical American natives come in a wonderful variety of sizes, shapes and foliage colours. They seem very strange and exotic, but one of our most common fruits, the pineapple, is actually a bromeliad. Many bromeliads are epiphytes (ie they live on other plants but do not parasitise those plants), living up in the forks of tree branches and surviving mainly on the moisture and nutrients they obtain from the air. However there are bromeliads for every situation – some make very good indoor plants, while others can be quite spectacular grown in the garden.

Bromeliads grow well in pots. They require a light, open potting mix with good drainage. When potting don’t forget that the leaves hold water, so it’s important to keep the central cup upright. Bromeliads can also be grown in the garden in a well-drained compost on top of the soil. They like warmth and humidity, but must have good air movement. Bromeliads like moist conditions but not too much water.

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