When Jeanne Garman first expressed interest in bromeliads to an avid bromeliad grower, she was told, “Be careful, you’re going to get hooked on bromeliads.” Now, with hundreds surrounding her home, Garman cultivates them and has based her travels and her free time seeking out new bromeliad varieties and experts. Garman herself is now considered the “Queen of Bromeliads” and the go-to person in our area for bromeliads and mini-bromeliads, in particular.
Adapt and Overcome
Bromeliads or Bromeliaceae grow naturally in both North America, primarily in the South (especially in Florida), and in South America where they can be found all the way to Argentina with most species in Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Columbia. Their habitat ranges from mountain to sea levels, woodlands, fields, rain forests and deserts indicating they tolerate a huge variation in climates and temperatures from near freezing to tropical conditions.
The Neoregelia variety is frequently for sale in our local groceries, home improvement stores and nurseries. Also nicknamed “The Painted Fingernail,” this extremely hardy bromeliad has bright red or pink rosettes, or nests of blooms, in the center. Foliage is brilliant green, and sometimes striped or spotted.
Prevention is Key
When growing bromeliads outdoors, inhibit mosquitoes from breeding in their water-filled caps by crumbling a bacteria toxic to larvae such as Mosquito Dunks.
The Greater New Orleans Bromeliad Society, G.N.O.B.S, has meetings every 4th Thursday, Old Metairie Library
Annual Exhibit and Plant Sale in May. gnobromeliadsociety.com
Bromeliad Society International, bsi.org