Explore the many-hued, multifarious world of bromeliads with our exclusive photos and read the story of David Shiigi, bromeliad-grower and hydridizer extraordinaire, who serenades his bromeliads with a Hawaiian guitar.
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The most familiar bromeliads are aechmea and billbergia; both are “tank” types that store water in the cupped centers of their leaf rosettes. Neoregelia and vriesea, also tank types, feature vividly colored and patterned foliage. Tillandsia—called “air plants”—can resemble curly legged sea creatures and contentedly live on a driftwood perch with occasional spritzes of water and food. David Shiigi, owner of Bromeliads Hawaii in Hilo, Hawaii, says the key to bromeliads’ happiness is “less care but better care.” In other words: Don’t fuss, just know your plant.
Left: Dyckia ‘Brittle Star’ does well in full sun and, when potted, likes water at least twice a week if outside in summer heat (once a week if in the ground) and once a week inside. It needs less care if planted in garden beds in areas with mild winters.