Most bromeliads are native to South America, mainly Brazil. But there are also some found naturally in Central America, the Caribbean and south eastern USA. There is even one species from western Africa. Regretfully widespread forest clearance has endangered the survival of some bromeliads in the wild and others are becoming extinct before they’ve even been discovered.
In their natural habitat bromeliads range in altitude from sea level to over 5000 metres, and from hot, dry deserts, through tropical rainforest to cool mountain regions. So among the 3000-odd species of bromeliads so far discovered there are many that grow well in New Zealand conditions – either as landscape plants in the garden or in containers on the deck or patio, or indoors.
Bromeliads come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. While some are grown for their attractively coloured flowers Kiwi Bromeliads specialises in foliage varieties, particularly Vrieseas and Alcantareas. These are ideal landscape or container plants in frost-free or light frost areas.
Our Vrieseas are medium to large growing varieties, capable of reaching around 60-100cm high and wide. And some of our Alcantareas are the largest bromeliads available, their majestic form creating an impact in any garden. Alcantarea imperialis, for example, can reach around 1.2m high and 1.5m wide, even larger in ideal conditions. When in flower the spike can reach 2-3 metres high.
Most of our bromeliads are grown from seed, taking several years to produce saleable plants.
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