- Type Tropical plant
- Lifespan Perennial
- USDA Zones 9-11
- Light Dappled shade
- Water Keep moist
- Soil Well drained
- Design Tip Brighten dark corner
- Companions Coleus, clivea
- Peak Season Blooms last months
Bromeliads: A Field Guide
Bromeliads spend their lives as houseplants in places that aren’t as warm as the tropical climates they call home. Their brightly colored bracts (which we think of as their flowers) can last for months, brightening a dark corner.
One of the most cold hardy is matchstick bromeliad (Aechmea gamosepala), an ornamental plant from Peru which can survive in USDA growing zone 9. But as a general rule of thumb, pamper these hothouse plants indoors unless you live in a warmer climate (most prefer USDA growing zone 11). With their evergreen leaves that spill out from the center, bromeliads have a rosette shape. Most are epiphytes and would prefer to grow on trees or rocks where their roots enjoy excellent drainage: do not let them sit in soggy soil in a planter.