The climate of Southern California is particularly friendly to bromeliad culture. This is one of the best areas in the world to grow them. They will grow in the yard in sun or shade and in the lath house or greenhouse.
These are plants that are relatively easy to grow and require limited water or fertilizer. Terrestrial bromeliads fit in well with succulent gardens, and many bromeliads will fit in with modern, eclectic or tropical garden styles. The inflorescence (the brightly colored part that holds the flowers) can often last for months.
Once most of the bromeliads have reached maturity after flowering, offshoots will emerge and grow alongside of the “mother” plant. Once these “pups” are about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the mother plant, they can be separated and grown-on (or be given to friends and family!)
Bromeliads have simple requirements:
a firm support, either potted or mounted on wood
moisture – more or less, depending on species
temperature between 35 and 100 degrees F
good drainage (crucial)
light – deep shade to full sun, depending on species
fertilizer –depends on the species (often very little)
good air circulation
A fine Billbergia collection from the SDBS June 2019 show at Balboa Bark.