EASY STEPS TO BROMELIAD PROJECTS

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Garden Art -

BRANCH OUT WITH YOUR BROMELI­ADS

There’s noth­ing quite so spec­tac­u­lar as hav­ing a bunch of bromeli­ads grow­ing out of a tree – their thick, var­ie­gated fo­liage and ex­otic flow­ers in stark con­trast to the tree’s branches and leaves. In their nat­u­ral habi­tat, this is what bromeli­ads do but you may have to give them a help­ing hand.

GO OUT ON A LIMB Make your own bromeliad tree (see Project 1) or dec­o­rate your gar­den trees. Ide­ally, the trees have low branches to give shel­ter from the wind and sun, and rough bark to give some­thing for the bromeli­ads to cling onto. It’s best if the trees don’t shed their bark.

GIVE SUP­PORT

Wrap the roots of the bromeliad in sphag­num moss or co­conut fi­bre and tie it around the trunk or branch with panty­hose or hes­sian. Over time, the roots will grip the trunk or branch.

GROW­ING FAM­ILY Even­tu­ally, each plant will pro­duce pups and so a colony is made. If you run out of trees – or space – hang a bromeliad bauble (see Project 2) from the rafters.

Gather your sup­plies

• PVC pipe, 25mm x 1m long

• 2mm and 1.5mm bon­sai wire

• Coir fi­bre mat­ting, 100cm wide

• But­ton head screws

• Bromeliad plants with pups and cut­tings (we used a com­bi­na­tion of Aech­mea, Vriesea and Ne­o­regelia)

You’ll also need Drill with 3mm drill bit; side cut­ters; nat­u­ral twine; tim­ber of­f­cut; ham­mer; four small head nails; elas­tic bands

PROJECT 1 BROMELIAD TREE

Here’s how

STEP 1 If you want to hang your bromeliad tree, drill 2 holes through one end of the PVC pipe and make a loop with 2mm bon­sai wire.

STEP 2 At­tach end of coir mat­ting to pipe by in­sert­ing 4 but­ton head screws, evenly spaced.

STEP 3 Roll mat­ting around pipe and tie at 5 evenly spaced points with nat­u­ral twine for grow­ing roots to at­tach them­selves to.

STEP 4 To make a tree stand, ham­mer 4 small head nails into tim­ber of­f­cut and press pipe into nails to stand it up­right.

STEP 5 Slip about 10 elas­tic bands around the pipe, evenly spaced.

STEP 6 Re­move bromeli­ads from pots, shake off ex­cess pot­ting medium, leav­ing only bark/ma­te­rial at­tached to roots. Cut pups from mother plants (see Puppy Love, page 76).

STEP 7 Slide bromeli­ads, cut­tings and pups in be­tween coir and elas­tic bands from the top down.

STEP 8 Se­cure plants in place with 1.5mm bon­sai wire around top of roots. Over time, the bromeli­ads will at­tach to the twine and mat­ting, and you can re­move the elas­tic bands and wire. PROJECT 2

BROMELIAD BAUBLE

Gather your sup­plies

• 2 hang­ing bas­kets with coir fi­bre liner

• 2mm bon­sai wire

• 12 bromeli­ads

• Sphag­num moss

You’ll also need Side cut­ters; nail; scis­sors; ca­ble ties (op­tional)

For you to note:

Don’t use wire made from cop­per, gal­vanised steel or zinc. Alu­minium wire is best.

Here’s how

STEP 1 Re­move chains from bas­kets and at­tach coir fi­bre liner to bas­kets with bon­sai wire, us­ing nail to poke holes in the liner for the wire.

STEP 2 Re­move bromeli­ads from their pots, shake off ex­cess pot­ting medium, leav­ing only bark/ ma­te­rial at­tached to roots.

STEP 3 De­cide where you want your plants –

6 for each bas­ket. Use nail to make holes in lin­ers, then cut in­ci­sions the same size as the di­am­e­ter of the bromeli­ads’ root balls with scis­sors.

STEP 4 Care­fully poke bromeliad roots through to in­side of bas­kets.

STEP 5 Reat­tach the chains to one bas­ket with bon­sai wire or ca­ble ties. Hang the top bas­ket.

STEP 6 Fill bot­tom bas­ket with sphag­num moss and build a mound of the moss so it will fill the top bas­ket.

STEP 7 At­tach bot­tom bas­ket to top bas­ket with bon­sai wire or ca­ble ties. Reg­u­larly turn ball up­side down to en­sure all plants get the same amount of sun­shine and cups get equal amounts of wa­ter.

for PROJECT SUP­PLIES, see OUR stockists page

STEP 2

STEP 6

STEP 1

STEP 4

STEP 5

STEP 7

STEP 4

STEP 1

STEP 3

STEP 7

STEP 2

STEP 6

STEP 5

STEP 8

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