Garden

How to mount bromeliads on wood

Make your own decorative plant sculpture.
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Recently, Charlie saw a bromeliad display that caught his eye. They were stuck to some wood and made a great alternative to the usual plant pot. Not only do they make a lovely centrepiece, but they’re super easy to create and you can stick bromeliads to almost anything you want.

WATCH: Charlie mounts bromeliads on driftwood

When your beautiful bromeliad starts to produce its magnificent flowers, it’s often a sign death is on the horizon. But not before producing a collection of clones around its base. These are called pups, and it’s the way the mother brom continues its legacy. It’s also your chance to lift your broms to a new level – attaching some of the pups to a piece of driftwood that can become the highlight of a garden table. Finish off your craft work with Spanish moss, a wispy member of the brom family also known delightfully as grandpa’s beard.

Bromeliads mounted on to wood
Create a beautiful centrepiece for your outdoor table (Credit: Brent Wilson)

It can take two to three years before a pup is mature enough to produce flowers, but it’s absolutely worth the wait as the dramatic blooms will last for weeks, maybe six months. Meanwhile, enjoy the gorgeous coloured and patterned foliage.

Bromeliad
The key to growing healthy bromeliads from pups is giving them light, warmth and humidity (Credit: Brent Wilson)

How to mount your bromeliads on wood

Gather your supplies

  • Driftwood (or any scrap of old timber)
  • Bromeliad pups
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulking gun
  • Spanish moss

You’ll also need

  • Clean cloths
  • Fishing line or garden wire

For you to know

Use driftwood or timber with natural holes or cracks you can use as anchor points.

Here’s how

Step 1

Dust off any debris from driftwood with a cloth.

Step 2

Position one large and several smaller pups in driftwood hollows or cracks in the wood.

Step 3

Put adhesive cartridge in caulking gun and gently squeeze a small amount onto driftwood in desired positions, pressing base of pups into it. Wipe away excess with a cloth.

Step 4

Hold bromeliads firm while adhesive sets – it can take up to 4 hours – by winding fishing line or garden wire around driftwood, covering base of plants at root system.

Step 5

When adhesive is set, remove line or wire and drape moss around base of broms.

Bromeliads mounted on driftwood
The final result: a living sculpture! (Credit: Brent Wilson)

How to remove pups

You can remove bromeliad pups when they are one third to one half the size of the mother plant. First, remove soil around the pups you want. Then, using a sharp, clean knife, cut as close to the mother as possible, pull the pups away and mount them elsewhere. Replace soil around the mother so it can keep producing pups.

Bromeliads mounted on driftwood
(Credit: Brent Wilson)

How to care for bromeliads

Most bromeliads are epiphytes, or air plants, so they don’t draw nutrients or water from the soil. Instead, this job has been taken on by the leaves, with the roots only as anchorage or a support mechanism. Put plants under, or in, trees so they can collect leaf litter and get gentle morning sun. Ensure the air around them is humid for moisture and don’t overwater as they’ll rot.

After more information on how to grow bromeliads?

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How to hang bromeliads in a tree

How to make a bromeliad bauble

Turn your living bromeliad tree into beautiful artwork

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