Tropical Florida Gardens - What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Tropical Florida Gardens

What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Garden Talk: Bromeliads

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 27th

● June 11, 10:00 a.m. – Noon
kyle with bromeliadWhether you would like to learn about bromeliads, or want to add to your existing collection, you won’t want to miss this garden talk! Come listen to Edison Ford Horticulturist, Kyle Wade talk about bromeliads and learn which ones will be best for your garden.

Did you know that there are more than 2,500 species of bromeliads? These low-maintenance plants add interest to our Florida gardens with variations in size, color, flowers, and light requirements. They are well suited for our tropical climate, making them a perfect addition to any landscape. You can even anchor them to trees or driftwood for a dramatic effect.

bromeliadsBecause bromeliads can live on the surface of another plant without the need for soil, they are classified as epiphytes. A great example is the Tillandsias, or air plant. If you go for a walk in many of the local preserves, look up into the tree canopies and you’re sure to see the Tillandsia. In the spring, you can see dozens of them blooming with bright inflorescence. The air plant also makes a great gift and it’s easy to transport so you can take it up north. They can grow in terrariums or even hung from seashells suspended from colorful wire. Spanish Moss is the most common air plant in this area that we see hanging like necklaces from 100 year old live oak trees.

Many people don’t realize that the pineapple is a bromeliad! This edible plant, or the Ananas, is used in fruit salads and cold drinks around the world. It was even a symbol of hospitality, welcoming guests into their homes. When Edison was alive, south Florida was the “pineapple capital.”

Whether you have a sunny space or shaded area, there are bromeliads for every type of garden. Some garden standouts include the rosette shaped Neoreglia that offers vibrant color or the much taller grander specimens in the Aechmea family, such as the raspberry “sum bromeliad,” which is capable of
growing in full sun. The Guzmania and Vriesia varieties are excellent choices for shaded gardens or interior atriums with multiple long-lasting blooms on spikes held high above the mesmerizing leaf patterns.

Bromeliads are fun to share with your neighbors, family and friends! They have an amazing ability to replicate themselves over and over again. The main plant (the mother) produces offsets or pups and then the pups can be separated once they reach 1/3 the size of the mother plant.

tillandsia in lightbulbThe Edison Ford Garden Shoppe has many bromeliads for sale. Many vendors at our upcoming Edison Ford Garden Festival on November 19 – 20 and Edison Ford Plant Festival on February 11 – 12 will also have bromeliads available. Thomas and Mina Edison were interested in growing whatever would grow in their tropical paradise, so it is no surprise to find a bromeliad growing in every nook and cranny on the estates property.

Participants will receive a 20% discount certificate to be used in the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe. Meet at the Information Booth after signing in at the ticket office. Wear comfortable shoes for walking the gardens and bring a hat, sunscreen, and water.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $10. RSVP to Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar at 239-334-7419 or


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