HOUSE plants have no substitute. Those who are experts or have learnt to rear them, derive great pleasure out of growing them, whereas the others who have failed a few times tend to go in for artificial plants. But can artificial plants ever be a substitute.
For the real ones? Artificial plants no doubt give pleasure for some time, but one cannot change their static nature. House plants are valued for their colourful foliage, and the colour patterns often change with the age of the plant. There are certain house plants that get preference over others due to their spectacular display of flowers and foliage. But each house plant has its own requirements and essentials. If you learn to appreciate their needs, there is then no reason why they should wither away.
|Among house plants, the bromeliads are
probably the ones that have the most striking beauty.
These are stemless plants that form a whorl of foliage of
arresting beauty that seems to be emerging from a single
point. There is a wide variation in the colour of the
leaves. In certain species, the straplike leaves are
heavily spotted or striped. The leaves are so
immaculately arranged that they form a cup or funnel in
the middle that can hold water. This cup should always be
kept filled. Do not worry even if the growing plant is
submerged in water. It will not die. You could water the
pot once or twice a month. Too much water in soil could
lead to root rot. The plant could be kept outdoors but
direct sunlight should be avoided.
The amazing flowering inflorescence of different colours emerge out from the centre of the rossette of leaves. The inflorescence may be on long stalk or very small, stemless just peeping out of the water cup.
Though the actual flower
has a short life, the decorative bracts remain for a very
long time. The bromeliads flower only after three to four
years and then the rossette dies. The process of decaying
is, however, slow and may even extend to a year or so.
The propagation in this case is through offsets that
emerge from the sides from the main plant. These should
be removed when about half the size of the original plant
as the success rate otherwise is low. Remove the
offspring with a little roots and plant afresh. If an
offset is removed, and it does not have roots, you could
put it on sand to give roots, keep the sand moist.