With conservation in mind, xeriscaping has become a necessary way for homeowners to cut down on water use in Hawaii’s more arid areas. “Water is a precious resource and, as an island community, we don’t want to overuse our resources. Xeriscaping is great for Hawaii yards and truly creates beautiful landscaping too,” explains Katie Hachmeister, supervisor at Hawaii Kai City Mill.
Part of this practice is choosing appropriate plants to thrive in the low-moisture landscape. Enter the bromeliad. Brilliant colors, low-maintenance (the plant essentially waters/feeds itself through its central cup), and countless varieties make bromeliads ideal candidates for a creative, effortless outdoor display. Hachmeister recommends full-sun species of bromeliads such as Neoregelia and Aechmea—two varieties available at City Mill.
As epiphytes — plants that use their roots for support — bromeliads enjoy attaching to trees, stumps or rocks for nutrients and growth. But, these lovely clingers also do quite well in the ground in a variety of soils or in a well-draining container.
Try this: Use tillandsias, a true air plant variety of bromeliad, to fill in rock pukas or along craggy walls.