Bromeliad bromance and bliss

Dean Morman enjoys his bromeliads. Photo: John Borren.

Finding bliss amongst bromeliads is a passion Dean Morman has enjoyed for much of his life.

“Around 35 years ago I went to a hall down the road from where I lived in Auckland,” says Dean. “There were a couple of old ladies in there selling bromeliads and I bought some for a couple of dollars.”

Now living in Pāpāmoa with a degree in horticulture, the landscape gardener has combined his bromeliad hobby with his passion for collecting gems, minerals and rocks.

“I’m in the Tauranga Gem and Mineral Club, so a lot of the rocks I get I put air plants on them – the smaller bromeliads.”

Also a member of the Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Club, Dean will have a sales table at the club’s sale day on Saturday, November 13.

He is one of 14 members showing and selling a variety of Vriesea, Neoregelias and Tillandsias - also known as air plants, from the thousands he grows. He finds the on-trend plants flourish well in Pāpāmoa.

“They love it here - it’s a subtropical climate, especially where I am. They love humidity.”

Bromeliads, which are native to South and Central America, grow from small offsets called ‘pups’ which enable the grower to quickly establish a collection.

The spectacular foliage and bright colours is expected to bring enthusiastic gardeners out to see the many rare and unusual varieties at the sales day.

“Members of the public can come along, see a lovely display of bromeliads and have an opportunity to buy plants directly from club members,” says club president Lynley Breeze.

“Our members, who are experienced and local gardeners, will also share their expertise and offer advice – something not readily available in nurseries.”

Usually held in the Matua Hall, the larger venue means that the club can meet Covid-19 requirements.

“People will need to wear masks, scan or sign in, and practise social distancing.”

The Bay of Plenty Bromeliad Club Sales Day will be held on Saturday, November 13, from 8am-12 noon at the Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club at Sulphur Point. Entry is free, with cash needed to purchase plants.


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