‘Neos’ as they are called in the hobby are the archetypal bromeliad. There are literally thousands of species and cultivars, and so we’ve chosen to speak generally about them instead of restating the same information over and over. They are common around Brisbane gardens, and for good reason: the genus includes many colourful species that are sun tolerant, epiphytic (grows on trees) and well suited our subtropical climate.
Neregelias come in a range of patterns and colours. The number of cultivars in this genus is mind-boggling: you may find yourself wanting to start a collection before long! Though some varieties can handle full sun (8hrs + of sun), most do best with just a few hours of direct sun and dappled or bright indirect light for the rest of the day. This makes them great candidates for growing around the bases of trees. They will thrive in such a position and will colonize what is often an inhospitable environment for other plants.
Although their water-filled centers suggest high water needs, they are amazingly tough. Brisbane is full of examples of Neos surviving on natural rainfall alone. That said, such harsh treatment won’t have them looking at their best. However, bromeliads will often adapt to dry spells by simply going dormant until the rains return.
Low maintenance. Keep the central ‘tank’ filled with water at all times. Avoid heavy fertiliser. Remove spent leaves periodically.