Air Plant Tillandsia Brachycaulos Miniata with Nautilus Shell and Acrylic StandOnce I had a lovely bromeliad — “air plant” — that grew in a seashell on my bathroom vanity and flourished on total neglect.

You’d think a bromeliad would be the perfect houseplant for one who kills any houseplant just by owning it, wouldn’t you?

That’s what my mother thought, when she gave it to me.

And she was right. The lovely delicate plant grew without soil or fertilizer, with just the occasional misting of water — hardly any care or attention at all — and looked nothing less than fabulously healthy even when the power went out in a January storm and the temperature in my north-facing bathroom dropped nearly to freezing. (We could only wish that the water pipes had managed so well, but that’s another story.)

So why do I say that I had, in the past tense, a bromeliad?

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For some reason, one of the cats was profoundly attached to this plant. The minute my back was turned, he would scamper upstairs to the bathroom and sit in the vanity sink, batting at the bromeliad with one sharp-clawed paw. I’d go up later to find pieces of plant strewn about the bathmat.

And yet, it survived!

…right up until the ill-fated summer day when that dratted cat patted and pawed the bromeliad, graceful seashell and all, over to the open window. I can almost see him, drawing back one paw and taking careful aim, sighting a line out over the back shed roof and into the middle of the neighbour’s lethal-thorned rose bush.

I loved that bromeliad.

I hunted high and low for it.

And when the leaves fell off the rose bush in the late fall, I finally caught a glimpse of the perky little plant — still green and prospering — buried deep in the heart of a thorny thicket that even Sleeping Beauty’s charming prince would think twice about wading into.

I moved away from that neighbourhood over 12 years ago… and if it weren’t for the harshness of Canadian winters, it wouldn’t surprise me if my tough and pretty little bromeliad was still there.

Photo: Air Plant Tillandsia Brachycaulos Miniata with Nautilus Shell from Hinterland Trading, via Amazon


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ann

    Bromeliads are so easy to take care of. And give beautiful flowers too.

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