Acres of Bromeliads at the Tropiflora Fall Festival

The one dollar bromeliads, artisans, barbecue and plant vendors made for an amazing day, but acres of bromeliad filled shadehouses to peruse made it a perfect day. I've always wanted to attend one of Tropiflora's plant sales, but was never able to make the trip. I was already attending the FNGLA Landscape Show on Saturday, (more on that later) so Mrs. Rainforest Gardener and I made a vacation out of it and drove down to Sarasota the next day.

There was also loads of inspiration to be found, and even driftwood to make your own 'bromeliad trees.' The driftwood was out of my budget, but the cork bark rafts were affordably priced at a few bucks each. I bought three.

The bargain tent had bromeliads priced to sell at anywhere from $1 to $10 depending on the plant, and many were in really good shape. The closeouts consisted of overstock, as well as a bunch of hybrids that never quite panned out. While I did buy some of the bargain bromeliads for my friends, I focused my efforts on the vrieseas and aechmeas, particularly the cold hardy ones. Neoregelias were really popular among the visitors, (especially the Ray Coleman hybrids) and Tropiflora had plenty to go around if you were willing to negotiate the spiky aisles. Neos are a painful bunch...

These photos of the shade houses are courtesy of my wife. When she wasn't helping me decide on my purchases or getting photos, she was reading magazines under an awning in the shade. After I spent a fair amount of time running back and forth between bromeliads, we enjoyed some of the best barbecue we've ever inhaled.

Here's the haul, all for $25.14 after using a $5 off coupon. After using the gift certificate that I won from Plant Chaser's blogaversary, I paid a grand total of fourteen cents for nine bromeliads and three cork rafts. My favorite buys were Vriesea 'Astrid,' Vriesea vagans, Vriesea corcovadensis and Aechmea caudata 'Melanocrater,' all cold hardy in zone 9a.

It was a wonderful event. The vendors were diverse, the staff helpful, and the food, like I said, delicious. My one complaint is that my car was too small to carry home all of the bromeliads I would have liked!


  1. Oh isn't it hard to decide that you just have enough? Looks like you got some great deals though :)

  2. I am shaking with envy! What a fantastic looking sale - well done!

  3. Sometimes I go to Tropiflora and just wander around. That's one of the benefits of living in Sarasota.

    You did great.....I've had to go into a "no plant buying" mode....I've run out of room.


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