Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012, 1 by splinter1804
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In reply to: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012
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Hi everyone – Here we are again at the start of another week. We had our annual Christmas BBQ and get-together at a good friends house with a few old close friends yesterday afternoon and passed the time reminiscing an bullshi..ing. It was really enjoyable watching all of the grand kids running around playing and playing in the pool as well.
Trish – We didn't have any trouble wondering what to buy each other for Christmas as our fridge had just died so we gave each other half of a fridge for a Chrissie present, not exactly a surprise but something we both needed.
Thanks for going to the trouble of posting the ginger to us before Christmas, I can now look to mine as a Christmas present. The only thing you didn't send was an invitation to your Chinese/Australian style banquet; it makes my mouth water just reading abut it.
I like your idea of a retirement village for your old Mother Plants, I must do that for mine. I currently have the “Maternity Ward” for the freshly sown seed in their containers and then the “Pre-School” once they are large enough to be thinned out into other containers of about 15 plants. From here they go to the “Kindergarten” and then to the “Primary School” and finally the “High School”. I think a “Retirement Village” will complete the system well.
I once read an article called “Look After Your Mums”, and was written at a time when most growers would just take off the first pup and toss the mother plant away. The author of the article explained that if you re-potted the mother and gave her a good feed of fertiliser she would often go on to produce multiple pups. Being new to brom growing and eager to quickly build up my collection I followed his advice and have done this now for years. I often thought about calling that area the “Production Line”; however as I'm now running out of space I sometimes wonder if it was such a good idea after all.
Gee that was bad luck about someone breaking the “Blanchie's” neck. Don't be too quick to toss it out though, firstly try standing the base of it in the water filled vase of one of your larger brom's and if after a few weeks it doesn't seem to be rotting, pot it up and give it weekly applications of Condy's Crystals with sufficient dissolved in water until the water is a dark pink colour. I've heard of this working for others but have never tried it myself so I can't guarantee it.
Ian – I'll be interested to see what you and Wendy turn up with your bi-generic crosses of Bill's and Quesnelias. What I have noticed about all of the crosses registered so far is that the Bill parent in all cases was a species and species without any spectacular leaf markings. So possibly worth trying Bill Hallelujah as it's a beautifully marked plant and also a known breeder which passes on its colour.
On the BCR in the section on xBillnelias, there are also a few notes; don't be put off when you first start reading them as some are in German but there is a translation in English further on. Below are the three addresses with the notes:
Ian, what is the diameter of your Neo 'Moby Dick'? I have a large plant which looks very similar and I was initially led to believe it was a species (Bower Birds stole the original name tag and I can't remember the name) but it looks very similar to yours. (see plant in picture 3 in my post of Dec 14th.) It is growing in a lower light area and the pic isn't too good but I'll try and get a better one to post.
I also like your plant of Neo. 'Painted Desert' x 'StormyWeather', it's a nice plant with what looks like naturally glossy leaves and once again the “tell tale” Concentrica markings (this time Concentrica 'Plutonis') are in evidence on the leaves.
It's great to see you growing brom seed and I know like the rest of us you are eager to learn and you won't take offence if I do the “school teacher thing” and correct you on a name. It is Acanthostachys strobilacea and I know it's a hard one to get your tongue around but if these seedlings start out life with the wrong name they tend to continue that way, so best to correct it early. I also have a few plants of the other one (Acanthostachys pitcairnioides) which I grew from seed also. It is not as spectacular as strobilacea and has the flowers very low down almost out of sight in amongst the base of the leaves but the flowers are a nice soft mauve in colour. It does however have some nasty little prickles on the leaf edges.
I've heard of wrapping valuable things in cotton wool but this is the first time I've seen it used with bromeliads (your Pic.4), can you tell us the reason?
Sorry I can't help you with an ID for the plant in the last pic. Perhaps another pic in a brighter area would help. My first thoughts were not of an Aechmea but of a xCryptbergia 'Red Bust'. How large is the plant i.e. high and wide and do you know what the flowers are like?
Wendy – Your seedlings of Nid. 'Nana' x Neo. 'Medusa' sound interesting, was it an Allan Ladd cross? It should be worth watching and I'm certainly looking forward to some pic's as they progress. Oh and just one other thing, (although I'm not a Till. grower) I think the Till you mention as Till. kruchoffiana should be spelled Till. Krukoffiana.
Shirley - I'll be looking forward to receiving the Neo pups, a great Christmas present for a brom grower. Please D-Mail me what you would like in return, or a list of some of the plants on your wish list, I may have something here you are chasing. Also I love the colours of the two brom's in your pic's.
Sue – I have found since I have been sending plants in polystyrene boxes, I haven't had any problems. I don't think writing “Live Plants” on the box really helps at this time of the year as Australia Post probably take on temporary staff to help with the Christmas rush and half of them can't read and they don't give a "toss" anyway as they know they'll be gone as soon as the rush is over.
Sue I have the same trouble with the Ques Liboniana down here also, but our Society President who lives only about twenty minutes away at Dapto grows it well. I was thinking my problem may have been the salt air as the ones grown at Dapto wouldn't get any salt air, but then that's just a theory. I've tried growing it in pots, mounted on timber and on trees and the end result is always the same, dead leaves..... bugger!
Sue what you say about Hot Gossip, Milagro, and Predator could well be true as I suspect a fair bit of this has gone on over the years especially when plants have been bought and imported from other countries under the name of just the breeding formula only. The grower in the country of origin names and registers his/her plant and the grower here does the same, but with a different name, just another problem for the BCR to try and sort out one day?
Sorry I can't help you with your ID on the Aechmea but that pup on the Ae 'Red Bands' looks great. Do they always start out his colour or is this one a “sport”, if so it's certainly worthwhile persevering with to try and stabilise it.
I'll finish now as usual with a few pic's Pic.1 is for Ian and is Acanthostachys Pitcairnioides, Pic 2 is Ae. Cylindrata , Pic.3 is Neo Mulford Foster, Pic.4 is Canastropsis seidellii x Canistropsis 'Plum' and finally Pic 5 shows a couple of seedling culls of Neo Thunderbird x destined either for the garden or the bin
All the best, Nev.
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