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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: splinter1804 picture (Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012)

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In reply to: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012

Forum: Australian and New Zealand Gardening

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Photo of Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012
splinter1804 wrote:
Hi everyone – Not much to report today, all I did yesterday was a good deep watering of everything, a bit of cleaning up and a couple of re-potting jobs I had been putting off, nothing really interesting, but I do enjoy watering as that's when you get a chance to really have a good look at each plant.

Ian – Pleased to hear you reached you destination safely, that seems to be a bonus these days with all of the "idiots" on the road doing stupid things and causing accidents in which the innocent person usually gets injured or killed.

Congratulations all round on the birth of your new grandson. How do you like being a Grand Dad? I can highly recommend it as the grand kids can give you hours of pleasure. Now all you have to do is teach him how to grow brom's.

Trish – Just to clarify what I said about postage costs; it was only the parcels under 500gm that they don't take into account the box size. Over this they do, and feed this info into the computer and it spits out the results for all the different types of postage. It's quite easy to work out your own postage costs as there is an Australia Post site on which you can calculate the cost as long as you have the weight and box size, and your post code and the post code to where you are sending the parcel. Check it out at this site: http://auspost.com.au/personal/parcel-dimensions.html

In your first pic, what is the name of the largish pink/red Neo at bottom right of the pic?

Shirley – It's always a good idea to knock a plant out of the pot and examine the roots if it doesn't seem happy. The three most common problems in my opinion are being “too wet”, being “too dry” and “Root Mealy Bug”. The treatment for the first two is simple, re-pot your plant into fresh mix and adjust your watering accordingly.

As for the “Root Mealy Bug”, if you practice good hygiene when handling plants and re-potting, it's unlikely you have ever had problems with it. You may however have imported it with a plant you bought or swapped. Also another common source of contamination is using second-hand, unwashed re-cycled pots. If because of financial constraints you have to use second-hand pots, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and washed and allowed to air dry in the sun to kill any possible bugs or disease. When I grew orchids I always cleaned any second-hand pots with a solution of Formalin, but I don't think you can buy it any more, but there are alternatives and as Sue has studied horticulture and worked in the horticultural area, no doubt she can better advise about this than I.

Root Mealy Bug can be seen either on the roots, the mix or the inside of the pot and looks like a fine white looking sort of web which is hard to explain but is obvious in Pic.1. The actual “Root Mealy Bugs” themselves are hard to see as they are quite small and often concealed within the root ball (See Pic.2). For more in-depth info see: http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG136/mealy4.html

I have had excellent results by treating infected plants in the following manner. I remove as much of the potting mix from around the roots that I can and then give the roots a good hosing (away from other plants). I allow the plant to dry and then I then drench the whole plant in a bucket of Confidor mixed according to instructions for Mealy Bug. Confidor is available at most nurseries and other places that sell plants and plant accessories (I get mine from Bunnings which is just ten minutes away). I allow the plant to air dry for a couple of days and then, using a new pot I re-pot it into fresh mix. I never re-use the old pot or potting mix as it can contain eggs of the Root Mealy Bug; far better to sacrifice the 5c pot and toss it in the bin instead. I prefer to follow the old saying of “prevention is better than cure”; that's why every plant I buy/swap, I always knock it out of the pot, clean away any potting mix, examine it and if free of pests or disease, re-pot in my own mix. This has two benefits; firstly you then know the plant is clean and secondly, all of your similar plants are in the same mix and therefore require the same watering programme.

What sort of conditions are you growing your Vr. Ospinae in? I have a couple, one in the garden beneath 50% green shade cloth (but among other plants) and the other plant is in my Vriesea shade house also under 50% green shade cloth, but on the southern side of the house which is a pretty shady area. They both seem to like these conditions and I find it grows quite easily. Can anyone else out there in “D.G. Land “ tell us under what conditions they grow their Vr Ospinae plants?

I think if you call your little black brom Neo 'Little Black' you could confuse things a bit as there is already a 'Little Black' registered on the BCR and you aren't certain that's what your plant is. http://botu07.bio.uu.nl/bcg/bcr/index.php?genus=NEOREGELIA&i...
There is a chance this could be what it is, but there is also a chance this isn't what it is. To be on the safe side you can call it Neo. ?'Little Black'. By adding the “?” you aren't deceiving anyone who may buy/swap it in the future.

I love the two pic's you've posted and I think they were two of the plants I had on my wish list (that I can't find) so could you please put my name on both of them for me please?

Wendy – I have found with all of the Billbergia seedling I have grown, they seem to grow so fast that they all lay over. It could be that my conditions aren't giving enough light or maybe it's the little bit of fertiliser I'm giving to push them along a bit. The leaves have been so long on some that I've had to trim them back by half when re-potting. This doesn't seem to set them back at all and as soon as they are in an area with better light the new leaves just grow normally and these old “baby leaves” just die away as the new leaves take over.

I have found that the Aechmea emmerichiae seedlings I grew are quite variable in foliage colour. That one of yours looks quite nice with the golden coloured leaves. I have a couple like this as well as a couple with more brownish/gold colouring. I don't know where I'm going to put them as I just don't have the space, that's why I gave most of the others away. Hopefully those people who got some of these will get some plants with nice coloured foliage as well.

It's quite possible you may get some variegated plants from any of the seed I sent that has 'Painted Lady' (sport) as one of the parents as this plant is a known “transmitter”.

That's it from me today, Pic's 1 and 2 are Root Mealy Bug.

All the best, Nev.


This message was edited Dec 23, 2012 10:07 PM


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