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Bromeliads for Novices and Addicts February 2012

Queensland, Australia

Hi Everyone,
Well it was time for a new brom thread, so here we are.

We came from

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1235412/

Now it was hard to pick a photo this time, so I have used one that most people like and although I have shared it before, I thought it would be a nice one to start off the new thread. It's Neoregelia Dream Baby.

Tash

Thumbnail by springer99
Brisbane, Australia

Hi, once again, many thanks to everyone for all the great advice. Suffering a bit of information overload at the moment but will sort it all out.

Yes Nev, we have possums and bush rats too. I don’t really think it was the dog and we don’t have a cat. The possums are a real pain though … they ruined a lot of our mangoes this year even though we took steps to stop them, put a barrier around the tree trunk and a net over the top and tied plastic bags around etc etc ... didn't work. I noticed the other day that there were king parrots feeding on them too, though I don’t mind that so much as they are such beautiful birds.

At this point, I am happy to blame the brom damage on a possum and tell myself it wasn’t something that I did … ha ha. Does anyone know a good possum repellent … I’m told they also carry paralysis ticks and are not affected like domestic animals as they are immune to the poison. I try to discourage them, although our nearest neighbours have built lovely little tree houses for them. Hopefully they will all go and live at their house, not ours.

Nev, our dog loves to eat smelly stuff. I can’t use horse, cow or chook manure on the garden 'cos he gets out there and he eats it. If I cover it, it just means he digs up the garden. Sounds disgusting, but it eats the koala and wallaby poo, duck poo and almost any other he finds around the place. He is very well fed, weighs around 50 kg and always hungry. I have to use slow release fertilizers on the garden … he hasn’t taken to the granules yet.

As for catching “bromeliaditis”, I think I am coming down with a serious case of it. I have admired broms from a distance for years but resisted the temptation to start collecting them because there are so many beautiful ones out there and as I am a bit on the obsessive side, I didn’t want to have to buy and house thousands of them, but my resistance has grown weak and my brom collection is growing rapidly.

I caught “succulentitis” a couple of years ago and had to have every agave, aloe and echeveria available and still have a nice collection of them too. I do get a bit carried away on eBay at times. Fortunately, we have plenty of room here but the day is coming we will have to move as it is getting to be too much work as we get older keeping up the mowing, mulching and pruning etc etc. We will put it off as long as we possibly can as we don’t like the thought of a small suburban block or a retirement village.

Glad to hear you think the shadecloth will work out OK. I read that some growers use a second layer, is that just for the hottest part of the day, maybe I will have to do something like that.

Anyway, nice fine day today and not before time. Can’t see us getting too much done from the long list of jobs though ‘cos being the weekend, the grandkids will be up … always great to see them ... maybe I can put them to work too!!

Gotta go … someone has to do the housework

Shirley

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Have been shopping with the boys this morning. Have been outside looking for the back gate key that I've misplaced. I remember putting it down and thinking that wasn't a very good place, and now I can't remember where that " Not a very good place" is. I have to find it otherwise I'll have to break the lock as I don't have a spare. Well it started off a very nice morning with sun shining but it is rather warm and overcast now. The markets are on again tomorrow so had better have a look to see if there's any plants that need a new home. The boys always find something down there too. It's a really nice market as they block the streets off and every man and his dog can walk wherever they like. They always have some food and icecream and coffee stands, and seating put out for anyone who wishes or needs to sit a while. I usually try to get down there as they're setting up and get the to pick the eyes out of everything. Ooops I was thinking that I was in the tearoom and have raved on a bit. sorry. The pink plant is Neo rosea striata Nev. One from you and is being looked after well. I did go out and take a pic of just that one this morning but haven't downloaded it yet, so will put it up later for you all to see. Had better go. be back later. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris
north coast nsw, Australia

Look at my babies...there gradually growing. I like this peat moss and sand mix alot better than the sphagnum moss as it grows faster than the baby broms do.

This message was edited Feb 4, 2012 4:33 AM

Thumbnail by breeindy
shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

Shirley – Many years ago I had a dog with exactly the same traits as yours, he ate everything that stank! Even when I was mixing orchid compost, he would walk around the base of the heap and get the little lumps of blood and bone as they rolled down the side and eat them as quick as he could. My dog was always well fed and still always seemed to be hungry (like yours), so I took him to the vet who diagnosed a “tape worm”. After treatment he lost all these bad habits and his continual hunger disappeared. Apparently it’s the tape worm that eats everything and the animal doesn’t get the nourishment and still remains hungry, that’s what I was told anyway.

Colleen – I had the very same problem with the key to our side gate many years ago, I overcame the problem by fitting a combination lock with a simple four digit combination. They’re usually the same price or a bit cheaper of keyed locks of the same size and with a squirt of WD40 every month, it’s still doing the job now, thirty years later.

Your babies are looking good and I’m pleased to see you didn’t make the same mistake that most of us do when we first start growing brom seeds. (By the way, what are the seeds from?)...... Usually we tend to sow far too many causing them to be grossly overcrowded and therefore don’t grow properly. Yours are well spaced and looking good. I found the same thing as you with the sphagnum moss; it grew much faster than the seeds and choked them out of existence. The hybridizers I know in America and Hawaii use sphagnum moss but it’s been compressed and dehydrated. Once it’s rehydrated again, it’s a great seed sowing medium because it won’t grow.

When sowing seed we should never lose sight of the fact that they will all grow into adult plants eventually and you’ll need somewhere to put them so never sow too many. True, some will die and you’ll get rid of some by “culling” but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it extremely hard to toss out perfectly healthy little brom plants simply because you have too many; and finish up being in a "pickle" like me with a heap of potting well over due to be done as shown in the following pictures.

We had a bit of respite from the rain yesterday but I still didn’t get any work done as I had to go to our first Brom Society meeting for the year and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with brom friends again who I haven’t seen since the December meeting. Once the meeting business was finished, one of the younger members gave a great “Power Point Presentation” on different insect pests and diseases which was illustrated with lots of colour slides and a second member gave a very interesting talk on Catopsis, which was illustrated with various flowering examples of this genus. This genus isn’t widely grown in our area and it was quite interesting to see examples of something different. The plants on the point score table were of very high quality which is surprising for the first meeting of the year and considering all of the rain we’ve had, and there were some lovely Nidulariums as well to add another dimension to the display. There were of course as usual lots of very reasonably priced plants on the "sales table" as well as pots, name tags, pot hangers and other associated brom growing equipment. The library also proved to be very popular after being closed over the Christmas break and just reopened at this meeting. We then had the monthly raffle with prizes ranging from pots to plants and this was followed by afternoon tea nicely prepared by the ladies from "plates" brought in by the members.

If any of you have the chance to join a Bromeliad Society or Study Group I can certainly recommend it as a great place to learn about these plants and to make good friends from like minded people who are all willing to share information at a most enjoyable get-together each month.

I’ll finish now with a couple of pic’s I managed to get early yesterday when it wasn’t raining. They show the little shade house where I grow my seedlings and shows just how this part of the hobby can get away from you if you aren’t able to keep up with all the potting.

All the best, Nev

This is an area I call “The Kindergarten”, which is a section built in the centre of the Neoregelia Shade House. This is where the seedlings are moved to from a covered area on the back porch of the house

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

As you can see, there are already lots of plant requiring "potting on"

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

There are a few Aechmea seedlings but most are of my favourite genus, Neoregelia; some of which are starting to alreadys how a bit of colour.

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

From the "kindergarten" they are moved to a larger area I call "The Primary School"

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shellharbour, Australia

........and from this point on hey just seem to "take off" and grow almost as fast as the grass (well not quite, but I do have trouble keeping up with the work they create)

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shellharbour, Australia

Colours are starting to become apparent as are the various shapes ........

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shellharbour, Australia

.......and it looks like more repotting and "culling" is called for.

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barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Nev it looks as though you need a heap of little elves to give you a hand. The little ones are showing some nice colours already aren't they? My closest Brom society is over 200kms away. One guy from up here is a member but he doesn't get to go to the meetings but usually goes to one of the sales a year. Gauging by his plants they don't have the right way of getting the lovely colours that we have. I keep telling him that he has to put his plants in more light but til now he's been ignoring me. He came around to have a look at my plants one day and spotted Halalujah. He said "I haven't got that one". I said "yes you have because I got it for you" and told him what it was. He said"oh I'd better put it in more light" Silly bugger, lol that's what I'd been telling him. I still haven't found the key. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris
north coast nsw, Australia

ctmorris that one looks like my Lila?
Splinter i only had a few seeds pods i picked of a plant i got my dad for his bday and i didn't think they'd grow but sowed them in 3 containers so thats why there not crowed. There Vriesea splenden seeds. Wow you have soooo many plants, its like me with orchids. I don't have any room in my greenhouse(full of orchids) so this is the only brom seeds i'll have that'll fit. My adult broms are out in a garden.

Thumbnail by breeindy

wow miss a couple days and there's lots of reading to do to catch up. Welcome Shirley. with regards to your big ceramic pots, we have those but leave our broms in their plastic pots. we have some deep fancy pots so we stand a pot upside down in bottom and sit our plastic pot on top of that. we then pack bubble wrap around the pots to fill the bigger ceramic pot. then we just put a layer of bark on top of the lot to make it look like plant is potted in bigger pot. This makes the pot lighter and easier to carry if you need to move it. Then when that plant loses it's shine it is easy to replace it with a newer nicer plant.

I've attached a pic of our epiphytic tree. we have used Unails to attach the broms to the tree and as Nev said we have lots of old mans beard hanging there as well.

thanks for the new thread Tash. I would do it if I knew how.I know it has been explained before but I can't remember how. I tried one month but couldn't remember how.

Must be off to bed after our very busy weekend. Night all. I look forward to reading all the posts again tomorrow night.

Wendy

Thumbnail by perke_patch
shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Looks overcast again this morning, but no matter as I can’t do anything among the brom’s today anyway as I have to go to a very boring committee meeting of the Brom Society where we have to re-structure the society's constitution, so that should be bloody fun, I don’t think!

Colleen – I don’t know about “little elves”, I sometimes think I need half a dozen permanent employees! That bloke that came around to your place seems like a good example of the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. The one thing I always find very annoying is when people come around (and don’t get me wrong, I like people to come around to chat about brom’s), but it’s when they ask all these questions and are obviously not listening to the answers and they’re asking the next question while you’re still answering the first one.

I had a lady come around once who looked at a Hallelujah that had been growing in light shade and been heavily fed to produce more pups. It had already flowered, and its colour had changed to mainly green with the white spots due to the combination of extra nitrogen and the low light. I told her it was a Hallelujah, but the look she gave me said she clearly didn’t believe what I’d said. She just said how much she liked it and offered to buy it for $20. Normally she could have had it for $5 but because of her” know-all” and over bearing nature I took the $20 instead; and didn’t even feel guilty!

Your plants are looking great; nice colour and nice and healthy. How's the mesh wall going, do you have it full yet?

Bree – Sorry I didn’t acknowledge they were your seedlings yesterday, but I misread the post and thought they were Colleens. What was the name of the plant the seed came from? I'm sure you'll find that little seed growing exercise very interesting and the best thing is the anticipitation of what you'll get when they eventually mature

Wendy – I think your “Brom Tree” looks great; there’s nothing looks as good as brom’s growing naturally. A friend of mine (in fact the young bloke I said gave the presentation at our brom meeting) had a Phillipo-Corbergii mounted in a tall tree and it looked magnificent last year with five large flower spikes on it. Unfortunately, the weight of the plant and all of its pups broke the branch, so now it’s back to square one and he has to start all over again.

Nothing else to report so I’ll finish with some pic’s.

All the best, Nev.

Just a few pic's of the Neo's in the shade house

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

The same bench but looking in the other direction

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shellharbour, Australia

This is the next bench around the corner

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shellharbour, Australia

I'll finish up with a bit more of the same bench. Those small plants in the front in the white baskets are Neo Thunderbird x self seedlings. They are coming in all different shades of red and proving very popular. Not much in the shape stakes but some nice colours, even at this early stage and hopefully they will only get better as they mature
.

Thumbnail by splinter1804
barmera, Australia

Whoo hoo Nev you make me drool with your pics. lol They look so beautiful. Wendy your tree broms look lovely. I don't think the broms would like to be out in our full sun and I'm not about to give it a try. I suppose I could try some on the pines, they're pretty shady, but the cups would get full of nettles from them. That's not a good look for anything. The poor cacti have been copping them for over a year now but I've moved a lot of them now. Nev the Reo is still a work in progress. I go out and sit in the shade and make up a couple of hangers and then find something else to hang in it. Still have 2 and a half sections to go. I'll get there. The plumber is coming at 8.30 this morning so have already got a load of washing going. It will be lovely to switch the tap on and water everything. Not the broms, I'll still do that by hand. My time, plus I check everything out at the same time. must go. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris
Brisbane, Australia

Everyone is showing beautiful broms this morning. And its lovely to read all the posts. Again, I'm in a rush this morning as we need to go out.

Did the markets yesterday, but they aren't up to full capacity yet after the holidays, so one or two favourites were missing. Still, I got these minis really cheap. The red is labelled Neo. Little Rosita, and the stripey one is labelled Neo. Misfit.

Have a great day all.
Karen

Thumbnail by DawnSong
Brisbane, Australia

Hi, me again ….

You all have such beautiful broms … I am so envious. From reading the forum, it seems most of you grow from seed, not sure I have the patience for that. I did it a few times with agave and aloe seed without much success and those that did grow were soooo slow. More than a year after they germinated they were still so tiny. Then we went away for a couple of weeks and I lost most of them anyway.

Breeindy, you mention seed pods … I don't think I have ever seen one, wouldn’t even know where to look for them. Boy, do I have a lot to learn.

Nev, you have the most amazing collection …can I ask how long you have been collecting broms and a ball park estimate of how many you have? Interesting about your dog and the tapeworm but I think ours is just a guts. We have had him from 6-8 weeks old and always treated him 3 monthly with intestinal wormer (the one which includes tapeworm). But, he has just had his 7th birthday and is due for his annual vet check, booster shots and heartworm needle so I will ask the vet.

As for joining a Bromeliad Group, I would love to but have to work up a bit more courage. I know they are going to be lovely people but it’s still a bit confronting.

Colleen, I “hid” keys to the house a good while back somewhere on the back patio. Some time later when we locked ourselves out, I thought I knew where they were but couldn’t find them. Fortunately we had the remote to the garage door and access to a jigsaw and Michael cut a hole in the door. I later remembered moving them to a “better” place … wherever that might be. Never did find them. We now have a new door, new locks and I “think” I know where to look for the spare key.

Thanks Wendy for your welcome and the helpful information on ceramic pots. Are your broms attached to a Melaleuca … they look great.

We removed the old cloth from the shadehouse over the weekend. It is still in pretty good condition considering it has been there for around 18 years. A few holes where sticks falling from the gums have gone thru it but otherwise it was just all the ? lichens / fungal thingies growing on it. I guess the same thing will happen to the new stuff. I will attach a photo of the stuff growing on it and if anyone has any ideas how to keep them away I would be really grateful.

Also many of my broms are without names. Don’t want to wear out my welcome but maybe I could take a photo sometime of one or two of them and ask for identification ???

I’ll sign off now … sorry for the looong posts.

Shirley

Thumbnail by works4me
Queensland, Australia

Hi Everyone,
good on you Bree with the Vr splenden seeds, that is one lot of seed I just can't get to grow so far, that and hieroglyphica seeds. I have had about 4 different lots sent to me and none have every germinated. Very odd. Not sure if it's just me or if it's the climate up here?
Wendy love that tree, I wish we could do that here. Nev your photos are such a tease! lol
Nice group shot Colleen, and l love the monkey hiding in there, very cute.
Nice pick up on the mini's Karen, my parents were here the other day and my mum took a shine to the minis we have (we don't have that many though) so I might have to find some for her.
Shirley nice to see you staying around too :) Yeah attach photos when you can, I used to ask 100's of questions, trust me, ask anyone in here, lol. I used to have spread them out as I was that bursting at the seams with things I wanted to know. I am trying to grow from seed, but yes it's so slowwww and not as easy as people might think and yes I keep losing lots because they dry out too much etc. We just moved them all again on the weekend and I should go out and check them acutally and make sure they are doing ok in the new position. Only moved them maybe a metre, from the fence line to the house wall type thing, but it's amazing what the light difference is just with a small move. Don't want to fry them as the ones that have made it this far are doing ok.
Many of us have heaps of broms with no names, we usually refer to them as NOID which simply stands for... No Id ( No Identity).
But post the photos and you'll be surprised at how many of them people will know :)
Ok well I had better keep moving, sorry can't help with the shade cloth critters, lol.
I'll attach a pic of our Aechmea blanchetiana's.
Tash

Thumbnail by springer99
Brisbane, Australia

I've put this on FB but had to share it here. I saw this at the Catlans a few weeks ago and loved it, but they had no seedlings from it. Today, Genny sold me a pup from it. I am over the moon. She said some people don't like them much because of the strappy leaves, but I love the "snakeskin" pattern on this. It is called Billbergia Deliciosia.

Shirley, this forum is to share all aspects of growing and showing broms, and looking for id's is a big part of it. I am relatively new to brom collecting so I also have questions about mystery plants. Not all have been answered, but some have, and its great.

Tash, love those blanchetianas, they always stand out in a garden and look great.

Krista, hope you are still popping in.

Karen

Thumbnail by DawnSong

Karen I love your little neos but your red one doesn't really look like my little rosita which I have attached a pic of. I checked FCBS though and the one there looks more red than mine so maybe I have the wrongly named one.

Shirley we welcome new members so we can mentor them and hopefully stop you from making the mistakes we made. One big mistake we made when we first started really collecting was to make a really beautiful shadecloth structure and new gardens beneath to display our first group of expensive purchases. All our best plants went in there to display at their best. For 6 months or so they grew so well and looked amazing then the first really heavy period of rain came and after weeks of it our broms started rotting off in the middle. I asked someone if the neo flowers sent the water rotten if they sat in deep water for too long. After lots of questioning it was revealed that the timber structure my husband had build for the shadecloth was the culprit poisoning the broms below. If there had been a forum like this around then a single photo of our structure would have had all sorts of advice about pulling it down and/or building it differently. So hopefully we can keep new members from making big mistakes like we all probably did without that advice. If we can help you identify your broms we will be happy too.

Karen I like your new billbergia. I got to pick some billbergias from Genny's special area a while back. These were the broms kept for breeding purposes for seedlings. She has some amazing ones for hybridising. I love to go down there to see what we can find. there is always something amazing there to discover.

Nev and Tash your parcels are on the way so I hope you enjoy your presents when you open the box.

Nev you have so much colour in your shadehouse. well done. I must take some more pics of the thunderbird x self seedlings you sent to me. They are potted up into big pots and are happily growing in a totem so getting very big and red.

I'm taking Jen out to see my brothers collection of broms tomorrow. He works interstate in mining and only comes home for a week or two at a time so he has a lot of work each time he comes home to keep the broms going. We have had to go out to help him at times to dead leaf them and spray for scale etc. Hopefully Jen will find something she will want to take home with her.

wendy

Thumbnail by perke_patch
Brisbane, Australia

Wendy, this is where the forum is good as we can find out if we have mis-named plants. I got that from the markets, it is a mini. It could be wrongly named. I can never find what I'm looking for in that FCBS thing. I find the right section but they are never there. I did find 2 other pics elsewhere that are mini little rositas, both were bright red. Only time will tell if mine goes red like that.

Genny asked after you and John. I said John hadn't been too good. The corpse plant is done now but I got more pics of the inside where the seeds are developing. I am so pleased we got to see it in the 3 different stages.

I know this is off topic, but here is the Titan Arum on its first day out in flower...

Karen

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Brisbane, Australia

That was a week ago. Here it is today...

Thumbnail by DawnSong
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes... I followed you good folks over to February. You can't get shed of me that easily. lol I am enjoying the photos and the conversation.

Karen ~ I can see why you were excited to get the Billbergia Deliciosia. It is an attractive and large plant. Looking forward to seeing it bloom for you also.

I've also enjoyed the Titan Arum photos you have posted. There was one at a nearby university that the botany dept managed to bring into bloom. It was a spectacle worth recording as was the one you posted ~ thank you.

I like Tashs' A. blanchetiana collection but they would be too oversized for me. The mini neos would be better suited for me. I really do like the way your shadehouse is set up too. Very inviting.

Wendy, can you tell me what you use when you spray for scale. I've had two different types of scale, one on an Aechmea and one on a Cryptanthus. So far I have them under control but would like to know what you find successful?

Thanks to all for the good information ~ Kristi

Brisbane, Australia

I love this forum … everyone is so friendly and helpful and I really appreciate the advice. Sounds like a few of you made some rather expensive mistakes along the way and it’s great that you’re willing to share your experiences and save others from falling into the same traps.

I will attach a photo of one of my NOIDs. Tash, thanks for the explanation of NOID, I had seen it mentioned earlier and wondered what it was. I have seen “the Catlans” mentioned a couple of times also and assume they are brom growers / sellers …

Anyway, this NOID is a large brom, approx 50 cm across at its’ widest point. Maybe someone can give it a name. It has lost some of its’ colour since I purchased it.

The shadehouse is a work in progress and will be for a while yet. It’s steel framed and after removing the old shadecloth, we found a fair bit of rust. So, if anyone can tell me the name of a rust killer we can use that wont end up killing the broms, please let me know that too.

Thanks again, Shirley

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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

Well I put in a very boring day yesterday at a committee meeting where we had to review and update our Brom Society constitution and this morning I think I am still suffering from “brain drain”.

Colleen – It seems like everything is starting to fit into place for you and at least you seem to be working to a plan and sticking to it which is more than I can claim to do. I start off with good intentions and see a plant that needs attention and then away I go on yet another side-track. I think you’ll be more than happy with the effect of your mesh wall when it’s finished and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to pic’s of the finished product.

Karen – That’s a nice little lot of mini’s you manage to get onto. They didn’t seem very popular down here for a long time but now everyone’s going mad for them and can’t get enough. Unfortunately there’s never any at our markets and not many growers have any to spare either. There was a nice pot full of a little yellow coloured NOID mini on the sales table last weekend at our meeting for $5 but unfortunately I already had it.

Shirley – I’ve only been collecting for about 12 years now and I do have a “much too large collection” which is due not so much to buying, but mainly by swapping and growing from my own seed. As for the number, I would have to say it’s impossible to count as I have thousands of seedlings from “tiny” right through to flowering size. But to give a ball park figure of adult plants (not counting the seedlings) I would say it would be easily about 500 - 1000.

Don’t feel that joining a brom society is confrontational; people in societies welcome new members and go out of their way to help them with their hobby of collecting brom’s, and the things you learn there are never ending. The most important thing though, is that the info. you get is from people in your own area and growing under similar conditions to you.

As for the lichen on your old shade cloth, you could try a bit of household bleach brushed on and just left in the sun for a day or so and then hosed off. If that doesn’t work it looks like a job for a gurney. I know of a grower on another forum who used a gurney on the same problem while the shade cloth was still on her tunnel house and the results were unbelievable.

As Tash says, we all have NOIDS in our collections, so don’t be worried about putting up pic’s for someone to identify. This happens from buying unnamed plants or losing the labels out of the pots or as in my case, having them stolen by Bower Birds. For some reason our local Bower Birds have taken a liking to plastic name tags as well as my wife’s blue clothes pegs. The result being that I have to make my name tags out of re-cycled aluminium venetian blind slats, that’s the only way I can stop them. Two years ago I repotted all of my orlandianas and I had about ten different varieties; two days later all the name tags were gone, however I did find them in next doors back garden in the Bower Bird’s bower. I’m still trying to get those plants all named again which because of the similarity of colours and the fact that the colours change, is pretty difficult.

Tash – Sorry to hear you fried some of your seedlings; I guess its all part of that big learning curve. We’ve all had our problems with them overheating and being flooded, but eventually you’ll get the right spot and then you’ll have seedling growing out of your ears. I’ll get a bit more seed in the mail to you this week as I wouldn’t like to see you lose interest just because of a little setback like cooking a few. I love your big orange “Blanchie”, I think it’s a “ripper”.

Karen – That’s a very nice Billbergia you’ve managed to get hold of. I like the patterned types as well, as you have the colour all the year around; the flowers are an added bonus. To get the best colour you need to grown them in good light and DON’T feed them with a high nitrogen fertilizer.

Wendy – I have to agree with everything you’ve said, especially your experiences with the treated timber as I had exactly the same thing happen to me as have quite a few in our brom society. Some time back I wrote a short article about it for our Society News Letter to help people from falling in the same trap as I had, and if anyone would like a copy just email me as I’m only too happy to share it around. I don’t think there’s anything more heart breaking to a brom grower than to find a whole row of plants rotted out because of copper residue from treated timber dripping on them.

I’ll certainly be looking forward to the “courier lady” coming this week with your box of “goodies”.

Karen – The Titan Arum is certainly a spectacular plant, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget the stink of the one I saw I Bali. It just seemed to invade my nasal passages for hours after I first smelt it.

Kristi - I control scale with a product called “Clensel”, but I don’t know if it’s available in the US. Another good one which is probably on the lower end of the “dangerous to humans” list is “Confidor” which is a Bayer product marketed by Yates, See below:

Bayer Confidor Insecticide - Ready to use
Controls aphids, mealy bugs, scale, thrips, whitefly and other sucking insects on ornamentals, roses and vegetables. Confidor belongs to a new chemical group, so it is excellent to use in a spray programme with other insecticides, as it controls pests resistant to older formulations.
Features
• Systemic action – absorbed through the foliage and moves throughout the plant to control insect pests – works from the inside out.
• Good for spot treatment of pests.
• Low toxic, water based formulation.
• Easy to use trigger pack – no mixing required, no mess.
How It Works
Systemic insecticide which targets sucking insects.
Ingredients
Active Constituent: 0.125 g/L IMIDACLOPRID

Shirley – I’m almost certain that your plant is a very nicely grown example of Neo concentrica or at the very least a “look-a-like“hybrid from it. Concentrica is a species and has been used successfully many times as an exceptional parent when breeding. It’s certainly one of my all time favourites and one which I think should be in every collection.

As for your rust problem, first treat the rusted areas with a “rust converter” as per instructions. It’s not very expensive and available in most paint shops. Once treated you can then paint it with “Galmet Cold Galvanizing”. If you just Google “Galmet Cold Galvanizing” there is a PDF document that explains all about it. It’s easy to apply and a good reliable product I’ve used many times with good results.

All the best, Nev.

A few shots of the garden after the rain

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

.........and another...

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

.. and a couple more

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

.

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

......and just one more, Billbergias patiently awaiting repotting.

Is it just me or is this site so frustratingly slooooow to load pictures?

Thumbnail by splinter1804
barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. So much going on. Nev, your pics are sooooo inspiring. Keep them coming please. Yes they do take a while to upload onto DG if you don't downsize them first. Don't ask me how to downsize though. I have been shown so many times but it just goes into one ear and out the other. My brain just says, " you've got time to wait" [for the pics to upload " so that's the way I keep doing it. Have just ordered some really NICE Vrieseas. Will show you all when they arrive. It's a secret til then. lol Weedwoman has some more broms for sale on FB if anyone hasn't seen them. She has really nice plants too. Shirley you can't go wrong if you get the people on here to sell you plants. Wendy, Nev, Weedwoman [Sue], and Jen I think will all be happy to assist you as you get addicted. I'm living proof of that. They really are a beautiful plant and quite easy to care for. That's what I like about them. Have the watering system done in my front garden now. That will make it a lot easier for me. The plumber will be back Wednesday to do the tanks and the back garden. Must go be back later. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris
shellharbour, Australia

No one told me about that, I'll try downsizing one and see.

Neo Gold Fever

Thumbnail by splinter1804
shellharbour, Australia

Well, well, well! It is much faster, thanks for the tip Colleen, One more and it's back to work.

Neo Gold Fever Too

Thumbnail by splinter1804
barmera, Australia

That didn't work did it? lol Will try again. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris
barmera, Australia

Ahhh. That's better. I lost the first pic though, so don't want to do that again. Colleen

This message was edited Feb 7, 2012 3:16 PM

Thumbnail by ctmorris
Queensland, Australia

Hi everyone, wow gotta keep up with the posts, lol.
Thanks so much Wendy, can't wait for Friday, that's when it should get here.
Amazing photos Karen, really appreciate you sharing them, gee it must develop a lot seed in there. wow.
Thanks Nev, I'd love a bit more seed to play with, the neo's seem to have come through okay, it's just them finicky Vrieseas that I so want to grow, lol. I hope the new set up will keep them happy, just not sure if it will be ideal in winter?? pfftttt, why can't that sun just stay still! lol.
I would love to get my fingers on some of that fancy NZ vriesea seed, but I can't see that happening. Hopefully someone will be able to go over to cool Broms next year and import some stunning one back here, I would love to go, but can't see that happening.
Great pics Nev, you have so many beautiful broms!
Yeah reducing the size of the file makes the upload faster, but I often don't bother just cause I'm slack, and by the time I reduce them and then upload them, it takes about the same time. But having said that, there are some of mine that won't upload at all! Too Big. My camera is a 14 megapixels and sometimes the files are just too big.
Well nothing much to report here, it's hot and blahhhhhhhhhhh.

Tash

Brisbane, Australia

Wow ... 5 photos ...

Somewhere out there in cyberspace are photos of 5 more of my unnamed broms. Just had a quick look in and only had a few minutes to post so quickly added 5 photos to drive you all crazy ... and after waiting forever to preview the post, the whole thing disappeared. Anyway, I might come back and try again later.

Shirley

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