Gail my bromelads are still outside by the pond. They are under my eucalphtus trees and I believe they should be fine for most of the winter. If it gets down in the 20's I'll cover them for the night. I'll get you a picture tomorrow. The mama's have started to decline but I have 3 pups for each mama.
Last year we got down to 25 degrees on 4 different nights for a maximum of 4-5 hrs. and 1 night for about 8 hrs. That was the coldest and mine is in a micro-climate near my pond under trees. I just cover them for those 5 nights with a blanket.
That would be aechmea blanchetiana. I have one in my front yard but it's not as deep of an orange (yet). They range from yellow to deep orange-red depending on how much sun they get. They are beautiful.
Hey Jeri ! ...
There are numerous clones of Blanchettiana available - and not all of them acquire a deep color; there are also a few hybrids - including a. "ice tea" which turns very red in full sun. You can acquire several from Bromeliadworld.com or michaelsbromeliads.com ... They may fade a bit with the weak winter sun - but they will reintensify as soon as the sun gets stronger.
John thank you so much for that info. Since I can't hardly squeeze me into my GH to water I'm gonna wait until spring. But now I'm armed with the info I need to acquire them then.
Plantmover this was actually my 1st year at not killing my bromeliads. I planted the ones I have now in the shade and only watered the cup of the plant when needed and they have done quite well. My MGer friends are the ones that told me they will survive our winter outside with a little protection if the weather goes into the 20's. So actually I'm experimenting and will let yall know if it's successful!!
michaelsbromeliads.com is indeed a good source. I've been to his greenhouses in Venice and he's a great guy. I've had my aechmea out in full sun for a few months now and it's still mostly yellow-orange but I did notice some darker sections near the bottom. The USF Botanical Gardens here in Tampa also has some huge ones that have been there for quite a while, and they are a deep orange-red.
Bromeliads are really easy to grow; don't let being a newbie stop you. As for the cold, even though I'm in zone 9b, it does get down in the 30s, and sometimes 20s here. I just use old bedsheets to cover up the plants and I haven't lost one yet. I'm sure placing it in a protected area near the house or a fence would help too. I know these aechmea are rather large, but you can always consider potting it and bringing it in during cold weather.