Photo by Melody

Australian and New Zealand Gardening: BROMELIADS FOR NOVICES & ADDICTS MAY & June 2012, 4 by splinter1804

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Forum: Australian and New Zealand Gardening

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splinter1804 wrote:
Good morning everyone – It’s quite cold down here this morning and I’m beginning to feel pretty envious of you people who are impersonating the birds and heading north to the warmer weather. I hope you have a nice break and please give a thought to those of us in the colder states while you’re soaking up the northern sunshine.

Karen – It’s still nice to hear from you even though you don’t have any brom news to report. Maybe you should get Barry interested in “Brom Watching”.

Wendy – It seems like Emily might be a CEO in the making judging by the way she takes control of everything including you and Johnny. It will be interesting to see what happens when she realises she isn’t going holidaying in the campervan with Johnny and leaving you at home after all.

It’s good that you have someone who knows about brom’s like Jen to take care of your little plants while you’re away. It wouldn’t be a very good end to a holiday to return home and find something had happened to them because they had been over watered by a well meaning friend like what happened to me some years ago. We went away for a couple of weeks and the next door neighbour offered to keep an eye on the house and water the seedlings for me. I should have known better, as although they were very nice people, gardeners they weren’t! I showed him what to do and told him they only needed to be watered in the mornings twice a week while we were away, but what happened was that his wife became involved as well (she said John was hopeless at gardening) and she took over the watering and did it every day and mostly late in the afternoon when they got home from work about 6.00pm. It was winter time and we had a couple of extremely cold nights so I don’t need to tell you what happened to most of the smaller seedlings.

Shirley – Neo. Gee Whiz is one of the larger brom’s and a very nice one at that. I love the nice wide thick leaves it has and it will colour up a lot more than it is at present. There is also another darker coloured plant getting around as Gee Whiz ‘Rubra’, but there is some doubt as to whether or not it is a ‘Gee Whiz’ as there isn’t a plant registered by that name and it doesn’t have the same shape as the genuine registered Gee Whiz.

Reading of your problem with Neo ‘Jewellery Shop’, I can tell you that the danger with white oil isn’t just that the plants will virtually “cook” if left in the sun, but they can die of suffocation as the oil blocks the pores in the leaves and the plants can’t breathe. Sometimes the problem can be rectified if you give the plant a few good mistings with water containing a bit of washing up detergent as this will eventually break down the oil; but the plant still needs to be kept out of direct sun until it recovers.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use any oil on brom’s; Rob Smythe developed an insecticide for scale which was based on every day Canola Oil and washing up liquid detergent and he presented a paper on it to the Cairns Bromeliad Conference. Since then thousands of growers have used it with good results. You can find the recipe at . One thing I will mention though is that the original recipe called for “Sill” brand detergent which isn’t available down here where I live so I rang Rob and he said he just used that because it was in the cupboard at the time and Woolworths “Home brand” detergent works just as well.

Now for a few more random garden pic’s to finish with. Firstly Cruenta ‘Broad Leaf’, this is a large brom about the same size as Neo. Gee Whiz. Pic 2 is Neo ‘Mini-Con’ which as the name suggests looks like a miniature version of Neo Concentrica. Pic 3 is unregistered and just called Neo ‘Laurie Muller Hybrid’, Pic 4 is another Neoregelia NOID but nevertheless still one of my favourites, and Pic 5 is a variegated Aechmea Fasciata.

All the best, Nev.

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