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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012, 4 by splinter1804

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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:
Good morning one and all; here we are another day closer to Christmas as the “Silly Season” gathers momentum. The weather continues to be good down here although they have forecast a “wet one” next week.

Cheerio to anyone who's still on the “sick list” and get well soon. To all of those who have stopped posting, drop in and at least say “g'day” even if you don't have any brom news or pictures.

Well I guess it's just you and me today Sue, gee we are getting “thin on the ground” aren't we?

Seeing you mention Ae. Blanchetianas, I have to tell you the bad news that I took a load of large Aechmea seedlings to the tip yesterday simply because the were taking up too much space and these types don't do particularly well down here anyway.

They were all of the larger types (about 30” high) and consisted of Aechmeas Blanchetiana (Red foliage), Blanchetiana (yellowish foliage), Emmevichiae, Forest Fire, xPortmea 'Luis Ariza Julia' and Eurycorymbus. They were from American seed which had came from a well known grower and while they were all nice plants albeit with a bit of winter “cold spotting” on the foliage, they were just too large to fit into my garden or gardens of any of my friends. I couldn't sell them as everyone wants “instant flowers” and besides, everyone's money is used up buying Christmas presents anyway. As much as I would have liked to, it wasn't even worthwhile offering them to anyone here as the postage costs would have been astronomical.

Probably a good lesson for “seed growers” to be learned here, don't plant too much seed, as they will all grow into adult plants eventually and the bigger they get, the harder it is to “toss” them. I did though keep a couple of each type with better coloured foliage and even then found it hard to find space for these also.

You say you find Ae. Rodco inverta a bit slow to grow from pup, I too have found the same with an Aechmea 'Mend' inverta; even the pup of Rodco inverta I got from you (even though it was a good size) just seemed to sulk for the first year just the same as my plant of Ae 'Mend' did, although it's put on a bit of a “spurt” now and I'll push a bit of feed into it to keep it moving along. This seems to be a common trait with all of the Ae leuddemannia c.v.'s although Ae 'Pinkie' seems to be a better grower although it's nowhere near as good colour-wise as the other c.v.'s.

From the main batch of cultivated varieties produced by Ae. leuddemannia, the best for colour are 'Alvarez', 'Mend', 'Mend' inverta, 'Rodco' and 'Rodco' inverta. In my opinion, the real “stand-out” from this group would have to be 'Alvarez', the colouring is magnificent and it's a real “eye catcher”, unfortunately after several attempts I haven't had any success with it down here as it obviously very much resents the colder winters.

Thank's for asking about the scald; it's a bit sore now that it's healing. I've always been a fast healer, although it does have it's drawbacks inasmuch as the new skin as it grows, sticks to the dressing which has to be soaked off each day to stop it bleeding, however I'm sure I'll live; after all it was only about 1% body area(about the same area as my hand) that was scalded, but not real pleasant just the same.

Things have changed a bit since you and Bill were down here last, (when are you coming down again?) but I still have the same Neo shade house with the seedling area in the middle with the “lift up” sides. It's nothing special and was built mainly just as a way to best use the available space, but it is hard to describe and I'll have to try and get some pic's so our other “brom mates” understand what we are talking about. As for area names, I've only named the various seedling areas and they start at the “Maternity Ward” and progress through the “Pre-school”, “Kindergarten”, “Primary School” before finishing at the “High School”.

I took the liberty of asking a friend who is a Tillandsia grower, if he could identify the Till you showed in your first picture yesterday. He said: “Hi Nev, Looks like Till. velutina – see attachments.” (Pic 1 and 2)

I was just getting ready to post and see that you've beaten me to it yet again Sue. It's good to see at least two of us are "pulling our weight" .................. Ha! Ha! (just joking).

That's a nice coloured Portea leptantha x A. blanchettiana on the right of your pic.2. Good to see they are growing well for you. I sent a few others (when they were smaller) to "brom mates" around the country also and it will be interesting to see how they turn out too. (Ain't seed growing interesting?)

I'll finish now with some pic's once again. Pic's 1 and 2 are Till. Velutina (from my friend), and Pic. 3 is Sue's pic of her Till for comparison. Pic's 4 and 5 are of different colour forms of Ae. Alvarez just to show how nice they really are. They're taken from the internet and are not my pictures or plants, but I can still dream can't I? .

All the best, Nev.

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