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Australian and New Zealand Gardening: Bromeliads for novices and Addicts - Dec 2012, 2 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:
Hi All – Well my thumb hasn't dropped off yet so I'm trying a bit of typing with one hand and gee isn't it slow? I'm making an early start (5.00 am) to compensate for using just one hand and I think a snail could type faster. I'll start by responding to yesterday's posts and see how I go.

Ian – Thanks for the feed back on Neo. 'Moby Dick', it looks like the plant I have is wrongly named and it really is Neo.'Moby Dick'. I got this plant from a very knowledgeable grower who said it was a species (can't find the name, maybe the bower birds stole it as it would have been a plastic one), anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that even the experts sometimes get it wrong, which just re-enforces what I've previously said about never trusting the name on a name tag.

It's interesting that you say you found scale on the ?Cryptbergia, I stopped growing this plant because I found that here in my environment it seemed to attract White Scale and Mealy Bug and as I'm very reluctant to use insecticides I “bit the bullet” and got rid of these plants. Just as a bit more info to aid in the ID, I seem to remember the flowers on my plants were (I think) a “bluish” colour with a bit of green.

With your yesterday's Pic 2 (An unusual plant) , is that a white flower with blue margins or is it a flower from an African Violet you've put there just for a joke? The foliage has the look of a Neo so maybe it could be one of the Neo species. I don't think your pic 4 today is Neo 'Ruth Wilson' but is Neo 'Kahala Dawn'

Trish – When I mentioned about “looking after your old mother plants”, I forgot to mention the most important bit of information I had meant to pass on. I got this from one of the professional brom growers who said, as well as the usual fertiliser, it pays to increase the amount a bit as well as putting a “prill” or two in the lower leaf axils. I have tried this on plants I wanted to increase my stock of, and it does work. On at least three occasions there were multiple pups produced sometimes between six and eight, but be warned; usually after production like this, the mother plant is “burnt out” and is then only good for tossing on the compost heap.

As for putting your damaged “Blanchie”pup into the water in the vase of a larger brom, this method works well if you want to strike cuttings of other plants also. Just remove any excess leaves and put the “cut end” of the cutting down into the water in the cup and more often than not they will put out roots. I think it must be something “special” in the water as I've even seen brom seeds germinate in it this water as well.

I love today's pic's; always great as usual but Neo 'King's Ransom' gets the prize from me; always a favourite of mine as is the little Neo Chiquita 'Linda' which is the result of a crossing of the tiny little Neo Lilliputiana with Neo 'Fireball'. I find your Vr. Altodaserrae quite attractive also, it's a species I've never seen down here and it has such a neat attractive form (probably the way it's been grown). I looked it up on the FCBS species register and it has an amazing very tall inflorescence and like everyone else, I am looking forward to seeing a pic when it flowers.

Wendy – As for crossing Hallelujah with your Quesnelia Liboniana, I think if you use a known “good parent” your chances of a successful outcome are increased, and Hallelujah is certainly a good parent. On the other hand, some beautiful brom's have resulted from crosses using the most unlikely parents, so I guess it's all down to experimenting and the expectations of hybridising. While talking about bi-generics, I too like the pic of your xNeomea 'Scorpio' what sort of flower does it have and do you have a pic you could post?

Tell Johnny I said that stepping in “cowsh” is supposed to be good luck so maybe he'll win the Lotto or something. Having said that though, it didn't help me win anything as when we were kids rounding up the cows from the yard to go into the bails for milking, we were more often than not bare footed and the mornings cold and frosty. While waiting in the yard to bring in the next lot of cows, the usual thing was to stand in fresh “cowsh” to keep our feet warm.

Shirley – I can't help you with the NOID in your first pic (yesterday's lot) but would like to add it to my wish list whenever you have a spare pup. I also like the little plant named Neo 'Chantilly' and would be interested in swapping a pup of this also when ever you get a spare.

I'm sure the pups you sent will arrive in good condition even at this busy time of the year for Australia Post. I find brom's are extra resilient and can tolerate a lot of mishaps and still bounce back. I once had a parcel of pups sent to me by a bloke who put the address on the package but forgot to write what town it was. They went around in the post for a little over two weeks before they finally found their way to me. They did look a bit de-hydrated, but after a soak in the “magic water” (˝ cup of raw sugar dissolved in a bucket of water) they perked up within an hour and grew on to be great plants.

Your NOID in pic three is like one that's been around down here for a while and carries the unregistered name of Neo 'Brushstroke” (unreg.) possible due to the fine lines in the foliage resembling the path left by a paint brush.

With your pic's today, your NOID which is pictured No.3 is more than likely Neo. 'Fancy Pants'. It also is a bit variable and doesn't always have exactly the same markings.

Sue – Why I asked the question about your Ae. 'Red Bands' was that the plant I have, only ever has green coloured pups when they first poke their heads through the mix. Perhaps there is a little bit of faint barring but certainly not the rich red colour of the one you posted. I eagerly await the next pic's when it's more mature to see if it retains that rich colouring and if it does, and after you have registered it and made your fortune, can you put me on the end of a very long queue for a pup please?

Oh how I wished I had the space you have to plant all of my excess brom's, I could create a “brom heaven” just like you are doing. Your two new gardens look great and will fill another void in your landscape. I also love you 'Break of Day' and 'Camelot' plants. My 'Break of Day' has more of a golden colour than yours which I expect is due to having less light than you get up there, but it's still a nice plant all the same.

I've almost caught up and can now start on your post for today. You well and truly beat me today as I started here at about 5.00am and its now about 1.00 pm (so much for my one finger typing), but I can't do much else anyway so I'm still here trying to catch up.

You said in your message to Jen, “I was looking at your V. 'Angela' x 'Milky Way' and wonder why it doesn't look anything like I would expect, (pink)”, this is because it's following the “Pod Parent” dictates shape and size and “Pollen Parent” dictates colour rule. This is explained by the way the name formula is written and you're correct in saying that the first name is the “pod parent” and the second is the “pollen parent”. If on the other hand it was a reverse cross where Milky Way was the “Pod Parent” and Angela was the “Pollen Parent” the results could have been very different. But then you get some of the well known hybridisers who say the results would be the same no matter what way the parents were used. I can't say from the little experience I've had with brom's but I personally know from my orchid growing hybridising that this was definitely not the case and if you did the cross both ways, the progeny was always different. The only way to know for sure I suppose is to try doing the cross both ways; or ask Jack if he did it the other way also and what the results were.

I love the pic's you've posted and really like the way the leaf tips of the Mary Brett have coloured up when grown in bright light. I also like the curly leaves on your Bill. 'Catherine Wilson', they remind me of one I have called Bill 'Curly Top' except that one is green with white markings

Hi Jen – Good to see you posting again, I always like to hear what you have to tell us. What you say about the seed parent influencing shape and size and pollen parent influencing the colour, is usually correct. However it wasn't me who posted it., I think it was Ian and he was quoting the original statement which came from the “Master “ himself, Jacob (Jack) Koning and he certainly has sufficient runs on the board to make such statements as he's bred some magnificent hybrids. To support what I say, go to to see some of his achievements.

I love the little Dyckia seedling, it's one of many I gave away but the first I've seen with that colouring. A few years ago I saw a pic on one of the other forums of a Dyckia with a yellow centre and it was truly beautiful, but I can't remember where it was I saw it; maybe it was one of my Thai friend Chanin Thurot's babies. The seed that your particular plant came from was from a friend at the Wollongong Botanical Gardens, so let's hope you've got a good one.

Although I believe he's a bit of a character, I've never had the good fortune of meeting Allan Ladd or been to his nursery in person, but I have bought plants and seed from him and have always been satisfied with what I got. What interests me about his hybridising is that he's always trying new things; especially new bi-generic crosses and he especially likes to have a go at anything his peers say can't be done.

That's an amazing picture of Neo 'Blast' you've posted; a really beautiful eye catching plant. I have a few plants of it but have never found it to be in any way unstable but it looks like you got the good one and and like most unstable plants you can look forward to surprises every time a pup is born. When you get a spare pup of that clone could you add me to the waiting list for it please?

It also looks like you could be on a winner with your Neo Tiger' hybrid. What were the parents do you know? I have found that any of my plants that throw variegations like that on a pup always tend to thrown them from the same side of the mother plant each time. In fact I was once told that the quickest way to get a stock of these plants if you want to stabilise the markings was to destroy any pups that came from the other side of the mother. This was said to encourage pups from the same side as the one with the variegations and consequently increase you chances of getting something special.

It seems to me that you are on winners all around as your Vr. Bianca cultivar is showing some beautiful white markings as well and I'll bet “pounds to peanuts” that when it flowers it will have name tags hanging from every flower........”Long Live the Hybridiser”.

Just read your note to Trish about small ”a” for species. I'm afraid she may have got into the incorrect habit from me as I always write large letters even though it's wrong. I'm afraid its a hang-over from my tech. drawing days as an apprentice and it wasn't until I got into bromeliads that I learned that species should always be written in lower case lettering (including the first letter of the name). There are other rules about correct name writing also where some parts of the names should either be written in italics or underlined (I don't remember all of the rules now) but it just doesn't look right to me to write the genera name with an upper case first letter and then (if its a species) the following name in all lower case. On the other hand if it is a hybrid, the Genera name is still written with a capital first letter, but so are any of the other the names following, a bit confusing eh?.

That will do me for today, this one finger typing has taken me into the middle of the afternoon so a few pic's to finish. Pic's 1 and 2 are of an orchid (wash your mouth out Nev) Brassia Verucosa (23 perfumed spikes) always a welcome sight around Christmas time, Pic 3 is of my Neo. 'Break of Day' grown beneath 75% Beige shade cloth compared with the higher colour of Sue's plant posted on the 17th. which was grown under brighter northern sun. Pic's 4 and 5 show my now completed southerly wind breaks in the closed position and hopefully tomorrow I'll show them in the open position if I can drill the remainder of the steel plates without drilling my thumb again. (Incidently the house in the background is the neighbours, I don't have that much money.)

All the best, Nev.

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