Bromeliads for Novices and Addicts February 2012

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. First of all Tash, I was sitting here reading your post about the rot. You said it's all in the same area. When you were building the new SH you said that you were using an old fence I think. That's not the problem is it? Something leaching out of that when you water. Just a thought. I also think that maybe they are cooking. The idea of cleaning all the hot water out at the hottest part of the day is a great idea too. Hope that you can find the answer. Wendy my sister lives in Q and I told her about you and Johnny and all your broms. Her son and D-I-L live at Victoria Point. They have built a new house there so I suggested that broms might be the way to go. Do you want to D-mail me your phone number so that they can give you a call and make a time to come. I don't know when it would be because they work and will have to come when it's convenient for you as well. Let me know anyway. Beautiful pics everyone. They look so nice when you can put more than one at a time up. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris
north coast nsw, Australia

Karen heres my vriesea when i got it and now, mine are in full sun though..a bit to much i think but i don't have much shade and my greenhouse is full of orchids.

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barmera, Australia

Whoo hoo have I got something to show you. No, not yet, you'll have to wait a bit longer. lol Colleen

Brisbane, Australia

Hello everyone, me again …

Another hot day, another storm, lots of heavy rain and some flooding. We are lucky enough to be nice and high and generally not affected by the storms other than occasional power cuts and road closures.

Love all the photos … can’t wait to get the shadehouse set up properly so I can get lots and lots more broms (I want them all) and hopefully when the neos get moved into their new “home” they will get their lovely colours back. I keep thinking maybe I should move them out under some trees but while we are having so many storms, I am worried we might get hail and I’ll have to send my poor husband out in the thick of it to bring them back in to the safety of the patio.

Wendy, Wellington Point is a looong way from us but hopefully one day I will get to see your collection.

Tash, yes I have now mastered D-mail. You mention your Bromeliad Buy Swap Sell Group on Facebook … can you tell me more about that. Love the photo of your little man and his “pretty”. I have managed to get two of my granddaughters interested in gardening and one of the first things I am asked when they visit is “have you got any new plants and can we see them”. They have their own little gardens here and quite a few pot plants as well.

Kristi / Nev, thanks for the ID on the Orthophytum and Nev, thanks for the link – great pics, I had no idea that I had bought such a treasure … without a doubt, one of the best $2.50 investments I have made in a long time. I also checked out the vrieseas on the other link … will definitely have to get more of them too. I have a small number and will attach a couple of pics of my vriesea ‘Gulz’ (I think).

Breeindy .. love your family portrait … beautiful. Do you have a name for the red spotty one on the far left of the photo, also the pink centred one with the strappy variegated leaves and the purple centred one above and to the right of it. Also, what type of broms are the ones with long pointy leaves (there’s apink, a red, and a variegated one).

and Colleen … you do like to keep everyone in suspense !!!

Gotta go ... thanks again and bye for now, Shirley

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Hi everyone.
Now that we can upload several photos in a single post we just need to be able to click from one to the other like an album. At the moment we have to open 1 pic, look at it, close it return to the post click the 2nd pic to open it, check it out and close it etc etc etc.

Once again I am not getting the option to upload more than 1 picture so I will start with this one aechmea black ice which is coming into flower


PS why does it turn pics on the side? this one is definately not on its side in my folder.
I just lost another post with 3 pics attached. I'm going to bed again I'm so frustrated with this computer.

This message was edited Feb 13, 2012 10:46 PM

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north coast nsw, Australia

works4me- red one unknown, the varigated one is unknown and the purp. is stars and bars i think. The strappy leaved ones are neophytums, that last ones not varigated just sunburnt i think.
Heres the other half of my broms. That brown rotting one is pretty sad though...

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Brisbane, Australia

Colleen, what are we waiting for? Must be good. :)

Wendy, the uploading box offers only one photo, but when you fill that box, the next one shows to let you upload the second, and so on for as many as you want up to 5. It doesn't show 5 boxes all at once.

Did anyone get washed away in the storm yesterday? We nearly got blown away. Barry has been out this morning trying to clean up the debris and pick up overturned pots. We haven't had a wind like that in a long time. Had to close all the windows too as the rain was being blown through. Rain, no sorry, it was a total deluge. I think we got about 60mm while the storm lasted. It looks like a messy mangrove beach at low tide out in my yard at the moment. Tree roots are exposed, debris washed in rows like waves over the front. I guess the wind will be next, and will blow it all evenly over the yard again.

Better go, Barry's done something out there, goodness knows what. A stream of curses comes flying down the hall. Have a great day.


shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Breeindy – Wow! That’s some family portrait. What a great looking group of brom’s and such a kaleidoscope of colour; you’ve really got a nice collection growing there. What are the three with the narrow leaves are they XNeophytums and if so which ones are they? They make a nice contrast against the nice wide leaves of the Neo’s. There’s some nice colour in your second pic as well. Is the plant that you say is “rotting” (lower right of the pic) an old mother plant in decline or has it just started to rot? In any case I think you should isolate it away from the other plants just in case it is “Crown Rot” to prevent it spreading to other plants. I usually keep old mother plants in a separate area as the centre always rots as they decline which is just part of the natural process, but it is still ROT and you don’t want it contacting your other plants.

Karen – Your picture describes very well the effects that varying degrees of light plays on the colours of brom’s. The first pic of the Angela is a beautiful colour and was obviously grown in much more light than the one on the left or the one in that pic of mine for that matter. I’ve never been able to get the light intensity quite right for Angela and although I get reasonably good colour, I know it can be better. I have mine growing in with my Neo’s and as I now have several plants, this year I’ll trial several areas of the yard with different degrees of light and hopefully get it right eventually. I’ve always thought that Vrieseas are a lot tougher than they look and I’ve suspected for some time they can take much more light than we usually give them, so I guess it’s time to experiment.

As for your question about whether or not your plant will regain its colour if it gets more light, I suspect it could, but you must introduce it to more light gradually otherwise you may burn it with the intensity of the summer sun (when we ever get any, that is). Because it’s been growing in a shadier area the leaves will be softer and not able to withstand the higher temperatures until it’s been gradually hardened off, and this process is better commenced in the colder months when the sun isn’t as hot

Tash – Well we haven’t heard from you for a while and it’s good to see you visit us again, but it’s disappointing to hear your news about the rot. If it’s any consolation, you’re definitely not the only one to suffer from this problem this year. It seems to be prevalent in some areas especially the ones with the higher temperatures and high humidity. Having said that though, February has always been a bad year down here for fungus and rot problems, even back to years ago when I grew orchids. In those days it was so prevalent we even had a name for it, “February Rot”. This year seems especially bad due to all the abnormal rain we’ve been having.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to your “rot” problem and as you say it’s only in your new shade house, so firstly you must look carefully at what’s different in there to the old one. My thoughts were about the new metal you used in the frame construction. Is it new galvanised steel? If so, and the galvanizing hasn’t been painted or neutralised, you may have zinc residue dripping on your plants when you water, as I seem to remember you saying you had installed misters. If so this can damage the plants in much the same way as the copper residue from CCA treated timber does.

Just check what plants had rotted and where in the shade house they had been situated. If they were directly beneath this galvanised metal, I would suggest this is your problem. Having said that, they wouldn’t necessarily have to be directly beneath the metal as the shade cloth is in contact with it and as the shade cloth is in a curved shape it could have really travelled anywhere.

Next time you have your misters on or are watering, take note of where the water is dripping from and see if you think this could be the problem. If so it can be rectified in two ways; either neutralise the zinc with a good scrubbing down with normal household vinegar, or painting the steel to create a barrier and stop the escape of toxins, the same as you do when you paint treated timber.

I love the pic of the little “shade house manager” and his plant. He looks like a real little “Hippie” with his good luck beads around his neck and certainly look s like he enjoys being amongst the plants. We should all encourage children to take an interest in these wonderful plants as it’s a good healthy outdoor interest and the kids of today will be the future of brom growing and hybridization of tomorrow.

Colleen – We’ve all been patiently waiting to see what you promised to show us, and I must say if it’s as good as today's pic's it will have been worth the wait. You’re getting quite a collection together and I love the little monkeys hiding mong the plants, which gives a great effect. Is the young plant in the first pic Rosea Striata? If so, if you move it gradually into more light, the pups will look even better and be more compact. It is very variable in its response to light (more so than a lot of other plants), and I have seen it almost light green where the striping is hard to see right through to the other end of the scale where it is quite dark and again the striping is hard to see, the challenge is to get the light just right so the attractive pin striping becomes the feature of the plant. This of course all depends on your own personal taste as it’s you who will get the enjoyment from it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not criticising, I’m just pointing out the other available options. Also, the fact that you have positioned your plants at varying levels throughout your garden gives a good effect as well, and makes viewing them more interesting and full of surprises.

Karen – Your vriesea is a great example of what I said earlier about how I suspected that vrieseas could take more light then we normally give them and I think the colour in the second pic is just spectacular!

Shirley – If you have to move your plants from under cover to get more colour at the risk of hail damage, I think I’d be leaving them where they are until the threat of hail has past. You can always give them better light at a later date, but you can’t repair hail damage.

I do like you Vr ‘Gulz’; and like Vr ‘Angela’, it’s not a new one but still a very attractive one. Just for interest sake this is what’s written in the BCR about its history:

Plant imported from the Hans Gulz Nursery in Germany in the late 1970’s by Olive Trevor, Brisbane, as V. platynema var variegata but when it first flowered it had a branched inflorescence so the species name seemed inappropriate. It was distributed as ‘Gulz’ and is now widespread on the east coast of Australia. Because of the recent interest in ‘Glyph’ Vrieseas it was considered this name should be recorded for posterity.

Wendy – I like your pic of Ae ‘Black Ice’ which is the result of a crossing between Ae Chantinii and an unknown pollen parent. It certainly has nice banding but unfortunately Chantinii and its hybrids don’t do well down here as they can’t handle the colder winters than you get up north. I expect if I had a warm spot to put them during the cold weather, I might just be able to get them to survive, but at present that’s just not an option.

Sorry that I can’t help you with why your computer turns your pic’s on their side, but I’m sure that someone with more computer knowledge than I can sort it out for you. Try contacting Tash and see what she says, she’s helped me “heaps”.

Well that’s about it again for another morning, I’ve got to go and try and cut the grass while it’s not raining and while I can still see the top of the lawn mower above the grass.

All the best, Nev.

I'll finish with four pic's of my back garden taken last year and the final one is of a few of my Aechmeas.

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barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Nev your garden is looking beautiful. Well, this may not be everyone's cup of tea but I'm really chuffed to have been able to get these plants. Here they are freshly potted. And it all you people's fault because of all the Vrieseas that have been posted lately I just couldn't resist them any longer. 2 have a pup on each so that was an added bonus and they're very large healthy plants. I hope you like them too. Colleen

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north coast nsw, Australia

Yes Nev there Neophytums, Ralph Davis, Lymanii, Gary Handrix and on the 2nd family pic the smaller Firecracker.
No not that older mother plant the rotting one is the light one on the left of my 1st family photo.

Brisbane, Australia

WOW Colleen ... worth waiting for.

Love 'em. We HAVE to get the work done on the shadehouse so I can get MORE BROMS. Will have to start cracking the whip.

Pic is of my little heiroglyphica

Bye, Shirley

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Brisbane, Australia

Wow! so much to see. Uploading up to 5 pics really makes our posts more exciting to see. Nev, wonderful gardens. Colleen, wow! A real score there and such a great size too. Worth waiting for.

Shirley, I have a small heiroglyphica here that I almost killed. I had it out in the sun over winter, but on the first hot day we had, it got horribly burned. I can't do much now but wait and see if it will get a pup sometime in the future. I wouldn't buy another one as the conditions here are too hard for the hieros.

Bree, your pic is very colourful. I love the neos for that reason.

Barry got home today to find a huge gum tree had come down, taking out the corner of his roof, and the corner of the roof of the house next door. Council was there cutting up the tree, and they brought in a crane to lift the large trunk pieces onto a truck. Tarps were needed to cover the roof damage until they can get it fixed. Not so nice to come home to. Both houses were empty when the storm hit, and both came home to the damages.

I worked on another loofah today, covering it with bird netting to put my funckianas on, as their base was totally rotten. Hope they do well on it. (First pic.) The second pic is a new coconut ball I've mounted T. Harrisii and T. Queroensis onto, with some old mans beard. Needs another tillandsia to finish it off.

A lovely Moon Tiger seedling is showing off her lovely, healthy looking pup in pic. 3, and in pic 4 is my latest, a neo. Buccaneer pup showing potential for good colour in the future.

Last, a pic of Tim Plowman looking great.


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barmera, Australia

Wow, Karen your Tim Ploughman is looking great. Mine is only half that size. Colleen

north coast nsw, Australia

works4me- is this the purple one you liked?

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Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone,

Thanks Nev for the history of vriesea Gulz … you certainly are a wealth of knowledge. Your gardens look so lovely. Thanks too for the tip on ‘hail damage’ vs ‘colour’ for the neos. Guess I’ll leave them where they are till it cools down a bit and the storms abate. Has anyone had their broms damaged by hail.

Karen, sorry to hear your hieroglyphica got so badly burned … I will be sure to be very careful with mine.

Yes breeindy, that’s the one … is it “stars and bars”. Your neophytums look very interesting. I don’t think I have seen these for sale anywhere. Does anyone have them and are their colours as varied as the neoregelias.


shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Well it’s been raining again during the night, but I’m hoping it will stay away today as a group of us from the Bromeliad Society are having a workshop at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum where we will be re-planting their garden with some bromeliads as well as mounting a few in trees. It will be a good exercise especially for the members who live in flats and small units without a decent back yard to practice other methods of growing brom's other than just in pots.

Colleen – Well, well, well; who’s been spending all the housekeeping money on Vrieseas? Are they seedlings or named plants? There does look to be at least a few seedlings of Vr. platynema variegata amongst them and possibly a bit of Vr. fenestralis breeding in amongst them as well. Come on give us a bit of history about them, who bred them and where they came from, come on tell us all about them.

As I’ve said before, I’m quickly running out of space and as I’m not a greedy person I’ll just take the bottom right one in the 1st pic and the bottom left in the 2nd pic and I’m sure you won’t even miss them. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter who grew them or where they came from, you’ve really hit the “jackpot” with that lot and there’s a bit of potential with a few of them as an added bonus. Congratulations on your acquisitions.

Breeindy – Yes I suspected they were XNeophytums but as I’m not very familiar with them I didn’t know which ones. I just have a few; Ralph Davis and Galactic Warrior plus some I don’t know the names of. I lost a bit of interest in them after an incident at one of our monthly meetings where I had entered a nice plant of Galactic Warrior which I was hopeful of winning a prize with in our monthly point score competition.

As I was standing back discussing a plant with a friend, a **#[email protected]%** woman (not members but visitors) came along with her friend and said to her, “I don’t like these much as their leaves are too brittle” and with that she demonstrated by snapping a leaf in two; I was just “gobsmacked” and couldn't believe what I had just seen and before I could say anything, her friend said, “Oh is that so?” and she also snapped off a leaf just to see how brittle they really were. I needn’t tell you that I wasn’t able to bite my tongue any longer and they were both TOLD just what I thought of them in no uncertain terms! Needless to say they didn’t join our society nor did they ever come back. But since that incident I’ve just lost interest in these beautiful plants as every time I look at them it reminds me of the day they buggered up my plant for future showing.

As for the Neo. that was rotting, I don’t think it matters much what the cause is, I think it’s best to separate them from your other plants to stop the rot from spreading. I should have also mentioned that just because a plant rots, that doesn’t mean it should be “tossed”; just cut out all the rotten bits, treat it with a good fungicide (ONE THAT DOESN’T CONTAIN COPPER) and allow it to dry out for three or four days and then give it a feed of Osmocote and put it somewhere in the garden away from other your brom’s and it will usually produce some pups eventually.

Shirley – Your little Vr hieroglyphica will one day grow into a magnificent big Vr. hieroglyphica and probably be the “standout” plant in your whole collection. They don’t call it the “King” of the brom’s for nothing, no doubt about it, it’s a fabulous plant.

Karen – Don’t worry too much about burning your hieroglyphica; the damage will eventually be overtaken by new leaves as they grow and after a while you won’t even know it had been burnt. That’s bad luck about the gum tree; they should never be planted in residential areas, yet some local council still persist in planting them as street trees. Will they never learn? There was a case a couple of years back, just down the coast from here where a man went to the council to get permission to cut down a Gum Tree in his front yard. Permission was denied and it was only six months later that it was blown down in a strong wind onto his house and killed him.

I love your little Neo Buccaneer; it’s a great little plant that usually has the habit of producing an abundance of leaves resulting in a lovely compact little clump of colour, and as for your Quesnelia Tim Plowman, well that’s an interesting plant and is always a very popular choice. Reminds me a bit of “Shirley Temple” with the curls! (Now that’s giving my age away isn’t it?)

Shirley – That pic is definitely Stars ‘N Bars; it’s one of my many favourite Neo’s which unfortunately is still on my Wish List as I don’t see it around very often and when I do they are usually spoken for. It’s hard to mistake the concentric rings on its leaves which it inherits from concentrica which was its seed parent. There is a most unusual clone of it on the site below which is worth a look:

As for the XNeophytums, I do have a few extras and the best of all is probably the beautiful Galactic Warrior. See some great examples at:

Well that’s it for another today, hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow for another chat.

All the best, Nev

Pic 1. Ae. Fasciata 'Rubra', Pic. 2. Ae. Distichantha, Pic. 3 Ae. Recurvata 'Rising Sun' (Excuse the cobwebs), Pic. 4 Ae Orlandiana 'Touch-a-Pink' and finally something that can break up the red colours in a display of plants with a bit of contrast, Neo. 'Marble Snow'

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north coast nsw, Australia

Nev- i would have done the same thing. I haven't found them to be very brittle (i don't snap mine though)hehe! There very spikey though, hard to touch without getting hurt actually.
Shirley- yes its stars and bars. Neophytums are usally in shades of red/green and purple i think, depends on how much sun like other broms. I don't think they pup often, none of mine have pups.

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Queensland, Australia

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all the brom house suggestions, we have considered everything I think, the materials being the first thing that was rechecked. The battens are zinc so they were a concern during the building, but were treated so we hope they are not the cause, they are the only suspect building material. And although they do keep playing on my mind, I also don’t think it’s them as it’s not happening any where else in the brom house, only at the far end. We haven’t used the misters in ages, I much rather prefer to hose by hand and keep an eye on things. But I am keeping those battens in the back of my mind. One question Nev, if I wanted to again treat them with Vinegar, just in case…. Is it ok to spray this above the broms and then hose the broms, or will the vinegar hurt the broms below? I don’t think they need treating again, but just thought I’d ask.
As for the fencing shelves Colleen, thanks for the suggestion, but they are really old and came from the old brom house, so they are very safe :) thanks everyone for thinking what it could be.

I’ll copy what Graeme wrote on my wall, it is as follows….
“What I think you have happening is a COMBO of things that's giving rise to the fungal rotting;
1. some broms are still acclimatising to "the move" and probably re-pot you did, so they are probably stressed and weaknened a little (yes prob wrong time of year before Xmas to make your change as you said);
2. if you have feritlised with slow release in spring or when you re-potted etc, some broms with have tender newe growth in the cups that is ripe for attacking;
3. the high summer temps has caused the cup water to become hotter than usual, thus possibly damaging the new cup tissue;
4. Mr. Phytophthora cinnamomi then moves in (from your water probably), has a field day in the warm water and then feeds on the weak tissue.

When I had this problem, all you can do is as mentioned by others above...
1. tip out all water, hose out thoroughly and let dry (even on plants that are NOT showing signs of rot yet). Yes, this is a STINK job that takes ages, but better than losing a lot of your collection. Unfortunately it is very necessary in small shadehouses like ours where airflow is limited and humidity intensified.
2. When dry, SPRAY thoroughly with fungicide (Bravo or Fongarid are good ones) and let them dry a bit again, water them..spray them AGAIN into the cup water 2-3 days later to make sure.
3. You can then sprinkle cinnamon periodically as suggested, but I just keep a sprayer ready to got with fungicide and tip out and spray everything EVERY 6-8 weeks in Spring and Summer, then again in Autumn.
4. Increasing your airflow will help prevent the problem arising, so see what you can do here..maybe look at rolling the bottoms of the tunnel cloth up somehow on hot, still days ?

The point here is you are effectively ot giving the fungus ANY time to establish and take hold, it won't ghrow in clean, fungal sprayed water no matter how hot your climate's all about PREVENTION, which at the end of the day is your only cure.

One other thing, don't be too quick to bin anything that has cup or leaf axil rot. Just do as I said above, remove any rotting outside or centre leaves, keep replacing water and spraying every week if you have a bad patient in the hospital. I have been really surpised at how many will recover if you look after them and stop the rot progressing into the stem and roots so it breaks off....

Good luck and hope this helps you a bit more ?”

I do think he is the closest to the mark. I have been talking privately with him and he’s been a great help and he has had the exact same experience as me, and attributes it mainly to the broms going into a bit of shock when being changed from that Green shade house into the new WAY brighter beige shade house. He says broms are very hardy plants, but with changing their light levels and humidity levels they will suffer for a little while, and then the added really hot weather we are having which has made the cup water quite warm during the day, allows that fungi to attack while the plants are a bit stressed.

So I followed his instructions and the spraying was all done. I was a bit concerned the next morning as it left a white residue over the leaves of the broms, I hope this doesn't mark the leaves. I hosed it off the really special broms just in case it damages them. I always find it a bit stressful doing something for the first time, just nervous I might damage something. We had done it about 2 weeks ago, but heavy rain that night must of washed the residue off as we didn't see this residue last time. So fingers crossed that residue will not harm anything. My next plan is to wait a few days and then also do cinnamon in the cups of them as well! Probably over kill but I am sick of losing broms. (lost another yesterday).
Also we are going to try and lift the cloth at the far end of the shade house, we only enclosed it because as you can see in some photos, it is quite close to the gateway and street and can be easily seen from the road. But we are going to see what we can do about opening the end to up the air flow as well.

Now due to the fact I have written so much, lol, I will finish up just with adding I love all the photos, and Colleen what a great score with those Vrieseas, what are the names? I love my vrieseas, I wish they were faster to pup, but I still love them to bits.

Okay I hope you all have a great day,

barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. Yes Nev, I've spent all the housekeeping AGAIN. I'll put up some individual pics with names for you. Here we go. [1] Vr. you beaut X banana split. [2] platynema var varigata X fantasy. [3] Fenestralis. [4] Platynema var varigata X Mambo. I'll put the rest underneath. Colleen

Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris Thumbnail by ctmorris
barmera, Australia

Here's the other 4. Tash I do hope you find out what's causing the rot. I hope it doesn't come here. These Vrieseas may be a bit stressed too as they were in the post from last Tuesday over the weekend til Monday. They look really good so I hope that they will be fine. [1] Goth X Uluru Sunset, [2] Platynema var varigata X Milky Way. [3] Platynema var varigata X Fosteriana X Platynema. [4] Fantasy X Platynema var varigata. Colleen

This message was edited Feb 15, 2012 8:13 AM

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wow Colleen you got some very nice vriseas there. well done.

where to start. there was so much to read tonight to catch up. Nev I wish our brom soc would develop a documented list of rules and regulations. Could you possibly email me a copy of what your group has developed? The first meeting I went to was the AGM last year and as I have been to many many board & committee meetings I am familiar with correct procedure for these meetings. It started well with the committee members standing down and handing the meeting over to a temp chair for elections. I then epected them to call for nominations for postions but no it was anounced that as nobody had nominated for any positions the current committee had agreed to return with a shuffle of postions. The chairperson returned to her position with secretary & treasurer swapping positions. I was gobsmacked. All the same if I wanted to run for one of the positions. I checked the newsletters and no call for nominations or mention of how to nominate. Just a done deal among them on the quiet. I know someone else who wrote to the committee advising of correct meeting protocol but no mention of this letter being received or any response to it. If you don't like it, screw it up and ignore it or pretend you didn't receive it. Unbelievable. Anyway I would love to see what protocols your group came up with.

Karen your TP is doing well and not looking like it is suffering at all. See you can look after one. Yours is still happily growing here and multiplying alongside ours. We were given a boot full of mini neos on the weekend. A friend is cleaning up his yard as the house is being pulled down the block split into 3 with a new house being built on one and other 2 sold to pay for it. So he is clearing out his garden. He got his original plants from us but he has so many pots full of them now. We just pulled them all out and left his bread tins for him. He still has some hanging containers with minis in them so will probably replant them anyway. He asked if we wanted any other plants in his garden but we settled for the minis.

Jen and I have a friend at Capalaba who had her collection hit quite badly with hail last year and lost a lot of plants. They are still rotting off where they were damaged so she has virtually given up on collecting broms. She is in her 70s and her husband doesn't like gardening so gives no help at all. Anyhow she has sorted out what she wants to keep and put the rest out for sale. She gave me and Jen first pick. Lucky for me Jen's phone has been playing up so when niether of us could get onto her I went over by myself and had almost first pick. A neighbour had told someone else who got there about an hour before me and started picking but went to get more money. She got some very nice ones but I beat her to a lot of others. Anyway I spent more than I intended to and filled my car completely. Even had a box on the front seat. Even got another full grown painted delight, cane fire, candy stripe, mainline, 2 flowering ae eileen, and so many more. a lot of ones we didn't have yet in our collection but a lot we did but so nice I had to take them. If I didn't someone else would have right? I did leave a few good ones for Jen including cane fire. Anyhow we stood there today and finished repotting them all into our mix an appropriate sized pots for what they will become not what they are right now.

Yes we have a lot of xneophytums including ralph davies, firecracker, galactic warrior, gary hendrix. I love the size of ralph davies and the colour of firecracker, the variegations of galactic warrior. A hint for thoe who have galactic warrior. .... if a pup comes out green without variegation just persevere with growing it because the variegation may still come later. We almost dumped a few plain green ones but I convinced Johnny to wait to see what they would look like mature and voila ......... the variegations eventually started appearing till we couldn't tell which ones had always been variegated and which hadn't.

Anyway it is now after midnight and I must be off to bed. We are supposed to be off to Hervey Bay till Sunday but still discussing whether to go in the winnie or just the car. Have to see my dad who is going downhill fast to the dreaded C. Apparently the doctor told him he is on the downhill slide now with one foot already sinking and the other one on a banana skin. Nice way of putting it right????? Dad finally accepted that he is dying and has virtually given up. So we are all taking turns to visit him and try to pep him up a bit.

Night all

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Well apparently the Gremlins got into my computer again and have been sending “bogus” Emails to people, some who I don’t even know. Two were sent to me from an old workmate the other morning and because I couldn’t open them I left them to try again later. I’ve been told I should have deleted them there and then because while ever they were still active on my computer they could be sent to anyone who I had sent or received emails from in the past, and that’s what the “Gremlins” did, they sent them to lots of people (our Colleen as well) and even people on Face Book who I didn’t even know.

It’s a bit worrying to know that Face Book and Emails are all connected and due to my ignorance of all things “computer wise”, I didn’t previously know this was possible. When you think about the number of people they may have been sent to it’s hard to believe, (possibly thousands or even more) and it’s easy to see how this sort of “bug” can completely bog down the whole system with junk. These two Emails have since been deleted and if anyone has received suspicious Emails from me, don’t open them, delete them; as I didn’t send them!

Now back to a more pleasant task; talking about brom’s. Yesterday I took a group from our bromeliad society over to the Illawarra Light Railway Museum (of which I am a member) with the idea of rejuvenating an old garden and planting it with bromeliads and mounting a few on some of the trees as well. A lot of our older members are pensioners living in small flats and units and don't have a decent back yard in which to garden so this will be a good opportunity for them to experience the other side of brom growing by practicing a little landscaping and other methods of planting brom's other than just in pots.

As our museum is a voluntary organisation, we are also doing a favour for another voluntary organisation like ours. The museum is situated in a nice little spot at Albion Park Rail in the middle of one of the few remaining Melaluka forests (albeit small) on the south coast and we were fortunate that the rain stayed away and we had a most enjoyable day. I took a few “before” pic’s and a few of the “work in progress” and when I go over to water everything this morning, I’ll take a few of the “after” shots and I’ll be able to post them here for everyone to see.

There were already a few brom’s growing in the garden from the work done by a previous gardener who isn’t with us anymore and they consisted mainly of plants that were excess from my garden plus some seedling “culls”, all of which have multiplied and needed a good clean up and redistribution; so there were adequate plants to “play with”.

Breeindy – The fact that you say that you don’t seem to get many pups from your Orthophytums surprises me as mine seem to pup profusely especially the Galactic Warrior. I don’t give them any special treatment except to hang them right up close under the shade cloth for maximum light. Even though I have read that they like a lot of fertilizer, these have only had a bit when the pups were first potted.

Tash – In answer to you post from yesterday all I can say is that your friends have all offered some good advice and I still think the main root cause of all rot is insufficient air circulation.

One other suggestion I'll make which may help your problem, and circulate the air better would be to buy a pedestal fan. Bunnings sell them quite cheap now only about $12. They're about 30" high, 15" diameter 3 speed and can be set to oscillating or fixed and they're cheap as chips to run (See DMail for more details). I feel that one of these would certainly help and you only need to run them on about medium and that's sufficient to keep the air moving.

Secondly, have you considered fitting some sort of vent to the highest point of each end wall, the hot air accumulates at the highest point and this would allow some of it to escape; and in conjunction with the fan would improve the air circulation even more. These things only need to be done during the hot weather and while your plants are acclimatising to the new shade house and changed conditions. When the cooler weather starts you could well be able to do away with needing use the fan at all, but I think the vent should be permanent.

Colleen – The information you give about the names of your crosses doesn’t surprise me as the beautiful “fingernails” on the leaf tips are a dead giveaway for “Platynema variegata” being in the parentage.

Picking the best out of that little lot is a very difficult exercise but now that I can see each plant on their own and I now know the parentage, the one I think has the most potential is pic 2 in the second batch (Platynema var variegata X Milky Way). Both parents are proven exceptional breeders and thinking back to what Jack Koning (the hybridizer of Milky Way) said about the quality of Milky Way seedlings, I think this plant will only improve more as it grows. You’ve done very well with your selection.

Wendy – Regarding our new constitution, it still isn’t complete as we’ve only had the first meeting and from that the second draft has to be typed and sent out to all on the committee for perusal. We will then go through it all again and discus it further still before deciding on a final draft. When this is typed up and sent to the committed for checking yet again, it will be ready to take to the general meeting to see if they wish to adopt it.

In the mean time we will announce to the next general meeting that changes are being made and it will be brought to the meeting after for members to see and decide if they want to adopt it. We need to do this as our By-Laws states that there must be 28 days notice given prior to this being moved for adoption by a vote from the members.

If it is adopted and if I can get permission from the committee, I will gladly send you a copy. By the way, at you AGM where there were no new nominations, didn’t they call for any new nomination from the floor? That’s what we do although we find it very hard to get people to fill these positions as they all want to grow brom’s and not go to meetings; but then someone has to make the decisions and run things which is a hard, cold, fact of life these people often want to forget.

Well that’s about it for all of the “business talk” and I’ll be back to “brom talk” again tomorrow.

All the best, Nev.

Here's a few "before" and "during" shots of yesterday's activities

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shellharbour, Australia

Finally, all shows need a "star"

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Brisbane, Australia

Good morning everyone.

Wow, Colleen, you really did do well with those vrieseas. Such beautiful plants.

Nev, great to see pics of people working :).

Wendy, great that you got another nice haul from an unexpected source. I do look forward to seeing the minis in the near future. I have a vriesea here to bring down to you to see if you can show me how to remove a pup and tidy up the plant, which was sunburnt horribly.

I'm outta here today to the shops. So have a great day everyone.

PS - A question. I have a Catlan Bill. seedling here from Moon Tiger, but it is very special. Well, I think so anyway. How would I go about naming it officially? I think it deserves a name. What do you think?

This message was edited Feb 15, 2012 3:46 PM

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Anyone wishing to contact me please do so via D-Mails until further notice as the "Gremlins" have now closed my Email account.

All the best, Nev.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Ouch Nev... I also had received a goofy email from you. I did open it and found it was nonsense and advertising and figured it was some more of that hotmail headache. Here's hoping you can get it cleared up. I feel like you do about these computer gremlins. I loved the photo groupings of Aechmeas which you posted above. The pictures of your workday looks like a good time was had by all.

Karens' photo earlier of Tim Plowman is too cool. That is one neat plant!

I am loving all the beautiful bromeliads and wonder how you all manage to keep their IDs correct.
Please keep the photos coming... Kristi

Hi everyone. Karen I do think your bill moon tiger seedling is a lovely colour. I went to see if I could find a moon tiger here but no didn't find one. I know we have some but they must be still just green. you could call it moon kitten or lunar cat. I'm sure we could come up with a few more names for you. Come on everyone help Karen name her billbergia.

All the pictures now are making this forum so lovely to read each night. It's just a pity we have to open and close each one before opening and closing the next. ah well we'll have to cop it on the chin in order to enjoy the pics.

Nev I decided not to go to see the fiasco again of an AGM already stacked to stay as is. Even Chris from Collectors Corner talking about tillandsias wasn't enough to make me drive into the city by myself. I got an email last night to say that Chris had brought up a shipment of tillandsia, guzmania and vrisea to sell at the meeting tonight. That was tempting but when Jen said she couldn't go due to work commitments I decided I would stay home to watch My Kitchen Rules LOL.


shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

Well to expand a bit on my last brief message, when I went to send an Email yesterday afternoon, I was notified by Hotmail that they had detected a “bug” in my account and it had been “blocked”. They said it had been cleaned, but before I could re-enter it I had to fill in the following info which was a massive list of questions. These were all about info I had given when I first joined up and included a “secret answer” to the question, “Who was my favourite school teacher”? Plus 5 email addresses that I’ve recently sent Emails to, five title lines of recent Emails I have sent and it just went on and on and on. Unfortunately there wasn’t a section where I could tell them I was over seventy and a life member of the “CRAFT” club it was impossible for me to remember all of these things. In fact, getting these answers from me was as hard as poking butter up a porcupines arse with a red hot knitting needle!

The outcome I fear is that it looks like I won’t be using Hotmail anymore, nor will I be sending or receiving any Emails until I open a new account with someone. Unfortunately I’ve also lost pretty well all of the Email addresses of my friends, and a real worry is that this includes all my brom friends that I swap and sell plants with regularly.
So if any of you good people on here wish to still contact me by Email, you will have to send me your Email address by D-Mail which I will write on a "paper list" for future use. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but what else can I say except, “BUGGER!”

Karen – That’s a great looking Billbergia seedling and well worthy of registering in my opinion. I love the wide leaves which make a pleasant change from so many you see turning up with unattractive skinny leaves. To register your plant with the BSI, contact:

Geoff Lawn
31 Greenock Ave
Como WA 6152
Email: [email protected]

Geoff is the registrar and I’m sure he’ll send you details of what you need to do, in fact I think you can even do it all “on line” now.

Kristi – I’m pleased you like all of the little “tit bits” of info on our site from “down under” as well as the pictures, and it’s great for us to keep getting feedback from people like you as this is what starts discussions, and discussions are what keeps the site going and makes it interesting for everyone.

As for remembering plant names, well that’s another topic altogether. Most people when they buy their first brom, tend to “toss” the name tag as they think it detracts from the appearance of the plant, and it’s not until they become more interested and get a few more that they realise they should have kept the name tag, as their plants are now just more “NOIDS” on the end of an ever increasing list. Having the correct name is important as it allows you to trace the breeding history of the plant if you are so inclined, but more importantly, it give the plant and definite identity. Plants with unregistered names may well be just as beautiful or even more so, but they don’t have a definite identity, just a “nickname” so to speak.

Very experienced brom growers often say, “never believe the name on the label”; as they’ve learnt over the years that quite often these names are just “pet names” given to plants by owners just for their own convenience and have no real meaning in relation to the legitimate International Bromeliad Register. As you’ve seen by the postings on this site, the genuine grower is constantly chasing the true identity of their plants and that’s the only way to sort out the mess that a lot of the brom names are in at present, but we keep trying!

Wendy – I can understand how frustrated you must feel over the “AGM thing” as I have often felt the same in various organisations I have been in. I have found these situations can occur in two ways, firstly as you put it, the meeting can be “rigged” by a few unscrupulous members, and secondly and probably more commonly, these problems occur due to ignorance about “meeting procedure” by the members.

Generally speaking I have found that the majority of the members just want to come to a meeting and discus brom’s, enter a point score, have a chat and a “cuppa” etc., as it’s really just a social thing and they are not the slightest bit interested in whether the meeting is run correctly or not, they just want the business side of things to be over and done with quickly and out of the way. The thing they don’t realise is that what they are doing is illegal!

Most well run organisations have a “constitution” which lays down the rules by which it must be run and a copy of this should be available to all members on joining the organisation. As well as this there should also be a copy kept in the organisation’s library if they have one. This way everyone can make sure everything is legitimate and above board. It’s a pity this has happened as Brom Societies are usually friendly places without politics interfering with things.
You could always do what other discontented people have done in the past, and start up a small “Study Group” where everyone brings a “plate” and you meet at a different member’s place each month to socialise and talk about brom’s without all of the meeting legalities.

That’s about it for now and I’ll just finish with a few more pic’s....1. Neo Blake Street Beauty, 2. Neo. Concentrica x (Charn x Cracker Jack) #004, 3. Neo. Garnish, 4.Neo. Meyendorffii albo-marginata, 5. Neo Concentrica x (Charm x Cracker Jack) #007a

All the best, Nev.

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barmera, Australia

Good morning all. Well what a lot of cafuffle you've been having Nev. Hope you get it all fixed soon. I've sent you a D-mail in the mean time. I can't believe the difference in your no2 and no5 pics. No wonder the poor learner like me can't tell which brom is which Karen, I do think your Bill deserves a name. It's a beauty. How about "Dusky Moon"? Well still haven't got my tanks hooked up to the pump but it doesn't matter as there's been no rain to speak about I still have a lot of cleaning up to do. It's a never ending story isn't it? Must go and have a cuppa. Colleen.

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Queensland, Australia

Hi everyone,
well we had some lovely heavy rain overnight, yippeeee no watering today.
Nev sorry to hear all the dramas you are having, have you thought about contacting hotmail via their contact centre and explaining your situation, at least they might be able to help you get back into your account and then you won't lose all those important contacts. I don't use hotmail, I use gmail, but I'm sure they should be able to help and surely they must understand that not all those answers can be given... not too many people would be able to give them.
I hope you can get it sorted. I only use gmail as I presume google being one of the biggest search engines might have a decent email system, lol. I use to always use the email account from my provider, but I was tempted to change internet provider a little while back and realised I would lose my email account and everything in it, so that was when I decided to open a free account that was not connected to my provider so I would never lose it, regardless of what provider I use.
But yes there is always something that can go wrong to ruin that theory too.

Love the Vrieseas Colleen, you did do really well! I have quite a few here with Milkyway in them and they are colouring up nicely.
I'm not a big Bill person, but that does look like a nice Bill Karen, lucky you to be able to name it :)
Love all the pics as usual.

We are going on a brom crawl tomorrow, I keep telling hubby .... no more... well not no more.... but slow down!!! But we get so much enjoyment out of it that 's it so hard to say no. It's kind of hard to tell him off when he earns the money and doesn't spend it on beer or smokes etc, so broms are his only real spending he does. We have been very naughty this week and it will follow onto next week too, agreeing to too many broms so have a few packages coming in the mail next week.
so I'll be adjusting the budget to juggle things, lol.

Ok I had better go, have some mini's to pot up and get into the brom house.

Talk soon,

Brisbane, Australia

Nev, thank you for the info on registering names. Very helpful. Will follow up on that when I get some time. I think the plant is beautiful and deserves a name.

As for that questionaire from Hotmail, it sounds suspicious in itself. I would be careful to check out the validity of such an email before you answer anything like that, as questions like your password, last email addresses etc. are extremely suspicious. So do be very careful. When typing in a password on a legitimate form, only black dots should appear. The password itself should never show itself. Can you send a copy to Hotmail and query it's validity?

Now, we've got
Dusky Moon
Moon Kitten
Lunar Cat.
One I had thought of was MoonCat. I like all of these.

Interesting to see the other seedlings I've got that supposedly come from Moon Tiger. All of them are so different, and this is just a small selection. I wonder why my beauty is so different. These are all Moon Tiger seedlings. Just amazing.


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shellharbour, Australia

Good morning everyone,

We had a beautiful day here yesterday and I finally had a chance to get a bit done in the garden. I sorted out a lot of Billbergias and selected the ones in need of dividing and/or re-potting and there’s many more than I first thought, so it looks like I’ll be busy today.

Many thanks to those of you who have made contact with me and given me you email addresses and postal details again, it’s much appreciated. Also if I’m currently in the middle of a swap with anyone on this site could you please get back to me with the details, as this info was all kept in a folder on Hotmail and I no longer have access to that either.

I had an interesting experience with Brunnings (not Bunnings) over the last few days. Some of you may already know that I am a great advocate of Brunnings products which I have been using for many years, ever since I grew orchids way back in the dim dark past. I use their various fertilizers (I find their rose fertilizer very good on young brom’s), their sphagnum moss and their Cymbidium Orchid Potting Mix. This was recommended to me by a well known brom grower and hybridizer and I’ve been using it for three years now with excellent results. It has a lot of well composted pine bark in it and the brom’s seem to love it. I just use it on its own, straight from the bag with no additives except a little fertilizer around the top of the pot just beneath the surface at the time of potting.

I previously always made up my own mix but now with a chronic back problem that won’t go away and arthritis like everyone else my age, I find I’m not up to mixing great heaps with a shovel anymore and although it costs a bit more, using this ready to use product is far more convenient and the bags are of a size I can comfortably handle. Two weeks ago I opened a bag and it seemed to be just pine bark mulch, it wasn’t composted and was so fresh it still had a strong smell of pine resin. The next few bags were fine and then I got another bag which was so fine it was just like dust.

Knowing full well that these products had always been of a good standard up to now I wrote a letter to Brunnings and told them of the problem and that I thought their quality control wasn’t working which was going to cost them customers if not rectified. I’m of the opinion that if something’s not right, you need to tell the manufactures so they can see what the problem is. They can’t fix a problem if they don’t know about it. I got an answer that same day from the chap who looks after that department and he told me that the potting mix was all processed off site in Canberra by a contractor and was supposed to be made to their standards to which he added that something was obviously going wrong and he would investigate and get back to me. In the meantime, as a “thankyou” for bringing this to his attention he offered to send some samples of a Coir Mulch product that he knew some growers were using for brom’s with good results.

I never thought any more about it until yesterday when a courier brought in a large cardboard box. Initially I thought it was brom’s until I saw “Brunnings” on the box, and when I opened it there were six compressed and dehydrated blocks of coir mulch with each one capable of making 15 litres of mulch when rehydrated with water. So it just goes to show, when you get a problem product, don’t just dismiss it, or whinge about it, notify the company responsible so they can do something about it and you might just get a little present for your troubles.

Colleen – You bring up an interesting point about the vast variation in seedlings supposedly from the same parents. You may have noticed that a lot of the registered plants only have the name of one parent given (the seed parent) and not the pollen parent as well. This may be for a number of reasons.

1. When using hybrids as parents, the seedlings can resemble either of the parents or any of the other plants from the past crosses of those parents used in the breeding programme so it’s not hard to see how these vast variations can occur.

2. The hybridizer doesn’t want anyone to know the name of the other parent so they can’t repeat the cross.

3. The name ID tags on the seed pods were lost or they weren’t tagged in the first place.

4. The cross was done by insects and the hybridizer is just taking credit for it. (This is a statement which I know will put me off side with a lot of hybridizers, but I know it does happen. I admitted in my booklet “Bromeliads from Seed to Flower” that’s probably what happened in my first attempt to hybridize and it explains the possible cause of the vast variation in colours of the Neo seedlings resulting from that cross; and if could happen to me it could also happen to others as well.

I quote from the above booklet...... “It is also possible for insects to pollinate the flowers and in my shade house ants are the culprits and can regularly be seen moving over all types of bromeliad flowers. So the question is: who pollinated the flower, the human hybridizer (me) or the ants or other insects?

This has always posed a problem, as the only way I can see to avoid this from happening is to have a completely insect proof area where flowering plants can be housed before, during and after the pollination process has taken place and for me this is something which just isn’t an option. So to be completely honest, the results of my first foray into hybridizing may well have been the results of work done by ants and not what I did at all. Because it was my first attempt I never thought about identifying the six flowers I pollinated, and consequently didn’t tag them, so that the resulting six seed capsules may well not have been from the work I did at all, but from work done by ants that were present at the same time.”

Tash – I think you would be wise to curtail your brom purchases until you have sorted out your problem with rot. This brings to mind another possible cause; your problem may have nothing to do with your growing conditions, and you may have imported it with plants you have purchased or swapped from other sources even though it wasn’t apparent at the time........ Food for thought!

Karen – As for your comment “Interesting to see the other seedlings I've got that supposedly come from Moon Tiger. All of them are so different, and this is just a small selection. I wonder why my beauty is so different. These are all Moon Tiger seedlings”. As Moon Tiger is not shown as a registered hybrid on either the BCR or the FCBS Photo Index and if you haven’t got the parentage of the cross written on the label I can only refer you to my comments in the answer to Colleen above.

Well as usual, I’ve taken up more space than I probably should have and I’ll finish now with a few more pic’s. Just for a change they are of a few different brom gardens we recently visited and which belong to some of our Brom Society members.

All the best, Nev.

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Brisbane, Australia

Learning, learning, all the time. I got this off the web regarding registering cultivars, and I don't feel my pretty baby is ready to be registered yet. She needs to go through all the stages of flowering and pupping first, and I really don't even know what size she will be yet. So maybe in a year or two I can follow up with the required photos of plant, pups (to ensure they are true to the mother plant), and the flower itself. This is a copy of the extract I refer to: Quote:

The most important decision you must make before attempting to register a cultivar is to satisfy yourself that the cultivar is truly unique and recognizable. Cultivars should be grown through several cycles of pupping and blooming to ensure that they are stable and reproduce consistently. Another reason for having the period of testing is so that you have more than one plant in existence. It would not be in the interests of Registration if there were only just the one plant and nothing to propagate asexually when this dies.

"Recognizable" should mean that the cultivar has unique characteristics which allow it to be identified or recognised without a tag, especially by someone other than yourself. This decision is yours to make and your best judgment is required to prevent the registration of large numbers of essentially identical plants under different cultivar names. For instance, if you make a hybrid grex consisting of a variety of clones or cultivars, selecting and registering only the truly unique clone or clones is the most appropriate way to proceed. The next appropriate thing to do is to destroy the balance of the grex.
End of Quote.

This is what I had been wondering about, thinking my plant was yet still too young. I will live with it for as long as it takes and give her a name that suits. So lesson 1 down, many more to come, I'm sure.


north coast nsw, Australia

wow nev thats a awsome cacti in your 1st pic.
How big do seedling broms need to be before i repot them from the the containers i sowed them in? Do i let them go or give them a fresh mix? more peat moss or something different? Still in container as there pretty small still? Do they need fertilizer?. thankyou!
I got a pup starting on this unnamed one..excited! hehe!

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Well I got stuck into the re-potting my Billbergias yesterday and ended up doing about fifty; there’s still quite a lot to do but I’ll keep plugging away and I’m sure I’ll eventually get them done. The next thing I’ll have to do is make up a Price/Swap List of the extras and see if I can make a bit more space on the bench by unloading a few, so if anyone’s interested in buying/swapping any Billbergias, just drop me a message and I’ll send you a copy of the list when it’s completed.

I’m not going to be able to get back into my Hotmail account, so therefore it looks like all of the email addresses of my friends are gone and I have to start from scratch. I intend opening a new account with another provider and as soon as it’s sorted out I’ll put up the new Email address and ask you all to contact me so I can renew my list of contacts.

Karen – As for the requirements for registering a plant, I personally think you need to wait until it is at the very least mature and has produced a pup or two which is the same as the mother and is stable. You didn’t say who had written that information you accessed from the www.

Judging by some of the new plants I see being registered, these rules are definitely not being followed and personally some of the plants should be thrown in the bin marked “crap”. If we think about this recommendation; just say we have bred a batch of seedlings and after initial culling we are left with fifty “possibles”.

We now have to grow these on until we have at least three or four generations to satisfy ourselves they produce stable pups which are true copies of the original plant. Given that each plant will have at the very least, doubled in size each year; where are we going to keep all of these plants?

Next, from these fifty plants we select the two or three best to be registered. This leaves the remainder which although not worthy of registration, are still reasonable plants. They now expect the grower (who has invested four or five years of time, money, potting mix and pots into this venture) to simply destroy the rest of the seedlings without selling a few to get some money back for what has been outlaid during this process. Do they honestly think this is going to happen? If they do they have rocks in their head.

I think you need to contact the BSI Cultivar Registrar at the address I posted previously and get the current rules “direct from the horse’s mouth”. If they are the same as you got from the www, is it any wonder why the majority of growers now refuse to register their plants.

Breeindy – Although that cactus is a magnificent specimen, I don’t know if you noticed the real reason I posted that pic. which is, the cactus is actually the host on which a large Tillandsia Secunda is growing. This is a very interesting brom because it grows a rather large flower spike (inflorescence) and from everywhere there was once a flower, it then produces a pup. I have tried to enlarge the pic to show this and although it’s a bit blurred, you can still see all the pups.

That’s it for today, more potting awaits me.

All the best Nev.

The first pic is the (blurry) close up of the Tillandsia Secunda on the cactus in yesterday’s pictures, followed by a few more garden shots.

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barmera, Australia

Hi everyone. The plumber will be here tomorrow to finish the plumbing of the tanks then I can start to get some organisation back in the SH. My son sent me a pic of what he's been doing with some of his tils. I think they look great and i reckon you could probably do it with some of the minis as well. Certainly would save a bit of room. His broms are looking great . I've tried to get him to come into the thread and have a chat but he's being a bit stubborn at the moment. I suppose he thinks that I tell him about anything new that's going on so he doesn't need to, but he's got a very good memory about anything that he reads or hears and I think that could only be a plus for the likes of me. I'll put up some pics of his SH. Have a great day everyone. Colleen

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shellharbour, Australia

Hi again everyone,

My saga continues;.........I don't know whether or not you're aware of the dramas I've been having with Hotmail since I had a recent computer virus, but the upshot of it is, that my Hotmail account has been blocked and as my 'short term memory' is almost buggered, I'm unable to answer some of the questions they're asking me to prove I am who I say I am (if that makes sense) to get it opened again.

Consequently I've lost all the email addresses and lists of what swaps I had going and who I owed what to. This is very embarrassing; as it looks like I'm trying to dodge my part of the deals and until I can make contact with a couple of people who I only communicate with by email, I just have to hope that they see my name on Face book or one of the forums and can contact me through there as all of their email addresses were in my Hotmail account.

I know it's like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, but from here on I'm keeping all the names and addresses in a notebook, and not the computer bloody type either!

Sorry to take up valuable "brom time" with this message, but it's the only way I have of contacting some of my brom mates I need to contact, and if any of you are reading this, could you please send me a message so I can contact you with my new email address as I have been advised not to put it up in a post here and other forums as I had previously intended.

All the best, Nev

Brisbane, Australia

Hi everyone. Just back from the markets, then a visit to the park. A very hot day, so feeling a bit out of sorts from the heat.

Colleen, are your son's tillandsias in plastic bottles? Will be interested to see how they go, as tills prefer lots of fresh air blowing around them, but some could like to be enclosed, I don't know. The SH looks good. And glad you are getting there with the plumbing. Will be great when it is all done.

Nev, I have forgotten the page where I found that quote about registering, but the contact address was the same email and contact person's address that you gave me. I was rather thrown about tossing out what might be good plants. Seemed rather extreme to me too. I don't think d-mail messages can be read by others, only the public forums. I wouldn't trust facebook though. Correct me if I'm wrong. I have put my email address on closed forums without any problem, but wouldn't put it on a public forum.

Nev, that T. Secunda is amazing (and so is the cactus). I do have one (the till, I mean) but I think it will be a very long time before it flowers.

Speaking of unregistered names, I found this one called Neo. Ostrich at the markets this morning. With good light, I think it might colour up some and be quite a nice plant. The neo on the right is a noid.


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barmera, Australia

Karen, yes they are plastic bottles but the til is actually hanging out the side or at least will be able to when it grows. He's put mostly gravel and perlite in the mix so it is well draining. He will soon find out if they'll be okay I suppose. Colleen

shellharbour, Australia

Hi everyone,

Colleen – John’s shade house is looking good and all the plants hanging on mesh reminds me of someone else’s shade house I’ve seen recently.

I wish you could talk him into joining our little group as I get the distinct feeling of being outnumbered by the girls as I seem to be the only bloke that ever comments and another bloke or two would be good.

When I first quickly glanced at the pic’s I didn’t notice the Tillies in the bottles. It wasn’t until I looked more closely a second time that I actually took in what I saw. I was going to comment on these Tillies in the plastic bottles but I see that “eagle eye” Karen has beaten me to it.

I have a few Tillies but am by no means what I would call a “Tilly Person” as the bits and pieces I have were given to me by different friends as little gifts and I think it’s nice to keep these things to remember these people by, as some are now deceased. What I know about Tillies is that they like an abundance of circulating air, hence the nickname “air plants”. In habitat they grow on trees, cactus and hang from twigs on small bushes as well as growing on overhead telegraph wires.

I have found they don’t like excessive moisture and prefer a dry environment rather than a damp one with their roots fully exposed to the air at all times. I rarely if ever water mine except in excessively hot weather when I’ll give them a bit of a fine spray every couple of days in the early morning. I find that because I live in what could be roughly called a maritime climate, they seem to get sufficient moisture from the air.

I think that growing in a plastic bottle the atmosphere would be too humid for their liking and may cause rot; but then on the other hand I’ve seen many bromeliads go against popular beliefs of their preferred culture. The only way to ever know how these things will work is to experiment, and if it doesn’t work, you don’t do it again...... I must say though that they do look very artistic and it’s great to see John making use of a resource that would otherwise be put in the bin.

Karen – Your Til. Secunda shouldn’t take too long to flower. I’ve had several from small pups which have flowered after about four years; in fact I have one now that’s pushing up quite a large flower spike after which I’ll have dozens of pups. They’re certainly a very attractive and interesting plant, and what’s more they’re easy to grow as well.

As for the two attractive Neo’s you posted, firstly they prove that reasonable plants are available at markets even though a lot of professional growers shun such places for buying brom’s from; and secondly they just prove what I’ve been saying about there still being some very nice brom’s about which don’t have names. I don’t know where the name “Ostrich” came from, but it too is unregistered, so probably a “nurseryman’s name“or a “pet name” someone has given it. As you say, with good light and more maturity it will eventually show more colour and I’d be interested to see another pic of it then.

That’s about it for today and I’ll finish with some more random pic’s, this time of previous Illawarra bromeliad Society annual shows.
1st is Neo Gympie Delight, 2nd is Unknown Cryptanthus, 3rd is Tillandsia Ionantha, 4th is Aechmea 'Blood Stain' and 5th is a Neoregelia NOID and just to prove there is a place for NOIDS, this one won 1st prize for Neo in the Novice Section

All the best, Nev.

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