The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, March 12, 2006


March, 2006

Springtime = Gardening Events

President Bradley Rauch386/767-8937

Vice President – Jay Thurrott – 386/761-4804

Secretary – Nina Leggett- 386/673-0550

Treasurer – Jim O’Shaughnessy - 386/253-0335


We took a little detour into Winter in February, but I think we're finally back on the road toward Spring. This is a busy time of the year and we have two major events to participate in: Everybody’s Flower Show (March 16-19) and the Master Gardener’s Spring Sale (April 1st).

Everybody’s Flower Show opens to the public on March 16th and we need to enter as many plants in the show as we can. Why? We all have a bromeliad or two that we are especially proud of and we need to show the public what a bromeliad is and what it looks like– this is a chance to "strut our stuff"! There are a lot of potential new club members out there and all we have to do is to picque their interest a little at a show like this to get them to come to our meetings. Entries should be brought to the Daytona Beach Ocean Center on Wednesday, the 15th. The place is a madhouse on entry day, but you will need to bring your plants to the East entrance to the Ocean Center (the one facing A1A – Atlantic Ave.). Each plant needs to have a green entry card filled out so that the judges know what plant they are looking at, what category the plant is entered in, and, at the close of the show – who the plant belongs to. It sounds difficult , but it’s really not. We’ll go over filling out these entry cards at this month’s meeting. In fact, this month’s meeting will be devoted to showing you what to do (and what not to do) when you are preparing a bromeliad for entry in a show. Need a hand in getting your plants ready for the show? Bring them in and we’ll help you straighten them up, clean them up, and generally get them ready to put their best leaf forward on entry day. Need help getting your plants to the show and/or back to your house after the show? Speak up at this month’s meeting and we’ll arrange for pick up and delivery of your entries.

The Volusia County Master Gardener’s Spring Sale is on April 1st this year and this is no April Fool’s joke – this is really a fun event and one that brings money into our treasury with very little effort on anyone’s part! We have been invited back this year to have a sales area for bromeliads. What a great way to get rid of all of those extra plants that you hate to throw away, but are taking up too much room in your collection! Just like at a judged show, the plants that you bring for sale must be clean, in a clean pot, clearly labelled with the plant’s name and a second tag in the pot with the price you wish to charge and your name (so we know who to give 75% of the proceeds to). This is only a half day event, so don’t arrive late! The gates open to the public at 9am, so you should get there by 8 to help with the set up. If you haven’t been to this event before, you won’t believe what’s for sale here and the prices are so low you’ll want to buy a wagon-load of plants (oops! There go your profits!).

This Month’s Meeting

What do judge’s look for in a plant? Frequently you hear it said that "those judges don’t know what they are looking at – that plant deserved a blue ribbon and it only received a red!" What do judges really want? What do exhibitors really want? Maybe somone should write a book – it could be titled "Exhibitors are from Venus – Judges are from Mars"! The fact of the matter is, the two groups look at the same bromeliad differently. If you want to receive those blue ribbons and awards of merit at shows, you really need to understand where the other side (the judges) is coming from and what they look for in a show plant. We’ll go over what you need to know about entering bromeliads in a show, how to clean them up, how to pot them, what pots not to use, and generally how to improve your chances of taking home a fistfull of ribbons. Bring your plants in that you would like to enter in the show and we’ll critique them.

Where will the next World Conference be held? Could it be………………...Florida?

Every two years a BSI sponsored World Conference is held somewhere in the U.S. This summer it will be in San Diego. Two years ago it was in Chicago. The next conference was scheduled to be in New Orleans, but after the terrible damage inflicted on the "Big Easy" by hurricane Katrina last year, the New Orleans society was forced to back away from this commitment. For those of you who have attended a World Conference before, you know what I mean when I say that these are really very special bromeliad events and ones that draw attendees from not just around this country, but around the world! A World Conference involves a judged bromeliad show, seminars and lectures by some of the foremost figures in the bromeiad world, tours to area botanical gardens, nurseries, and even trips to local amusements and theme parks. First and foremost however, it’s the plants that attract the attendees – the astonishing displays put together by bromeliad societies and commercial vendors, the plant sales where just like Alice’s Restaurant – you can get anything you want, and the rare plant auction where successful bidders may spend hundreds of dollars for a single bromeliad! A conference of this kind truly is a wonderful event for anyone interested in bromeliads and, as you may imagine, an enormous amount of work for the host society or societies.

With New Orleans bowing out for 2008, there may not be a World Conference unless a group volunteers to commit to the pain, the sweat and tears involved in hosting one of these events. FECBS along with the Central Florida and the Seminole societies held the very successful World Conference -Orlandiana ’96. Most of those involved are still recovering and, understandably reluctant to volunteer to do this again, but someone has to "step up to the plate". Contact has been made with the BSI to open the door to discussing the possibility of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Socities hosting the 2008 conference and, if this discussion continues and an agreement can be reached

concerning the details, we may soon have to decide if our group wishes to participate. A World Conference is a wonderful event and can be quite rewarding – both spiritually and financially, but make no mistake about it – it is also a lot of work! Let’s discuss this at our March meeting and be prepared to put the issue to a vote.

Dues for 2006 are now overdue!

If you can’t read this, then you probably didn’t receive your newsletter and that may be because you didn’t pay your dues. Don’t let this happen to you! If you haven’t already, please pay your membership dues for this year. It’s $12.50/individual, $15.00/family – one of the few bargains of our time.

How did everyone cope with the recent spell of cold weather?

There were two consecutive mornings where the thermometers in my yard registered 27° F. That was cold enough to severely damage many of my bromeliads that were not under frost blanket. That’s the bad news. The good news is that everything that was under frost blanket survived completely undamaged! I’m pretty new to the use of frost blankets and this was really the first serious test that I’ve had occasion to put them through. They did exactly what they were represented as doing – I’m sold! What plants survived the cold and what ones were damaged? Let’s here from you about this at the next meeting.

Looking ahead:

March 16 – 19 Everybody’s Flower

Show at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. Standard judged flower show, horticultural displays. Many vendors selling garden related items.

March 25, 26 – Leu Gardens Spring Plant Sale. 1920 Forest Ave. in Orlando. Free admission to the gardens. The Bromeliad Society of Central Florida will have a sales booth here. Bring a wagon to haul your purchases back to the car!

March 25, 26 – Annual Spring Garden Festival at Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville. 4700 SW 58th Drive. Entranc on SW Archer Road (1 mile W. of I-75). Call 352/372-4981 for directions or further details.

March 31 - April 2, 2006
Tropiflora Spring Festival
3530 Tallevast Road. Sarasota
Friday and Saturday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

April 1 Master Gardener’s Sale at

Volusia County Fair Grounds. This is a half day

sale only, so don’t arrive late! Start getting your plants for sale together now. This is a good way to make some extra cash (you get 75% of the sales proceeds of your plants, the club gets 25%) that you can spend on purchasing more plants!

April 9, 2006
Seminole Bromeliad and Tropical Plant Society - Annual Bromeliad Bonanza
Blossom World Gardens-4225 Bloom Lane, Sanford. 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Bud Martin at 321.363.7351
Public is invited, admission is free

May 17 – 21 Florida Native Plant Society will sponsor the 26th Annual Conference at the Shores Resort and Spa (formerly the Hilton) in Daytona Beach Shores, 2637 S. Atlantic Ave. This will include a Plant Professionals workshop on May 18th at the Volusia County Fairgrounds (Volusia County Agriculture Center). For details and registration forms visit:

May 12-14, 2006
Bromeliad Society of Central Florida
Mothers Day Show and Sale
Don’t mark this one on your calendar just yet – the venue may change. Call Betsy McCrory 407-348-2139 for the latest details

May 23rd and 24th Bromeliad Show and Sale at Fairchild Tropical Gardens sponsored by the Bromeliad Society of South Florida. 10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami Show Chairman: Robert Meyer, 305-668-3344
Commercial sales: Peter Kouchalakos, 305-461-2367

June 6 - 11, 2006
Bromeliads on the Border
17th World Bromeliad Conference
Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, California 92108