The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, March 8th – 1:30p.m.

March, 2009

Chances of More Freezing Weather Are Pretty Much Over Until Next Winter.

President Joan Campbell – 672-7382

Vice President – Jerry O’Keefe – 407/767-2442

Secretary – Calandra Thurrott – 761-4804

Treasurer – Eve Krauth – 763-2084


Despite what the calendar says, Spring is upon us…

and now is a good time to closely examine your plants. What should you be looking for? For those of us who had damage from the recent freezing weather - look for signs of life. Some plants that appear absolutely dead may surprise you with the emergence of a healthy pup. Other damaged plants that you may have been tempted to send to the discard pile may suddenly put up a beautiful bloom followed by more offsets. And for those of you who completely avoided cold damage - please share with the rest of us how you managed to accomplish this minor miracle.

Cold-damage to Ananas ananas var. bracteatus

Note that the plant survived with just a few leaves damaged – it will likely bloom this Spring.

Of course you might have avoided cold damage only to experience a different kind of damage.

Cold damage to Neoregelia carolinae.

Note that here also some leaves were damaged while others were not. The plant survived.

Inspect your plants carefully for scale insects. It is often during the winter months when plants are crowded closely together that scale appears and runs rampant through a collection. Treat for scale at the first sign of infestation. Think that we don’t have to worry about the Weevil in Volusia County? Think again – it’s been found in the Osteen area and may appear in our area without warning. Check your plants frequently. When the Weevil turned up in the collection of Karen and Michael Andreas in Merit Island, their first indication was the appearance of an adult weevil at the base of a sliding glass door. Quick response in the form of chemical treatment eliminated the threat, but in other parts of the state hobbyists have not been so lucky. Contact one of your officers at the first sign of trouble and they will get in touch with Dr. Frank to report any weevil sightings. Check you plants often.





Here’s what you’re looking for:


Photo from Dr. Frank’s presentation – "Mexican Bromeliad Weevil and its Potential Biological Control"








…and this next photo is what you are looking to avoid!




Photo of fallen Tillandsia utriculatas from Dr. Frank’s presentation – "Mexican Bromeliad Weevil and its Potential Biological Control"

Speaking of Spring…

What better time to schedule a cleanup of the bromeliad beds in the Secret Garden at the Garden Center? Alan Bennett is heading up a group to meet at the Garden Center on Saturday (that’s March 7th) morning at 9am. We welcome the donation of plants for this project, but please limit yourself to a maximum of 5 plants of any one species or variety (this is not an opportunity to donate a clump of 25 Billbergia pyramidallis plants in various stages of disrepair). It is suggested that plants be good sized pups, mature plants, or just coming into bloom. Please don’t bring your bloomed out plant – they will have some nice pups eventually, but in the meantime they’ll not look very nice. We would also like to mount some epiphytic varieties such as Neo. ‘fireball’, so if you have any specimens you would like to donate, they will be gratefully received. This is an interesting landscape project since some portions of the garden receive full sun, some areas see partial shade and some get heavy shade, so a wide variety of bromeliads can be used. This will be a work-day so please dress appropriately, unless you intend to aerate the soil with your high-heels (ladies should wear appropriate footwear also). It is suggested that you bring a hat, gloves, long sleeved shirt, kneeling pad, trowel and pruning shears. If you wish to bring plants other than bromeliads, please call Alan first at 321/377-2189.

This Month’s Meeting

We were fortunate enough to be able to schedule Steven Hoppin to address our group with a program titled "Interesting and New Cryptanthus". An avid grower and hybridizer, Steven has a preference for Pitcairnias, mini-Neos, Dyckias and Cryptanthus. He is a member of the Bromeliad Society International, the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society (where he has served as President, Vice President, Secretary and is currently on the Board of Directors), and the Cryptanthus Society (where he is serving his fourth term as President). He maintains his memberships as well to the American Orchid Society and the Southwest Florida Orchid Society. In addition to all of this, Steve is a BSI accredited bromeliad judge and has judged shows throughout the US and internationally. Steve will be travelling from the Ft. Myers area and will be bringing some of his plants for sale, so I don’t think you will want to miss this meeting!

Tip for the month –

Here’s a handly little tip that John Boardman passed along to the members of the Central Florida Bromeliad Society at a meeting recently. For those of us who are tired of reaching deep into the leaves of a spiky bromeliad to clean off that last bit of debris or scale and end up with an interesting "stitch tatoo" of bromeliad spines in our fingers and hands – next time protect your hands with a pair of those inexpensive gloves with rubberized dots on the front. The dots are intended to improve your grip when wearing the gloves, but for cleaning bromeliads, these same dots do a great job of rubbing off scale and algae on the leaves.

Presidents Corner

      This has been a roller coaster month with temperatures ranging from the 20's to the 80's.  I took a short break and went to Gainesville last weekend---the  temperature was 27 degrees.  In talking with my son-in-law I gained some helpful garden tips.  He is a horticulturist and raises Camillas for commercial sale.  Will share tips with you at the next meeting.

     Looking forward to both the Club House clean up on Saturday March 7th and the monthly meeting on Sunday March 8th.  Our guest speaker this month is Steve Hoppin.  He is President of the Cryptanthus Society, lives in Fort Meyers and I understand he also raises exotic birds so Bromeliad lovers and Bird lovers be sure to come to our next meeting.

                                                 See you there


…and by the way

Don’t forget to bring plants in for Show and Tell. Everyone really enjoys this part of the meeting, so if you have a bromeliad in bloom or one that you would just like to talk about bring it with you for the Show and Tell portion of the meeting.

Last Call!…

That’s right, the train is leaving – don’t be left behind. Dues for the year are being received by the Treasurer and this will be the last notice. If you haven’t yet renewed, bring cash or a check to the meeting and Eve will be sure to mark you as a good citizen, paid in full FECBS member. Don’t let your membership lapse!

Upcoming Events:

Jan. 31, 2009 – Annual garage sale fundraiser for the Halifax Council of Garden Clubs at the Finney Garden Center 9 – 2pm. Please donate items that you think may sell-including plants.

Feb. 14-15, 2009 Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens. 1 mile west of I-95 in Stuart. Mark Peters’ Talk and Walk: Rare & Unique Crotons. Free admission.

March 21-22, 2009 Spring Plant Sale at Leu Gardens in Orlando. Free Admission 9am-5pm. Look for the Central Fl. Bromeliad Society booth when you visit the gardens!

March 21 (9am-6pm) & 22 (10am-5pm), 2009 – 19th Annual Spring Garden Festival at Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville. 4700 SW 58th Dr. Free parking, shuttle buses. (note-the wrong date for this event was reported in last month’s newsletter).

March 29th

Blossom World Gardens open hous 9am to 4 pm. Seminars at 11 and 1:00 Call Bud Martin at 321-363-7351 for directions.

April 4, 5, 2009

Broward County Bromeliad Society annual show and sale at the Plantations Women’s Club – more details to follow as they become available.

April 4, 2009

Volusia County Master Gardener’s Spring Sale. Half day only – at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. 8:30am-noon

April 11, 2009

Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies quarterly meeting – to be hosted by the Central Florida Bromeliad Society at the site of this year’s Extravaganza. This will be a good opportunity to visit a Florida Council meeting and also to have a look at the hotel where this year’s Extravaganza will be held.

April 18, 19 2009

Seminole Bromeliad and Tropical Plant Society Spring sale at the Sanford Garden Club on highway 17-92. 9am to 4pm

April 25, 26, 2009

Sarasota Bromeliad Society show and sale at Selby Gardens in Sarasota



May 9,10, 2009

Central Florida Bromeliad Society annual Mother’s Day show and sale

…and looking even farther ahead:

November 13th – 15th , 2009

Bromeliad Extravaganza, hosted by the Central Fl. Bromeliad Society at the Orlando Renaissance Hotel.