The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next regularly scheduled meeting Sunday, March 14th, 2004 – 1:30p.m.

March, 2004

Springtime in the Bromeliad Garden

Of Good and Evil!

President Linda Stagnol – 386/760-6842

Vice President – Jay Thurrott – 386/761-4804

Secretary – Calandra Thurrott - 386/761-4804

Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 386/673-2648

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March/April in the bromeliad garden

Ok, now that Spring is upon us ( I know it must be Spring – I have to wash the pollen off the car each morning, my driveway is a pretty yellow color and our black cat is now a yellow cat!) what should we be doing with our bromeliads? For many of us there is so much work to be done, it can be overwhelming just puzzling over where to start. Probably a good way to begin is by examining each of the bromeliads in your collection. By this I mean that you should really examine each one – starting with the pot. If it’s plastic, has it become brittle? If so, replace it. Are roots starting to peek out from the drain holes? It’s a good thing to have such healthy root growth, but now its time to go up a size to a larger pot. Go ahead and repot it. …and please, if the pot is dirty – clean it. Nobody wants to look at that nasty old thing! Next, take a look at the potting mix. What? There’s no media in the pot? That’s because you got distracted last Fall and didn’t finish potting up those offsets – not that this has ever happened to me of course. Assuming that there is media in the pot, is the mix staying too wet? This could spell trouble for your bromeliad if its feet stay wet too long. You need to adjust your watering practices or use a better draining mix. Is the media so dried out and compacted that water either just stands on the surface and doesn’t pass through it or drains through so quickly that the mix never gets wet? If so, its time to repot using some fresh potting mix. Are there ferns and weeds sharing the pot with your bromeliad? Remove them – no matter what you think, judges just don’t appreciate the artistic beauty of several different plants in the same pot. Now, take a good look at your bromeliad. It may be so dirty and filled with leaves and debris that it’s hard to tell what you are looking at. If that’s the case, take your garden hose and give the plant a good spraying. It the build up of dirt is really bad you may even need to take the plant out of the pot and plunge it into a bucket of soapy water. This won’t hurt the plant any and should help in removing its ‘ring around the collar’. Now you can take a good look at the plant. What are those specks on the leaves? You’ve probably picked up a little bit of scale through the winter months. Don’t panic! Just treat the plant with a little insecticidal soap and try to remember to repeat the treatment in a couple of weeks to take care of any newly hatched scale insects. Are there so many specks that you can’t see the pattern in the leaves? You may need to dispose of that plant – it’s beyond saving.

Everybody’s Flower Show

It’s a little early this year – in fact, the show closes on our March meeting date. As usual, the location is the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. The dates are March 11th through the 14th, but the day to bring in plants for the show is Wednesday, the 10th at any time from 9a.m. to 5p.m. What is different this year is the entrance to be used to bring plants in for registration. The east entrance (facing the Adam’s Mark hotel) will be where entries are received – not the double doors on the south side. Take down of exhibits and removel of entries will be after 5p.m. on Sunday, the14th. This is a great opportunity for us to introduce the public to bromeliads(or vice-versa), so please, please enter at least one of your plants in the show. For those of you who have entered in the past – you know about the entry forms that must be completed for each plant entered. These must be filled out in pencil and it can take a while to complete a fist full of these cards, so allow yourself some time to complete the entry forms. Need help getting your plants to the show? Let us know and we will make arrangements.

Looking for something to do?

This is that time of year when there are more gardening activities going on than you can possibly fit into your schedule, so you end up missing some. Compromises are made…and before you realize it, we’re into Summer and you’ve missed some events that you have really been meaning to attend. For your convenience (or maybe…to add to your frustration) we’ve listed some events of interest in the ‘upcoming events’ section.

Upcoming Events

March 11th – 14th Everybody’s Flower Show at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach

March 20th,21st Kanapaha Gardens Spring Garden Festival, Gainesville

March 27th Seaside Herb Society’s 9th Annual Herb Faire. This will be from 10am to 3pm at the Riverbridge House – located at the corner of Granada Blvd. and Beach Street in Ormond Beach.

March 27th, 28th Leu Gardens Plant Sale at Leu Gardens, Orlando 1920 Forest Ave. 9am to 5pm. Show and gardens are free! 407/246-2620

April 3rd Volusia County Master Gardeners 6th Annual Plant Faire. 8:30am to 12:30pm at the Volusia County Fair Grounds.

May 7th ,8th ,9th – Central Florida Bromeliad Society’s Annual Mothers Day Show and Bromeliad Sale at the Florida Mall in Orlando. Fri., Sat. - 10:00am to 9:30pm, Sun. – 11:00am to 6:00pm. Standard BSI judged show and plant sale. Contact Betsy McCrory at 407/348-2139 for details.

May 17-22nd Second International Orchid Conservancy Congress at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Fl.

August 9th-15th Sixteenth World Bromeliad Conference in Chicago, Illinois

Oct. 23rd Extravaganza hosted by the Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society. Make your plans now! The plant sale will be held at the Florida botanical Gardens in Largo. A rare plant auction and banquet will be at the host hotel – Holiday Inn Select, 3535 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater. Room rate is $75/night. The banquet will be $19.95/plate.