The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, April 22nd – 1:30p.m.

Apr. 2007

Spring is Here – it’s Time to Work on Your Bromeliads!

President Bradley Rauch386/767-8937

Vice President – Nina Leggett - 386/673-0550

Secretary – Joan Campbell

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


This month’s meeting…

Every now and then it’s a good idea to step back and take a fresh look at things - time to get back to your roots (no pun intended), a time get a fresh perspective. …And what better time to do this than in the Spring, a time traditional viewed as one of renewal. This month we’re going to have a workshop dedicated to "Bromeliad Basics". I think we can all use a refresher on some of the most basic of activities associated with growing bromeliads. We’ll cover everything from selection of the right pot, to separating pups from mother plants, and on to potting up offsets and what fertilizers (if any) to use.

The Master Gardener’s Spring Sale…

This year’s Volusia County Master Gardener’s Spring Sale was another outstanding success! Sales were excellent, the club made money, and it was all-in-all, a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning. Thank you everyone who helped either in tending the booth or in contributing plants for sale! Phil and Betty Dollar brought a larger number of plants and then sharpened their sales pitches throughout the morning Thank you both for your generous contributions to the club! Jane Upham’s family stopped in with several recycling bins full of plants and they went like hotcakes! Jerry O’Keefe also took time out from his busy schedule to drop off boxes of plants and at the end of the morning – there weren’t any left! Thank you Jerry and please, don’t apologize for not being able to do more. Your contributions are greatly appreciated! Alan Bennett brought great looking plants on consignment, spent the morning tending the booth and did very well in sales. Thank you Alan! For any of you who haven’t participated in this before, sales like this one are not only an excellent opportunity to get rid of some of those extra pups that have been taking up space in your yard, they also provide a chance to make a little money to pay for your potting mix, pots and tags. Everyone comes out ahead! …and for those of you who contributed 100% of the plant proceeds to the club – a sincere thanks! Finally, we want to express our appreciation to the Aldrichs. The sale certainly wouldn’t have been the success that it was without the help of George and Irene – they arrived at the crack of dawn, put up canopies and tables and sold bromeliads non-stop all morning. Mark your calendars for this event next year. Fund raisers don’t get any easier than this!

Culture Tip for the Month

When the tag says Tillandsia neglecta, please don’t take that name too literally. My first T. neglecta came to me as a gift with the assurances that "you don’t need to provide any care to keep this plant happy". I didn’t and it wasn’t – leading to it’s early demise! I had read that this small plant grows on granite cliffs in intense light and wind in Argentina, so I placed it in the windiest, brightest place I could find in my yard, never watered it, and watched as it slowly declined. I had overlooked (or neglected) the fact that seaside cliffs in the Rio de Janeiro area are often bathed in fog and provided with a much higher level of humidity than what we see in Port Orange – particularly in our dry Springtime. Tillandsia neglecta #2 was treated to a much less severe environment and, truer to its name, has rewarded me with many offsets and a very nice bloom every January or February.

Photo courtesy of FCBS website

If there is a moral to this story, it is that as much as we like to brag that bromeliads are "carefree" or require "no care at all", keep in mind that these are not silk plants and, as living organisms, they really require a certain amount of care to survive. The Genus Tillandsia was given that name because it was believed that these "air plants", like the unfortunate Dr. Tillands, feared water and would actually suffer if watered with any regularity. With few exceptions, this simply isn’t true. If you don’t have Tillandsia neglecta in your collection, you might want to look for one at a plant sale. This plant is very easy to care for and blooms reliably in our area – just don’t neglect it completely!


Looking Ahead:

April 14, 15, 2007 Bromeliad Society of Broward County 11th Biennial Show and Sale "Everything's Coming Up Bromeliads"
Trinity Lutheran Church Hall, 11 SW 11th ST, Ft Lauderdale FL

April 14,15, 2007 Seminole Bromeliad and Tropical Plant Society Spring Plant Sale
Sanford Garden Club Building, 200 Fairmont Drive, Sanford, FL 9 AM - 4 PM both days
Contact Sudi Hipsley 352 504-6162 or Bud Martin 321 363-7351 for more information.

April 21-22, 2007 Bromeliad Society of South Florida Annual Show and Sale
Fairchild Tropical Gardens, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami.

April 21 & 22, 2007
26th Annual Sarasota Bromeliad Society Show and Sale "Pirated Bromeliads" - Exhibits, sales, food, rare plant auction
Marie Selby Botanic Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, Florida.Hours 10:00-4:00, 941-955-7553.
Plant sale only on April 20th. Show & Sale included in General admission $12.

May 11 - 13, 2007
Bromeliad Society of Central Florida Annual Mothers Day Show and Sale
Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 East Colonial Drive (S.R. 50)Orlando, FL