The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, June 12, 2005

June, 2005

Are You Ready

for Hurricane Season í05?

President Ė Linda Stagnol Ė 386/760-6842

Vice President Ė Jay Thurrott Ė 386/761-4804

Secretary Ė Calandra Thurrott - 386/761-4804

Treasurer - Ted Nuse - 386/673-2648

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Can you believe that hurricane season has started already?!!

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were cleaning up from the last hurricanes and breathing a sigh of relief that the 2004 season was finally over. Now that apprehensive feeling is returning to many of us all over again!

The official season has barely begun and already various representatives of the news media are bombarding us daily with information to help in developing our own, personal hurricane plan. Iím not sure just how helpful some of the "tips" and "helpful hints" they offer are Ė after all, are suggestions to "closely monitor the news as storms approach" or "stay off the roads when winds near hurricane strength" really useful? I like to think that most of us have enough common sense to do these things without being told. Iíve also looked through some of the special "hurricane survival" packets that were included with a weekend edition of the local newspapers and havenít seen any that include plane tickets out of Florida, so Iím not sure how helpful this information is either when a storm really approaches. Regardless, in the true spirit of the season, I thought that I would pass along the following Hurricane Tips for Bromeliad Growers:

  1. For your plants that are mounted in pots Ė dig a hole and put them pot and all in the ground. Cover this with mulch and they will be secure long after your house blows away. After the storm passes, uncover the mulch and your plants should be unharmed.
  2. Take down those hanging plants before high winds do it for you! If you take the hanging plants down and put them in a safe place, you will be more likely to find them again after the storm passes. (Iím still finding plants that were blown out my trees last August).
  3. Donít forget where you have stored your plants! This is important for several reasons: (a) after the storm passes they will probably be covered in debris - you should uncover these as soon as possible. The potting mix may be saturated with water and root-rot can be a real possibility.
  4. (b) avoid further damage to these plants as you clear away other debris. A well-meaning neighbor with a chainsaw can make a real mess of your bromeliads if you donít point out where they are beforehand. (c) plants that were formerly in the shade may now be exposed to full sun and will soon experience sunburn if they arenít promptly moved.

  5. Plan on the power being out for a few days if a storm strikes your area. If you fill your garage with plants and the power is off for a prolonged period of time, temperatures in that garage can easily exceed the tolerance levels of your plants. It may be safer for your bromeliads if you can find a protected corner of your property to store them rather than putting them in an enclosed structure.

A hurricane strike can be a devastating event for you and your bromeliad collection. With a little pre-planning though, both you and your plants will survive and quickly spring back to normal. Your plants may look a little battle-scarred, but theyíll survive and you may pleasantly surprised by some unexpected blooms and a new generation of offsets.

2004 was certainly a remarkable hurricane season for Florida. Hereís hoping that this yearís season will be a little less remarkable!

This Monthís Meeting Ė Show and Tell

Letís see what youíve been up to recently. What plants are in bloom? What plants are you having trouble with? Bring them in and letís have a look at them!

Florida Council of Bromeliad Societiesí News

You may not have noticed, but itís been quite a long time since the Council has produced a newsletter. Itís always difficult for a society when a newsletter editor resigns or moves on and the Florida Council, finding itself in that situation has struggled a bit to get back on track with the quarterly newsletter. Recently Karen Andreas volunteered to begin producing the newsletter and with some help from the societies in the form of articles of interest to club members, she has published a first rate newsletter. If you havenít received your copy by the time this reaches you, let one of your officers know and we will be sure that your name gets added to the official mailing list. Thanks Karen, for a great job!

Last Monthís Field Trip

Our recent expedition to Russellís Bromeliads in Sanford was a wonderful field trip and a great way to spend a Saturday! We were well represented with many FECBS members present for the tour of the nursery and most of them staying for a leisurely lunch at Gatorís Dockside on the St. Johns River. This was a joint field trip with the Seminole Bromeliad Society and the Central Florida Bromeliads Society and I would have to say that it was a great success Ė maybe we should do more of these? Letís hear your comments at the next meeting.

Looking ahead:

October 22 Ė Bromeliad Extravaganza, hosted by the Sarasota Bromeliad Society. Sarasota Garden Club Ė 1131 Blvd. of the Arts in Sarasota. Sale from 9 to 4pm followed by banquet and rare plant auction at the Helmsley Sandcastle located at 1540 Ben Franklin Dr.