The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next regularly scheduled meeting Sunday, August 8, 2004 – 1:30p.m.

August, 2004

Make Plans Now to Attend the Extravaganza Oct. 23rd in Largo

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


Bromeliad Extravaganza

October will be here before we realize it and this year we’ll remember October for something besides Halloween – the Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society will be hosting the Bromeliad Extravaganza on October 23rd. If you haven’t been to one before, these annual events are a lot of fun, a great way meet your counterparts in clubs throughout the state, and an opportunity to obtain bromeliads that you’ve been wanting to add to your collection, but can’t find in the local garden centers. Only want to spend a small amount of money on plants? The sales area will have an enormous variety of plants with prices starting from $2 or less, so there will certainly be something in your price range. Want to buy something a little more pricey and rare or unusual? Then the rare plant auction after the banquet is the place you’ll want to be – proceeds go to the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies. If the drive to Largo is holding you back, we can talk about car-pooling during this month’s meeting, but don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

Special Thanks:

Some of our members have been really wonderful in bringing in plants to share, so I thought it was about time that we recognized Bradley Rauch and Richard Temple for their generosity. Both of these club members have contributed greatly to our raffles and "just take ‘em home with you" at meetings and we’d like to take this opportunity to express our thanks!

Thanks also to new member Saundra for bringing in that beautiful "Blue Tango" for Show and Tell last month. Those Show and Tell features of each meeting just keep getting better and better!

FCBS Roster

At this month’s meeting be sure to pick up your copy of the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies’ roster. Check it over for accuracy – if you see any mistakes, let me know and I’ll get in touch with the Dolatowskis who generated the roster to make the corrections. This was provided to each of the Florida Council representatives in electronic format. Let me know if you would prefer this and I will email you the Excel spreadsheet.

Member Sales Table

We discussed this in previous meetings – what do you do when you’ve got a yard or pool enclosure full of bromeliads and you start to realize that as your collection grows, the number of offsets that you need to separate and pot up increases dramatically? There is a limit to the number of plants you can pass along to your neighbors and if you continue to just throw them over the fence you’ll eventually need a taller fence. Why not bring them in to our meetings and put them up for sale on a members-only table? This is not only a great way to find good homes for your bromeliad pups, you can also make a few dollars on the sale to offset the cost of potting mix, pots, tags, etc. and free up some cash to buy more plants! Is this a great idea or what?!! We ask only that plants brought in for member sales be clean, free of pests (no scale or no sale) and identified with a name tag as well as a price tag with your initials on it(two separate tags). 75% of the proceeds go to you, 25% to FECBS. Sales will take place prior to the meeting, so plan on arriving a little early or there may be nothing left!

If I Only Had a…(part 2)

I don’t know when I made the decision to build a shade-house in the backyard. It may have been after a wandering raccoon decided to shred the center leaves of a Vriesea chrysostachys that was just coming into bloom while he searched for lizards or frogs or whatever it is that interests raccoons. Or it might have been after I picked all of the debris out of a row of especially pretty Neo. hybrids, mowed the lawn around them, and then spent another hour picking the grass clippings out of those same plants. In fact it was probably not a conscious decision at all, but rather a realization that the time was right. After all, I had a little extra money from teaching a couple of correspondence courses, a bunch of ideas on what not to build from Frank Cowan, and some accumulated vacation time to either use or lose before October. I was motivated!

My first step was to request catalogues from a few companies that specialized in the sale of greenhouses and greenhouse supplies. Soon I had a feel for the enormous difference between how much I had intended to spend on this project and how much the greenhouse supply companies felt that I should spend. I didn’t want to live in it – I just wanted grow a few plants in this structure! It wasn’t long after this that our club went on a field trip to Plants and Things in Ocala and George Aldrich suggested that if I wanted to build an inexpensive shade house I should take a look at what Sudi Hipsley had recently put up over in Leesburg. Sudi graciously invited us to lunch (provided that I help identify some plants missing their tags) and offered to show us her new shade house, so off we went to Leesburg. What Sudi has built is simple, practical, and economical. The materials used are readily available and easy to assemble. What more could I ask for? I decided then and there that this was the structure for me.


Look simple enough? You’ve probably seen these structures used as car ports or as supports for canopies at flea markets and fruit stands. The framework is typically made of galvanized steel tubing and a number of slip-on fittings. You can either buy the parts and assemble it yourself or the vendor will put it together for you on your site (for a small fee, of course). Wrap this whole thing in shadecloth and you’ve got yourself a shade house! Naturally, there are some modifications to be made. The size can be tailored to the amount of room you have available and it would be nice to have a door, but basically this structure is all that you need.

Next Installmentpart 4 ‘Things aren’t always as simple as they seem.’

Pots and Plants

For many of us Summer is a time for separating bromeliad offsets and potting them up so that they can get a good start on life. A question that often is asked by hobbyists new to the world of bromeliads is "what sort of pot should I use for my bromeliad?" This is actually a very good question and one that many more experienced growers would do well to consider. The first decision to be made is whether to use a clay pot or a plastic one and the most appropriate choice should depend on your growing conditions. Standard, unglazed clay pots are said to "breathe". What we mean is that the porous nature of clay allows moisture to pass through the pot (almost like a wick) and evaporate. If you are prone to over-wateringing your plants or if you grow them in an area where it’s always very wet, this is a good thing and will help avoid fungus or root-rot problems. On the other hand, if you are in an area that is very dry, you will have to water plants in clay pots much more often than those in plastic pots. Once you decide which type of pot to use, you need to select a size. You may hear that pot size is not important in growing bromeliads since they have a rather limited root system and this is generally true, but there are some notable exceptions - the terrestrials need plenty of room for their extensive masses of roots. These include the Dyckias, Hechtias, Puyas, Pineapples (Ananas), Pitcairnias, and don’t forget the Cryptanthus. Restricting these plants to undersized pots will produce some disappointing results. If you are given a choice of pot styles (once you’ve selected clay or plastic), the low form – also known as the azalea style, or bulb-pan style is preferred. Even for those bromeliads that form lots of roots, the roots tend to be shallow extending horizontally rather than vertically like many other plants.


Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society




The plant sale will be held at the Florida Botanical Gardens, located at 12175 125th Street North, Largo, Florida 33774. The sale hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a holding area available for purchased plants. There will be guided tours of the Gardens at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. for a fee of $1.00 per person. Food vendors will be on-site from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

For vendor/sales information contact Gary Lund 727-586-5865.



The Banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn Select, 3535 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater Florida 33762. The Banquet, a "Florida Style Buffet," starts @ 6:00 p.m. The cost is $19.95 for each individual.



Cheese and fruit, fresh vegetable tray with dip, selection of salad, roast beef carved by the Chef, crab legs, chicken, baked potato with all the trimmings, medley of vegetables, rolls and butter, dessert, coffee, decaf and tea. The reservation form is at the bottom of the page.



The Auction will start at 7:30 p.m. in the banquet room. The auction plants are provided by the local clubs for the Florida Council; additional donations of appropriate plants and items are respectfully requested. To make donations contact Michael Kiehl 941-488-4011.



Rooms are available for a reduced rate of $79.00 per night; contact the hotel for reservations and mention the event the "BROMELIAD EXTRAVAGANZA" on October 23rd.

Holiday Inn Select, 3535 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater, Fl. 33762, 727-577-9100




BANQUET REGISTRATION $19.95 each Checks ONLY made payable to F.W.C.B.S.


Number of people _______ X $19.95 = Amount of check _$______________

1st Name ________________________________________________

Address _____________________City _________State _____Zip______ Phone____________

2nd Name________________________________________________

Address _____________________City _________State _____Zip______Phone_____________

Please attach additional names to a second page




PHONE 727-536-5098

Upcoming Events

Aug. 21, 22 – Seminole Society sale at the Sanford Garden club(200 Fairmont Dr.). 9a.m. to 4p.m.

Oct. 23rd – Bromeliad Extravaganza, hosted by the Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society

Oct. 30, 31 – Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society’s annual sale at Terry Park in Ft. Meyers.