The Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society

Next meeting Sunday, September 9th – 1:30p.m.

September, 2007

Mounting 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 – Mounting Bromeliads

Do you mount them from the left side or from the right side?, wait, that’s horses. Bromeliads can be mounted on almost anything solid enough to hold them – and that’s part of the fun of attaching them to different materials. Most people are interested in using pieces of driftwood for this, but I’ve seen bromeliads attached to everything from a bowling ball to a pane of glass. They all work, although some mounts are more effective than others. This month Bradley is going to demonstrate several means of mounting bromeliads to make an attractive display. Which bromeliads can you mount? How do you care for them? The answers to these and other questions will be provided at this month’s meeting – don’t miss it! This is a wonderful opportunity to be creative in working with bromeliads.

Last Month’s Meeting

Terrie Bert always has an interesting show to bring to town and last month’s program was no exception. I think even those non-technical folks among us found the subject matter fascinating. Who knew that Hectias are not closely related to Dyckias? They sure look similar, but apparantly that’s where the similarities end. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more in the future about the evolution of bromeliads as researchers delve deeper into this topic.

It was good to see the results on some of your bromeliad seed sprouting efforts. Growing bromeliads from seed can be very interesting and, who knows, you may just wind up with bromeliad that has a unique feature that hasn’t been seen before and you will have the opportunity for naming rights!

Out and About

The Seminole Society’s sale last month in Sanford was quite an event! I hope you all had an opportunity to visit and to paw over all of those plants for sale. They had quite an extraordinary variety of plants to chose from and the prices were very reasonable, so of course we couldn’t leave without some purchases. We now have a representative Aechmea aculeatosepala. This is a real odd-ball of a plant that was formerly classified as a Neoregelia but looks like a bit like Neo. Pendula with its long stolons. I’m also looking forward to growing a Canistrum triangulare that we picked up with very soft leaves and unusual markings. You never know with bromeliads – sometimes there are clones of the same plant out there that are quite different from each other and other times those perceived differerences disappear after the plant grows under your environmental conditions for a while. You just never know! While there, we ran into a friend from the South Florida Bromeliad Society – people sometimes travel long distances for these sales!

Culture Tips for the Month

I know that it’s been awfully hot out there these past few weeks, but if you can get outside early enough in the morning (my apologies to all of you late risers, but that’s just the way it is in the Summer), the temperature is really pleasant and you can get quite a bit done in the garden before the oppressive heat sets in. This is an excellent time to separate and pot up those Neoregelia offsets. Don’t wait until Fall when the temperatures are cooler because those Neo. offsets taken after October just don’t seem to get as good a start as those taken either earlier in the Summer or in the following Spring.

If you are a person who fertilizers your bromeliads on a regular schedule, it’s also approaching that time when you should begin backing off on the fertilizer. You won’t hurt anything if you don’t, but you will be wasting fertilizer as the days begin getting shorter and bromeliads in our area beginning slowing down from their rapid Summer growth period.

It’s hard to think about Winter when the temperature is in the ‘90s outside, but you should begin making plans now for protection against the cold weather. Winter will be here soon and those sudden "Canadian Clippers" that sweep through our area can severely damage a bromeliad collection unless you have your own, specific cold weather protection plan in place. There is no "one size fits all" advice when it comes to protection for your plants. Everyone’s situation is a little different, depending on your location (if you are near the river or the ocean, it’s usually a few degrees warmer than farther inland), the type of plants in your collection ( if you only grow Ae. disticantha and Quesnelia testudo you can laugh in the face of Jack Frost!), the size of your collection (if you only have 2 plants, pick them up and bring them into you house when cold weather approaches, but if you have 2,000 plants this same approach won’t work…unless you have a very big house and a very tolerant spouse), and even the location of the plants in your yard (microclimates within your yard may have the effect of some surprisingly different temperatures). Are your plants in the ground? If so, they will benefit from soil temperatures that are slower to react to cold spells than air temperatures. Are they in pots? You may get some help from the potting mix, the pot and even the water in the leaf axils when there are sudden dips in temperature. Are your plants mounted on wood or rock and hanging from supports? These may see the lowest temperatures in your yard and have no protective insulation around them, but then again, they may be varieties of bromeliads that can handle low temperatures better than most, so this may not be a concern. You and only you truly know your collection, so it will be up to you to determine what protection is needed and how to go about providing it. More about this topic next month. For now, settle back in your chair in the air-conditioned comfort of your home, have another iced tea, and rest secure that these steamy days of Summer will soon draw to an end.

The Books Are in!

Don’t forget – we still have a number of copies of the new Australian book on bromeliads that were purchased through the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies. There is a limited number of these and it is ‘first come, first served’ until they are gone, so get your copy now!

News from the Weevil Project

It has been a long time since this "evil weevil" first turned up in South Florida and began sytematically destroying the native bromeliads. Eight years later and much has been accomplished. The weevil has a name – metamasius calizone; a potential biological control has been identified that shows promise toward preventing the extinction of several Tillandsia species; culture techniques have been developed to rear this parasitic fly lixamonti frankii; permits have been obtained; the first controlled releases of this fly have taken place and now, work is being directed toward evaluating the effects of these releases. This project has been funded in large part by the local bromeliad societies that make up the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies and it has been especially gratifying to see these diverse groups working together toward this one goal. This is the sort of project that the societies were formed for and I hope that they can continue to work together as future projects are identified.

Looking Ahead:

September 7, 8 & 9, 2007
33rd Annual Southwest Bromeliad Guild Show and 10th International Cryptanthus Show
MCM Elegante Hotel
2355 IH 10 S, Beaumont, Texas
Contact: Steve Hoppin at or 239-997-2237

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Reservation deadline: September 14th 2007

Special presentation by Chester Skotak, renowned nurseryman

and hybridizer coming from Costa Rica.

WHERE: Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel

1870 Griffin Rd.

Dania Beach, FL 33004

954-920-3300; 954-920 3348 (fax)

Special rate: Single or Double: $89.00

Rates in effect until September 14th.

For Banquet Reservations please make check or money order for US$ 35.00 per person payable to BSBC and mail to: Sara S. Donayre, 1240 Jefferson St. Hollywood, FL 33019

Reservations must be received by September 14th, 2007

You can make your own registration form – just be sure to include the following:

Name/s: ________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip: __________________________________________________________

Select your Entrée: Veal Scaloppini ____ Poached Atlantic Salmon ____

Grilled Portobella Mushroom ___

Number of Dinners: ________ Amount enclosed: ___________

Room rates: Single or double $89.00 but you must mention the Bromeliad Extravaganza to take advantage of this rate. Rates in effect until September 14, 2007. Come early, stay late – make a mini-vacation out of this!


Sale, Banquet, Raffle and Rare Plant Auction will take place at the same location.

Raffles will be held all day on Saturday. Sunday morning there will be opportunities to tour local nurseries.

Less than one month from now, so don’t put it off any longer - make your reservations now!!

Some Highlights:

Thousand of bromeliads from the best vendors in the state! Free seminars on several topics of interest to the beginner and advanced collector.

Dozens of Rare plants at auction provided by members of Florida Societies to benefit the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies.

Free plants to banquet attendees!

20 Free copies of Elton Leme’s "Canistropsis – Bromeliads of the Atlantic Forest" will be given to early hotel and banquet attendees coming from the farthest points!

There will be seminars and a special banquet presentation by Chester Skotak renowned nurseryman and hybridizer from Costa

Rica as well as an a/v presentation on the upcoming 2008 World Bromeliad Conference June 24-29, 2008 Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Watch for the mail-out that will be sent to all club members. This will be going out soon and will have details on hotel registration as well as banquet information and all sorts of other goodies that will be part of this event!

November 30, Dec. 1-2, 2007

Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society Show and Sale - Terry Park, 3410 Palm Beach Blvd. (SR80) Ft. Myers. Contact Steve Hoppin at or 239/997-2237June 24 - 29, 2008
18th World Bromeliad Conference
WBC 18 - "Bromeliads Down Under"
Cairns, Australia
Cairns International Hotel
Hosted by Cairns Bromeliad Society Inc.
P. O. Box 28 Cairns, Qld. 4870
and the Bromeliad Society International
More Information can be found at the "Bromeliads Downunder" web site.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to both visit Australia and see a World Conference!

More information on the World conference and on tours in the Cairns area will be available on a table at the Extravaganza in Ft. Lauderdale.