To water or not to water...

cindymcbApril 18, 2009

My tropical garden, planted just last spring, is now entering that period when I'm beginning to see which plants are thriving and which are struggling. My boyfriend and I are constantly arguing about how much to water... he thinks more is better, while I tend to think the opposite. Several of the plants are the type that have what I call a tiny little moss patch in the very center of the plant, from which lovely little lavendar flowers bloom. The boyfriend constantly has these little patches -- and the flowers in them -- under water. Good or bad? Also, several of them are growing little polyps on the side. Should those be pruned off for the overall health of the main plant?? Finally, I have 3 of the silvery, tubular plants (sorry, I don't know their name) that grow tall and with a dozen or more "curled" stalks. One of them took me totally by surprise by growing a beautiful flower stalk from the middle of one of the tubes (which promptly died after a freak freezing spell here in SoCalif). So far, the other two show absolutely no sign of doing that. Will they all eventually grow the flower stalk, or is that a "hit and miss" prospect? Anything I can do to encourage that type of growth? Thanks so much for your help!!

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Well, first, pictures will always help a lot. But I'm assuming you have a neoregelia of some sort and possibly an aechmea fasciata. Watering is okay both ways. If you keep water in the cup, make sure it is fresh and doesn't start smelling (rot can start at that point). But letting it go dry for a while is fine as well...bromeliads are pretty tough. I think the 'polyps' you may be seeing may be pups or babies coming. Leave those to grow and divide later.

The other plants can flower. Each individual plant will only flower, or try to flower, once and then die. But they will produce pups.

Hopefully my response made some sense. If I'm forgetting something, others will jump in and help (and correct me if needed).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:31AM
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