Aechmea recurvata 'sunset' seedlings

naoh123July 20, 2014

I thought I'd share a photo of my first experience growing bromeliads from seed. I got these from the BSI seed bank last year. I heard bromeliads are slow growers when coming from seed; that's almost an understatement. These guys are at the one year mark and they can still be eclipsed by a quarter. It's neat seeing those familiar recurvata spikes finally form on the margins of the leaves though. Looking forward to the final product: http://i.imgur.com/oQBNqNO.jpg

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sunshine_qld

They look good. The thing with seed, you never know the colours you may get.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:42AM
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HoosierBob SW Indiana Zone 5

Congratulations on your healthy seedlings. Looks like you've done a great job of taking care of them for a year.

It's been years since I got seed from the seedbank. The seed at that time came on a folded up paper and I opened it too far and it flexed and flipped all the seeds into the carpet. I picked them back out with tweezers, one at a time. They were neoregelia seeds and I still have one of the plants from that bunch.

I wasn't familiar with recurvata cv. Sunset...looks really cool. I hope your seedlings have some interesting leaf colors for you. Thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:01PM
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janartmuse

Oh how fun! Congratulations!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:29AM
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naoh123

Thanks! The BSI seedbank uses those tiny manila envelopes now, thankfully. The only thing that is a shame is the short shelf life of bromeliad seeds. I'm sure the guy/gal running the seedbank does their best to keep track of the age of seeds, but I get the feeling it is a one person operation. At the same time I ordered A. recurvata 'big mama' and 'big red' and those all turned out to be duds. Regardless it's worth the risk for only 5 bucks. The Sunsets made up for the others since nearly every seed in that pouch germinated and continues to grow.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:25PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Very nice. Thanks for the pics. You'll have to keep us updated on the progress.

tj

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:52PM
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splinter1804

Hi everyone.

Noah - I'm sure that like me you will get endless enjoyment from growing brom's from seed. There are two things you need to remember; firstly the seedlings won't resemble the mother plant (seed parent) if they are hybrids. It's only species that will come true to form and only then if insects haven't cross pollinated them with something else.

Secondly; yes it is a slow process, but a very interesting and worthwhile one nevertheless. If you grow hybrid seed you don't know what you will get, and although a lot will be similar, they will all be unique and you will be the only one that has them.

I have a few different Ae recurvata hybrids which were made by crossing various selected varieties with each other. They are all still Ae. recurvata but all different in their own way.

I don't know how to load multiple pictures so I will have to do them one at a time; but I would be grateful if anyone can tell me if it's possible to load multiple images using the Garden Web upload facility and not having to use programme such as Photo Bucket.

All the best, Nev.

Ae recurvata var. 'Blushing Pineapple' (Unreg.)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:52PM
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splinter1804

Ae recurvata var. 'Rising Sun' (Unreg.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:54PM
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splinter1804

Ae. recurvata var. 'Little Surprise' (Unreg.)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:55PM
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splinter1804

Finally a mass planting of Ae. recurvata

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:57PM
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bromeliaddict(z6 MI)

Hi Nev, thanks for sharing pics of your assorted cultivars on the forum. I've got a few different varieties of recurvata. I would make room to add 'Rising Sun' and 'Little Surprise' to my collection! Very nice!
It's great to see a couple of more fellow mid-west area gardeners posting about growing bromeliads!
Naoh123, your seedlings are coming along nicely. Raising broms from seed certainly teaches one about patience! There are many varieties that do grow more quickly than Ae. recurvata and give satisfaction sooner, but the reverse of that is also true!

Paul

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:25AM
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naoh123

Hi Nev. You're killing me! Ae. recurvatas are a personal favorite of mine, verging on a full blown obsession. Thank you for the explanation on the expression of traits. Sounds like I may get something close to the pictures I've seen, but really it's anyone's guess. If you're ever parting with any Ae. recurvata overflow you be sure and get in touch, those are some awesome specimens.

It definitely is an exercise in patience. I have a Brocchinia hechtioides seedling that sprouted about the same time as the recurvatas and it is coming along even slower. One year in and it could still be covered by a small button. I'll be sure and share some pictures once it comes around the bend. It suffered some browning early on and I was sure it was a goner, but it keeps hanging on.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:55PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Very nice stuff, Nev. Thank you.

As for pix, a web hosting site like Photobucket or Flickr is the only way to post multiple pix.

tj

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:59PM
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splinter1804

Hi everyone

Thanks for the compliments everyone.

naoh123 - It wouldn't do you much good if I did decide to unload a few as you're in US and I'm in Australia, and our quarantine laws are such that with all the running around, treatment of plants and then postage on top of that it wouldn't be worth the effort to send any; and besides I'm pretty much confined to my own yard anyway due to medical mobility issues.

I realise and accept these strict quarantine laws are there to protect our country from unwanted pests and diseases, but it still doesn't make it any easier for brom friends to sell/wap bits and pieces.

I would suggest you do what I did and grow some from seed. Do you know what the situation is with sending seed to your country? If there aren't too many hassles I could see what's required from this end and maybe send you some to try.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:21PM
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naoh123

Hi Nev. I agree about the quarantine laws, they're there for very good reasons. Unfortunately it becomes a bit ridiculous with bromeliads--you have to appreciate the irony of the situation: A person on one of the continents from which broms originated and still inhabit trying to get specimens from another person where broms were never native is met with prohibitive laws! A quick tangent here, always thought it was strange that for how prolific many bromeliads are they were almost completely exclusive to the Americas (exception being that Pitcairna species that made it over to Africa). If memory serves bromeliads are one of the newest plants on the block in terms of evolution, so that might have something to do with it.

Back on topic, I'm in the US and I believe laws are more forgiving when it comes to seeds. The aforementioned B. hechtioides came from seed which came from France. Not sure if the vendor had much trouble, but at least on my end there were no issues receiving it. I'll have to do some more digging around to find some bromeliad seed sources, but if it turns out sending seeds from AU to US is a simple process I'd gladly try my hand at anything you have to offer.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:12AM
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janartmuse

I can't imagine that sending seeds across borders (and oceans) would be a problem. The concern is pests, and what could be on seeds? It's a good question, though.

I have looked for seeds online and not come up with much. If seed sharing turns out to be OK, it would be nice for everyone.

Why are the seedlings so slow to develop I wonder?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:55PM
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naoh123

Slow seed development, my suspicion is the condition I'm trying to grow them. I think bromeliads are slow growers in general, but trying to rear them in the Midwest of the US probably compounds the slow growth. On average my area gets only a half year of clear sunny days. The first 6 months of these seedlings' development happened on an east-facing window sill. Between the trees/glass/screen/terrarium hood the overall natural sunlight could not have been great. The ones pictured above looked to be the strongest so I moved them under grow lights after 3 months and they took off much quicker than those left in the terrarium. I didn't include photos of the ones that stayed in the terrarium, but they are significantly smaller.

Good point about the pests, I never thought of that. I always assume it's about prevention against invasive plants but it's just as likely some nasty insect or spore or whatever hitches a ride to a new location.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:09AM
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bromeliaddict(z6 MI)

Slow development of seedlings is just the nature of certain species. Fertilizing could help speed development, as will maintaining warm temperatures year round. I certainly understand the challenges of trying to keep things warm enough, especially after this past winter!
I grow my brom seedlings under fluorescent light anywhere from 6 months to 2 years before separating and potting them up under natural light conditions.

Paul

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:57PM
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