Bringing out best colors and markings in Billbergias
Greetings from Louisiana,
I've started back in bromeliads after about a 35 year hiatus, and Billbergias have hooked me bad, especially the newer hybrids with B. vittata 'Domingos Martins'.
I know high light and low fertilizer for best color, but I'm interested in more details...
I see pics online of some great hybrids from Lisa Vinzant (and others!) with incredible markings, and then I see the same plant on ebay with lackluster markings - so I want to grow them more like Lisa or all those Aussie growers I see with awesome plants...
A local guy here grows broms (mostly neos) with rainwater only, no fertilizer, and to me they are somewhat dull. So I plan to use some fertilizer, probably early on in the Billbergia life cycle, and I have good sun here - admittingly not Hawaiian caliber sun, but about the same latitude as southern Morocco, Cairo Egypt, or northern Baja California so pretty good sun.
I've also heard that the pH of the water used can affect coloring so I plan to experiment with that angle as well...
So I'm curious to know how the experienced Billbergia growers here fertilize their plants for best color and markings. And those who use shade cloth, what percent shade?
I have a good injector so I can control ppm N/P/K, trace elements, and pH also.