Growing the Giant 'Red FireBall'

aveo5August 6, 2011

i got one of these 'Giant Fieball' bromeliads last year, and it is growing as easy as the small version. I had it all nice and red, and it has lots of stolens on it, looks like it came out of a gardening book it was so perfect. This year, it is SO hot, it was deep red, but it was so hot, I moved it to some more shade. When I moved it, THEN it got what I assume is sunburn on it. I would have thought it would have gotten burned IN the sun. But it came out when it was in the shade!! Well now it is in the shade, and it is nearly all green. With lots of sunburn splotches on it. I am going nuts trying to figure out how to redden it up again.

I know I can't get rid of the sunburn, why it showed up in the SHADE, i dont know, but thats when it did. But how do i get it red again? It is till SO hot and sunny all day. Heck i am surprised that my cactus dont burn up in the sun!

But how do i get it back to red> Green is boring, it was so pretty red. I know I am suppose to move it into the early morning sun a bit at a time over a period of a week or two, then give it longer times in the sun, then it will redden up.

BUT, what about when it is back in the sun, it is SO hot here in south Fla., will drapping it with 'cheese cloth' give it shade, or trap in heat? THAT is what I am really worried about. Will it get to hot? Can a bromeliad get to hot, like this one?

The regular one I have is kind of ratty looking, and it is in the sun till 2pm or so, but it is rooted into a huge pot with a small tree in it, so I cant move it out, and I can always take a pup off, and start over if I wanted to. But it is the Giant one i want to get red first, and then, keep it red and not burn it, or overheat it.

Will drappping it with cheese cloth trap in heat? OR should i find a branch someplace in my Plumeria tree and hope it gets enough sun to make it red, and then it will get lots of fresh air, and no chance of it over heating. I have nearly all my bromeliads hanging from baskets in my big Plumeria tree. They are all in full color, during the summer the leaves give out just enough shade for the bromeliads, and then when it goes bald in the fall/winter, it lets in more light, to keep everyone in full color all winter:)

Its just that this one is so big already, I would like to put it on one of my outsdie tables, and use it for decoration, like most bromeliads can and are used for. But will the cheese cloth trap in heat? I dont know.

Just standing outside even in the early morning it is HOT to me! the cheese cloth ok, or will it trap in the heat from the table or if it has to go on the ground, from the soil? Or should i find a place in the Plumeria and start looking up, and it should redden it up in a week or so. Any tips would be very helpful.

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Mine are grown in early morning sun then dappled shade the rest of the day. They hold their color and don't burn in the hot Texas sun. Because they are in baskets I had to change the soil mix to hold more moisture. Our no rain and extra hot days (100-105)are taking a toll on the smaller plants in baskets.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 11:36AM
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HDD what sort of hanging baskets do you use?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:18AM
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Hi everyone

Aveo - Your plant would have shown the burn marks if you had left it in the sun as well. It's just that sunburn doesn't always show immediately and it possibly got the extra dose of heat just before you moved it to the shade that's why the burns didn't show up until then. I noticed where I live, a few years back we had an abnormal hot day one New Years Day and it wan't until a week later that the sun damage began to show.

As for a method to shade the plant sufficiently and still give it enough light to maintain colour. A friend of mine has a plant which he cannot move and he made up a shade cover from an old umbrella covered in 75% beige shade cloth and just stuck it in the pot. This affords ample shade and still allows sufficient light to maintain colour.

Hope this may help you,

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 4:50PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

HDD, what sort of hanging baskets do you use? Still wondering!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Giant Fireball grown in a 14" cedar octagonal basket in full sun - Boynton Beach, FL

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 12:29AM
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Sorry guys somehow I missed reading this post again until now. I use wood, wire, some plastic baskets.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:53AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)


Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:23PM
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