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addition to the family

Posted by greentoe357 7b NYC under lights (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 14:26

This Aechmea chantini finished flowering 3-4 weeks ago, and I was looking for a pup (or three) to pop from between the leaves, like on my Neoregelia. Instead, I just noticed this little guy saying hello to the world from the ground near mom. Very cute!

Those are the only two Broms I grow, and they behave very differently from most other of my plants - and from each other, as it now turns out. I am still learning about them, so any growing advice is appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: addition to the family

Large wire basket with coco liner


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RE: addition to the family

looks like you put it in pure bark?
i got vriesea splendens and guzmania lingulata in fl for xmas (both red bracts) - doing well and pups are quite big already, especially on vrisea, but my neo carolinae pup just started in march, is about 2-3" at most now.
going very slow.
and my achmea faschiata is also just starting to pup - 1-2" so far.
all in the orig pots/medium. i don't bother to repot, they are doing fine as is :). or so i think...


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RE: addition to the family

Hi greentoe - I find that these plants tend to want to grow out of pots and in my experience this is telling us they would rather be mounted or planted in a basket as HDD says so they are free to roam. We shouldn't forget that in habitat these plants are epiphytes and in cultivation we just confine them to pots for our own convenience.

All the best Nev.


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RE: addition to the family

> Large wire basket with coco liner
> they would rather be mounted or planted in a basket

Can't do that - I am growing in an apartment, indoors only, so dripping and watering frequency are concerns.

> looks like you put it in pure bark?

It looks that way, but no. It came potted into something very peaty originally. Like you, I also understand repotting just to change the medium is less important than with other plants because broms take in water and nutrients from their cups as well and need to be watered less into the mix. I needed a heavier clay pot for more stability though, and mine was just a tiny bit bigger, so I filled the sides and a bit on the top with fine bark.

> my neo carolinae pup just started in march

We got those Neo carolinaes at about the same time, and I think at the same store possibly. :-) My pups (there are 2) were born in November, so they are a bit bigger than yours, but with time, I am sure we won't be able to tell the difference.

Should I give both the Neoregelia and the Aechmea more light, the same or less vs. when the plants had no pups? Does it matter? I understand pre-flowering adults need stronger light in order for the colors to pop, but do pups need strong light not to get etiolated?

I just snapped some pics. Here are both pups, one on either side. I am holding mom's three leaves up, and the pups are lighter green and narrow.
both pups on either side

This is the taller pup:
taller pup

And this is the shorter one:
shorter pup

Do they look like they need more light? They do not live on those lit shelves these days, but on a less consistently and reliably lit window sill.

This post was edited by greentoe357 on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 13:08


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RE: addition to the family

great pups! am not sure about the light.
i am keeping mine in western window with dappled sun. don't know why it is so late with the pup.
it's hard to get specific light req. seems they need 500fc-1200fc to grow well. with some dappled sun sev hours recommended.
similar light conditions for neo carolinae/ aechmea fasciata. i don't have chantini, ...yet! love the striped foliage.
read that in order to bloom they need much brighter light, like 2500fc. perhaps, they'll need to go outside for that.
here's a pic of my best vriesea pup


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RE: addition to the family

Indoors I don't think your plants will thrive long term. Enjoy them and replace them as they decline.


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RE: addition to the family

Great looking plant, Petrushka! Thanks for the light levels. You have been my best source for that info for multiple plants now, and I am taking notes!

> Indoors I don't think your plants will thrive long term. Enjoy them and replace them as they decline.

Haha way to be positive, hdd! Aren't we all on a one-way path to our ultimate decline?! :-)


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RE: addition to the family

Would you put a fish in sand or water?


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RE: addition to the family

that's a bit of exaggerating...
it's growing ok, even though it's a bit leggy and soft. so it won't flower. but still nice looking plant and it will probably still pup.
greenT, you asked for my sources in 'small leaves' thread, i think. if you look at those links you'll be able to get to fc light req. listings yourself, when you need a ref for dif plants.
i still can't find some, but always searching...
hardly anybody on GW posts them, except may be in orchid/lights forums. i think it helps a bundle to measure with light meter instead of eye-balling your light levels.
when i was in miami in winter i went specifically to measure light levels in dappled shade, where lots of broms (aechmeas, neos,etc) where growing in the ground year round under live-oaks. and i got 1250fc-5000fc - with moving dappled sun, so the leaves do not heat up too much.
and that's in winter.
don't know how much it rises in summer!
indoors you can get 5000fc only in west/south window in full sun.


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RE: addition to the family

greentoe357> "do they need more light?"

petrushka> "I think it helps a bundle to measure with light meter instead of eye-balling your light levels."

Your Broms look nice for being grown indoors, good job. Strongly agree with petrushka regarding the light meter. I grow indoors (a lot with artificial light) and one thing I have definitely learned: probably the worst light meter we can use is our eyes.

Most inexpensive light meters will measure Lux & Foot-candles, and they can prove to be a valuable tool for indoor growing. You can easily measure light intensity in PAR units with one of these meters too (by using a Lux meter to measure the light - at the distance your plants will be from the light - divide the Lux reading by 78 - this will give you an approximate Par).

Those were some very interesting readings from petrushka ("Miami, growing in the ground year round, measurements in dappled sun/shade 1250-5000fc"). I remember a good discussion in the lighting forums from years ago, about measuring Foot-candles under florescent lights. Had to do some searching to find it (you can google with the following: forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lights/msg0118385124759.html?54) - might be of interest.


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oh! i am sinking supinely in DATA ;)...that is so-o over my head, but i tried for the future to take some notes.
i don't do lights ...yet!
here's the quote i liked from above very interesting link:
There is no standard in the horticulture industry designating "low", "medium", "high" or "bright" light in ft-c .
yep, i've been looking all over and the ft-c ranges shift somewhat from diff sources.
it's hard enough to find those on a plant by plant basis, forget about PAR - there's no info at all. even if i could get a light meter that measures it, where do i get plant lists with PAR specs? any idea?
i just use a digital camera to measure my light levels and i also have an old light meter for camera-use.
but even that much helps a lot, since i find eye-balling light levels totally impossible.
this is the best link so far that i found to calc par roughly

Here is a link that might be useful: PAR fc lux


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RE: addition to the family

I am not aware of any lists with PAR specs for plants (not saying that this information does not exist, but really don't know).

*PAR can become a very gnarly subject (not to mention boring to many). These days I lean more towards PAR than Foot-candles, Lux, or Lumen ratings from artificial lights. Years ago I really wanted to gain an understanding of what "good-quality-light" for growing plants was all about. I learned (from favorable plant growth) that good quality light contained the correct ratios for colors & wavelengths of the spectrum (between 400-700nm), along with having good intensity.

Our visible spectrum (perceived by the human eye) is generally accepted as falling in the band of 400-700nm. PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) used in plant photosynthesis, also falls in the same range of 400-700nm.

Humans and plants view the sun's radiation in different ways. Human eyes have their peak sensitivity at the 555nm mark (green part of the spectrum). Plants are most sensitive to the red color region, then blue, and least sensitive to green colors.
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(A) PAR, sometimes also referred to as photosynthetic photon flux or PPFD, is measured with a quantum sensor (in units of umol/m2/sec) relating to light in the 400-700 nanometer wavelength.
(B)The total solar spectrum is measured with a pyranometer (in units of watts/m2) relating to light in the 400-1100 nanometer wavelength. (I'm sure new technology has been developed, and NASA has a different set of figures pertaining to the total solar spectrum, along with a different device for measuring it.)
(C)Photometry is measured with with a light meter (in units of Lumens or LUX) in the visible 380-770 nanometer wavelength.

In mid-summer, at midday, the sun can reach a PAR (umol/m2/sec) of 2,000 ~ or 1060 (watts/m2) ~ or 9800 (Foot-candles) ~ or 106,000 (Lux) depending on the latitude of where you live.
*info.between the lines taken from Autogrow Systems Ltd.
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It's hard to eyeball what you have coming through the windows, or under a light tube. What looks "bright & right" to me may not be so "bright or right" for my plants, and I sure the heck am not going to be able to guess spectrum or intensity. That's where those light meters come into play.

This post was edited by o2tiller on Tue, Apr 22, 14 at 4:40


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and all of this PAR info is practically relevant for artificial lighting systems only, right?
the guy in the link (john) says - foot candles measurement is useless for lights..
but it is still quite relevant for natural light! i mean, i have to be able to estimate light levels somehow!
even if you look at diff light (morning more blue, late afternoon very red, tropics vs northern light) - of course you need to take that in consideration when growing certain plants. but nobody is measuring PAR of sunlight at diff altitudes, latitudes! or do they?
a lot of commercial plant production is done where natural light is abundant. but of course there are greenhouses in e.g. canada or north of europe, where they raise crops. they must know what kind of lights and what combo is best for what by now!
but that info probably would not be applicable for casual home set-up. you need a greenhouse of some sort at the minimum and the expense will be very high too for amateur grower.


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More relevant for artificial illumination. Comes into play with sunlight, more so for DLI, Day Light Integral, which gives a good measurement of total light reaching plants during the photo-period (e.g. increased productivity with increased photosynthesis, helping to decide which plant varieties work in certain locations of available sun light = revenue for marketable plants).

I'm sure they do ("they must know what kind of lights and what combo is best for what by now!"). Examples of some large indoor grows in photos below. Judging by the pictures, I would venture to guess they know what combos are best for their applications. I'm sure the amateur with a casual home set-up could apply the same for their applications on a smaller scale.
 photo images_010_zps765dd3fb.jpg
 photo images_004_zps80d50360.jpg

A quote by Barry Holtz (Caliber Biotherapeutics) puts it all into perspective, "A photon is a terrible thing to waste".

Definitely got off track from 'growing advice for Aechmea chantini'. Hopefully the original poster of this post does not think their thread has turned into a troll zone... my apologies if so.


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RE: addition to the family

> Hopefully the original poster of this post does not think their thread has turned into a troll zone.

Not at all, I am reading and taking it in. I just measured light levels around my plant stand, and 700 fc is the highest I get, even under 4 T5s. Very far from Florida's 5,000 fc even in the winter.


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i am getting right at this moment about 5pm west sun thru the light clouds (good shadow) 1' from the window about 700fc-1250fc. which is where my aechmea and neo are.
and that's at the end of the day.
so at 700fc you should be able to grow, i think.
but yours prolly doesn't really get your best light of 700fc, or does it?


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RE: addition to the family

No, it doesn't. The Neo is at the west window, but with a lot of obstructions in front of it, so there's rarely direct sun. The Aechmea has been living in the barthroom at (oh jeez) 20 fc. I guess I'll be moving it, so the pup grows better. There is space I can find under lights.


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