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What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Posted by gonzer CALz9 (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 17, 09 at 18:58

Inquiring minds would like to know which genera/species has proven the toughest for you to grow?
My take is that if after 3 attempts I've had it..no mas...that's it!
Aechmea zebrina for the terrestrials.
For the Tillandsias; andreana, plumosa and globosa, and believe it or not...pruinosa, a good 'ol American native and I can't grow the Photobucket thing!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

I cannot grow ANY Vrieseas even if my life depended on it. They all end up eventually rotting. I even went as far as using clay pellets used in hydroponics. Same result!

Now Dyckias, them things I can GROW!!


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Good question, Gonz.

Guz. musaica pains me the most, but I've finally given up after four attempts - I'm a slow learner.
Till. dyeriana doesn't like me either, nor other true tropicals like some other guzmanias and platyaechmeas. Werauhia sanguinolenta var. rubra might get to a reasonable size, then it rots on me - even when grown raised in a mound on the ground.

But still I try - and yes, three times of failure should prove it was not meant to be... unless I move north.

K


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Gonzer, Ae. zebrina grows great for me, and it's one of my all time favorites! I like it much better than chantinii.

What I can't grow are some of the higher elevation Tilandsias like imperialis or multicaulis. Even deppeana is not happy anywhere in my general vicinity, although I had a friend just a few miles from here who had a gorgeous one, so I think it's just me it doesn't like, not my climate.

Vr. guttata has given me fits too. It won't root, won't grow, won't pup, won't flower, so I finally just gave up on that.

Another one that I'm about ready to throw in the towel on is Navia igneosicola. It's not that I can't grow it, it's just that it's so quirky and troublesome that it's hardly worth the effort. For one thing, it goes dormant. I don't just mean it slows down during part of the year, I mean all of the foliage dies back completely and has to be removed. Oddly enough, it doesn't do this during winter, but in early spring. Now, this is the time when you have to go in and remove all of the (now leafless) pups that formed the year before, and pot them up. You can't remove them any earlier than that (even though they started forming the previous summer and have probably gotten pretty big by this point) because they have to form a sort of pseudobulb before they will root, and that doesn't happen until they go into their dormancy. Try rooting them any earlier and they just rot out. Naturally this is the time of year when I've generally got a million other more important chores, so I don't always get to it right away. The plant only stays dormant a few months, though, after which it flushes out with a bunch of new leaves, and then flowers IMMEDIATELY (in fact the inflorescence usually seems to form at the same time as the leaves). If the pups haven't formed roots by the time it blooms, they won't color up properly and the plant will turn a dull maroonish tone instead of the spectacular 3-tone orange/yellow/green color scheme these guys are known for.

Sometimes some of them don't bloom and just keep growing. This is kind of a mixed blessing. If you have some that didn't bloom the year before, you don't have to worry about rushing to root them, but what happens is that by this time they have formed a tall stalk, and the old brown leaf bases are difficult to remove, so when they leaf out and bloom, they look kind of like miniature palm trees. Highly colored palm trees, but...... palm trees. Even if you do get the timing right, and they're not too stalky-looking, they only stay in color for a couple of weeks before fading to green and throwing out the pups that you can't remove, etc. etc. If we happen to have a sale scheduled at the same time they are in full color, I can sell every last one, no problem. If not, they're useless. In addition to its other quirks, it is a major mealybug magnets, drinks lots of water, and even though the outer leaf is quite soft (and bruises easily), the plant has a few long, evil, needle-like spines down at the base of the leaves that really like getting up under your fingernail.

Other than that.......... great little plant!


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Chain-store noid Neos. You know the ones - 40-50cm across and nice and lush and green with big splashes of violent colour. They're spectacular when like that, but when I try to grow them, they end up like the two in the pic below - a big disappointment compared to their shop-bought mums.

Photobucket

The one middle left should be lush and green with a lot of intense orange-red around the centre (even before flowering), while the one front right should be lush and green with big patches of eye-watering pink scattered around. Both are over two years after removal from their respective mother plants, and they are still only the size of the part-grown BT pup (away from its mum just a few months) at bottom left.

They obviously need something I'm not giving them, but if it's low light and continuous warmth they want, then they're outta luck.

NB I've only just started trying to not-kill Tills so I can't report reliably on them yet, but so far so good - just love the little fellas.

Cheers, Paul


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

I can't grow chantinii's worth a darn. I have gotten them to flower and I have crossed them, but they never look as good as when I first get them. The one exception being that Dark DeLeon that I have. That one just likes it on the dry side with low light and lots of fert yet it doesn't much like growing epiphytically.

I pretty much killed all my cool xCryptbergia seedlings yet I have a boring xCryptbergia Mead that is doing quite well.

In general, Vrieseas are trouble, but I do manage to grow a few even though they don't look as nice as they should. I'm thinking that I need to give them a fair amount of sun or they start to rot. Someone in my club recently had a phillipo-coburgii flower and that is unusual for us.

Ae Delmar, Blue Tango and Blue Moon have all been problems for me. They seem to attract pests, rot easily and can't stand the sun. I may just get rid of them.


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

I must be lucky as I haven't had any real problems YET! But I am worried about the Ursulaea Macvaughii that I got recently, as it is developing some ugly marks, and it wasn't really tip-top when I recieved it. I think if I can get it through to Summer it might pull through. I'll keep looking for the perfect spot for it till then.
Kerry, what has been your problem with Guzmania musaica? Its one on my wishlist (surprised?) I was given an extremely unhealthy one once, and all it did was die, but as it was a freebie I couldn't complain.
Lisa, do you have any pics of your Navia igneosicola? The pics on FCBS look beautiful, so I can see why you keep trying!
BA


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Paul, if those are Groves hybrids, I have a hard time with some of them too (as well as some of my own that I bred from them). I know what they want (low light and consistant moderate feeding), I just have a hard time providing it. My 40% shade house is too bright for them and they bleach out. They look better in my 60% house, but that's just for stock. Controlled foliar feeding with an injection system would probably be the best way to go, but we're not set up for that, so it's hit-or-miss with slow-release fertilizers. Too much and you get colorless dark green, too little and you get colorless light green!

BA, yes I have photos. It's hard to resist taking lots of pics when they're at their peak, it's such a fantastic color scheme! And since it's the only Navia I know of that will grow at lower elevations at all, it's a real novelty. I hate to just give up, but it really is a pain.

Here's a couple when they're just breaking dormancy. The ones that are still green at this point have a chance of getting some decent leaf growth on them before they bloom, but you can see that some are already coloring up too small, and are not well enough rooted to get good color. Those are going to be no good for anything but pup production.

Photobucket

Photobucket

When you get it right, though.......

Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi Lisa, thanks for your comments - at least I'm not the only one to have trouble with those sorts of Neos. I can see why you persevere with those Navias though - spectacular! Cheers, Paul


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Yes indeedy - those navias deserve your undivided attention Lisa, while we can just enjoy your digital rewards. Just stunning!

BA - I've had my final attempt at growing Ursulaea macvaughii - a large offset - which now looks disgusting, despite kept in a protected position this mild winter...I give up!
Re Guz. musaica. I have tried growing it under different conditions, but fail every time. It is a natural epiphyte from Amazonia, and I just can't keep up the constant heat, humidity and moisture, with perfect drainage, year round. I admit I do have #5 attempt pot-grown in a chunky mix in my polycarbonate green house. I was told that particular variety was tougher than the norm...and it is still alive. I live in hope - being the eternal (but foolish) optimist.

'Tis a peculiar thing that those which are hardest to grow are those we lust after the most. Ah, the follies of our addiction!

K


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi Guys

Paul, your plant front right I think you may find is Neo. Nuance, yes prefers a more shadier position & feeding & for me a little drier, I've rotted my share, had a beautiful specimen colouring up a month ago, note, I said had, rotted, too cold & wet.

Pinkbroms


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi pinkbroms, thanks for your info. Unfortunately all of my shady spots are cool and often stay wet .... Aha! Except one spot - I'll give it a try. Thanks again. Cheers, Paul


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hello all,

Ae. Amazonia a CV of Chantinii is giving me the most trouble, I received it as a pup and most of the leaves fluted very badly.

Ae. Olive's Delight another CV of Chantinii is growing well for me, I love the look of Chantinii - I'll try a couple more before I give up.

Rick


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi Guys

Grow your Ae. chantinii's, Samurai's & zebrina's etc. as high & dry as you can, one of the best s/house's I had was 4.10mtr tall & all this group of plants were hanging up there at the top, about 300mm below the medium s/mesh.

Pinkbroms


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Till.dyeriana gives me a bit of problem though i have parted with a couple of pups, but how you lose Vriesaes is quite beyond me,certainly after my backyard flooded several times the flooded plants looked unhappy but that was it,i do feel that the potting mix used has a great bearing on it,but sonme plants may just not like a particular area , Tamera and i are at sea level but Till. multicaulis does very well for us,Aechmea 'Blue tango' sits outside and winter did not slow it down neither did the floods,am sure that we all have a plant that will bug us (or just havent got that plant yet) Jack


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

I'm facing the same problem as you are, Gonzer. I've killed too many andreana and plumosa already. Fortunately not for pruinosa. It flowers and thrive very well here. Another hard to grow plant is the tectorum. My place is simply too humid for this sp. What I get is thin needle like leaf blades without trichomes!


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

For me the biggest pain, is Quesnelia Tim Plowman!

I killed 2 already. The first one was potted in my normal potting mix for broms. It slowly dwindled and died in the end. So I read somewhere that they like to be mounted and got another and promptly mounted it and kept it in a place with good air movement and humidity and miss-sprayed it daily. It died fast. I got a normal Ques marmorata afterwards, mounted it, neglected it and it is doing well! Would the two of them like the same conditions or is Tim a more fuzzy plant? I would so much like to have a whole clump with each individual growing in a slighly different direction with all those curly leaf tips!

Japie


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi everyone,

Like brom_adorer and Kerry, my problem plant is Ursulaea macvaughii. I've had to nurse these two plants since they arrived in a damaged condition when I first purchased them.

Damaged Ursulaea

Damaged Ursulaea
Since then their appearance has just got worse and worse, but maybe there's a bit of light at the end of the tunnel as they have both developed very strong root systems, so who knows what they will do when the warmer weather starts.

If all else fails I have a heap of seedlings to experiment with under different conditions so I may yet crack a successful one.

Ursulaea Macvaughii seedlings

The above pic. was taken a while back when I had just started to thin the plants out.

They are now about two inches high and as soon as the warmer weather starts I will try and toughen them up a bit. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to do this?

When they are a bit bigger and hopefully tougher (probably in twelve months or so) I'll be happy to send a few to brom_adorer and Kerry to try if they want them.as well as anyone else who would like to give them a go.

Just email me your details and I'll make a list as that's the only way I'll remember and I'll post a note when they are ready.

All the best, Nev.


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

I've not been in the hobby long enough to say which is a pain.

My first Brom was a Guz I got a year ago, and its still going strong. Its a bit splotched because I've kept in it direct sun, but I've got 14 Pups sprouting off it o.O

Since then I've moved it to the shaded side of one of my Zoes.

though these are not broms, but Im having quite a ball trying to keep some of my ferns alive =:


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi ragman,

Welcome to our forum. I'm sure you're going to learn a lot about Guzzies and any other brom's for that matter while you're on this forum.

I'm no expert on Guzzies myself, but I do know they like it a bit shadier than most other brom's and they tolerate feeding better also.

There's quite a good article for beginners on the following site:

http://www.greenculturesg.com/articles/april05/guzmania020405.htm

I hope this is of some help, all the best, Nev.


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Thanks for those pics Lisa, you seem to have plenty there to play with, so at least you aren't in constant fear of losing the last one! What is it in your climate that makes them so difficult, do you think?
Kerry and Nev, my Urs.mac looks s*&t right now too. Its not too far to spring now, so I'm hoping it will improve. Its not a small plant, so I assume it has a good root system. I'll repot it come spring and have a look. I wondered why I haven't seen Guz.mus offered for sale more often, as it has such alot going for it, with patterned foliage and the club shaped flower, but maybe its because its temperamental? I guess if i ever get one, I'll have to keep it warm and moist. Is it a shade lover?
Pinkbroms, i thought I had N.Nuance' but mine does quite well in bright light (50%) and has pupped prolifically. Mind you, the soil has been very dry in the pot, because the leaves overhang and deflect the water. What do you think?
Neoregelia- possibly 'Nuance'
I would love to get an Aechmea chantinii, but have heard they are tricky because of an intolerance to cold. I think I'll still try one though, as i have seen a couple grown locally, and if i can simulate the same conditions, they should be ok.
Nev, I'd love a couple of your Urs.mac seedlings when they are ready! Thank you for your kind offer. Hopefully i will have found the ideal spot for them by the time they're ready.
Roll on spring!
BA


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi Guys

Brom Adorer, that's pretty much how my Neo. Nuance looked a month or so ago, then it just collapsed, we did have a fair bit of wet weather around that period though, I still have a few more & the weather is improving. Urs. mac. gets by here & Guz. musaica just makes it, my Ae. tayoensis need more winter care though, Till. dyeriana & dodsonii are both coming into flower now & Ae. contracta next to the hot water system. Nav's not happy nor is Ae. orlandiana 'Ensign' this year, Ae. chantinii etc. have come through winter just fine again.
Till. grandis is flowering, as is both 'forms' of Puya ferruginea, our Dyckia's are doing their thing now & looking good.
Spring is in the air, isn't it wonderful.

Pinkbroms


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Stupid T. plumosa, my last one made it 3 months. 4th try in 2 years, I think I am going to try again in 2 more years


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi all

Where do you start?! Because summer can be hot and humid (and wet) and winter will have cold nights (to frost) as well as cold and wet, and anything can happen in between, many plants cause issues. The solution has been to grow where I thing they grow best, using trial and error, which can be expensive as Kerry says, and research. Amazonian plants are mostly under plastic; musaica, dyeriana, etc in a heated house and everything outside has to brave the elements, including mud this year (Pics of Alcantareas, etc in the rain - 30" in 3 hrs!).

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


Out of 10 or more A zebrina types I've had, 3 or 4 hardier ones remain. Same with chantinii with the hardiest being Skotak's marvellous compact black clone from the early 90's.

My Navias have all died - too cold but I when I get more I'll grow them under more controlled conditions.

Some helicoid Billbergias are tricky too, not to mention many high altitude tank Tillandsias which need to be kept cool over summer esp if the nights are too warm.

Despite all of this it is incredible what can be grown in the one area - xeric amd mesic, high and low altitude, high sun and shade growers.

Cheers, Pedro


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi pedro, what a damn shame to think of losing all those beautiful plants - probably a lot of the clones irreplaceable? I guess the muddy creek flowing around the Alcs and through the shadehouses says it all. What a crazy year you've had up there. Hope it's a long long while before you get another one. Cheers, Paul


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

I don't think we've seen 30" in 3 years! Pedro, I have scaled back dramatically trying to grow high altitude broms, especially tills. I see no point in putting a plant through all that misery and having it look terrible just to say "I grew one of those!" Better to leave the plants to someone equipped to handle the necessary conditions.


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi Pedro,thats good rain(?) your place looks like mine did the first half of this year ,we had a large amount in 4 months and my yard looked like your area 5 times in that time ,heart breaking that sort of wetness, but now we can do with a drop again ,your Alc, looked like they enjoyed it though Cheers ,Jack


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Peter, am I reading that right? 30 INCHES in 3 hours, not 30 cm???? How is that even possible? Even 30 cm would be a torrential downpour!

I'm surprised you find it too cold to grow Navias. I thought that's what most of them liked. Same with you, Gonz. I would have thought you'd have better luck with the high elevation species than me, since you can at least provide them with some evening/winter coolth!


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi Guys

Yes Lisa that 30"s is right for Peter, as we got that weather pattern also, not quite as much, fortunately for us our property is on sand so drained extremely well not like Peter's place, at least he is on a slope as others I know are in flat areas & went under water by a couple of metres & stayed that way for nearly a week.
OH, I forgot to mention the 120 - 140 klm/hr winds, still fixing down shademesh, but none of us are wingeing about it, that's life, Pete's just getting on with it & so am I, we're not even going to make a film or saga about it, just clear the fallen trees ( another clearing for another shaehouse, thankyou Mother Nature ), enjoy our Broms. & be thankful we're still here.

Pinkbroms


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Wow, I'm never gonna b Photobucketch again about ANY weather anomalies we might get!
Lisa, the nighttime cool temps needed for the high alt. tills I'd like to grow just can't be sustained over the necessary time. It's hard enough trying to find any spot like that in the yards.

I guess Garden Web won't let you spell B-I-T-C-H, my reply kept being rejected. Photobucket


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hehe, Gonzer, I had the same experience with that word. It really threw me because I was actually talking about dog breeding, and I had to go back and read it over again to figure out what I'd said that it didn't like! ;-)


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Hi all

Crazy weather this year, esp along the Northern NSW/SE Queelnsland coast where many of us live - Jack, Kerry, Ross and some I haven't yet met I don't think. Very few plants rotted, and no Alcantareas died despite the cms of mud impregnated into the bottom of the pots. Unfortunately I lost plants of some N carcharodons, some Hohenbergias esp castellanosii clumps and a few large Vr fosteriana forms. Even the T tectorums among the rocks in full sun (rain at the time!) are fine. It rained for months and I've recorded over 2.5 metres for the year so far. Now it's getting dry with no rain for 42 days and temps starting to get well over 25C with over 30 forecast in the next few days - very warm for August but the nights are mostly cool/cold still so not much grows. We don't usually get the freezes like in the States, though a couple of yrs ago was another crazy year, not with rain but severe frost as Kerry sure knows.

Lisa, the Navias like arida and ignesicola can't take the months of cold nights I get, mostly well below 10C. They are low altitude species but the ones from the tops of the tepuis are even trickier I gather but should take the cold.

Cheers, Pedro


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RE: What plant gives you the biggest pain?

Yes it was great weather all right ,and we also loved the strong winds ,have nearly finished replacing the roof on my building ,some of the old parts i have not found yet ,but am sure its out there ,worst bit is that you can't go out there and fix it while youre having those bouts of adverse weather ,I was thinking of running some canoe tours in my backyard ,you know shoot rapids etc,so I sympathise with all that got affected that way,still most plant growers are also optimists ,think you have to be, cheers Jack


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