Guest Speaker was George Stamatis who shared his
Secrets to Growing Beautiful Foliage Vrieseas.
George addressed us via Zoom from home in Elimbah, near Caboolture.
Rob Murray provided technical support.
George gave an overview of his talk, and it will be published in our journal Bromeliaceae.
In choosing your Vriesea,
The best vrieseas to buy are those thriving in the SEQ region.
Choosing plants whose habitat in Brazil resembles our local conditions.
This chart is a guide to species that thrive better in cool, intermediate or tropical climate:
Here are three that do well in SEQ:
And here is a guide to hybrids that do well in SEQ:
George distinguished between ‘day flowering’ and foliage Vrieseas. The ‘day flowering’ type are those seen in Bunnings with bright flowers and green leaves, and flowers open in day time.
The foliage Vrieseas are the more prized, and have flowers that open at night, when they are pollinated. However, adding an element of the ‘day flowering’ type into the hybrid foliage plants, adds robustness.
Light: George uses a variety of shade cloth, eg, 70% beige or black, with more shade in mid summer. Be sure shade cloth is high above the plants, to avoid a ‘heat pocket’.
Ensure plants are off the floor to promote good air circulation.
Temperature: Vrieseas love winter time, and do most of their growing March through September. Summer heat slows growing.
So they benefit from afternoon watering which cools in summer.
Water: pure soft water is best.
George cannot use local town supply because it harms his plants, and must use only rain water.
Bore water is high in minerals, and rots the plant from the bottom.
Crown rot affects the centre of the plant, and is caused by chlorine and fluoride in the town supply.
Feeding: to establish the young plant, it is best use 12 to 14 month slow release fertiliser. In contrast, use 3-6 month slow release for young Neoregelias.
Follow up with a light feed of Vrieseas annually.,
As the 12 month fertiliser becomes exhausted, the green Vriesea leaves show the desired colours.
black scale, or fly speck spreads from plant to plant, is nasty and hard to treat. Prevent this with good spacing of plants, and the only 100% effective insecticide is dimethoate, the old Rogor.
It is banned in most outlets, is available only in certain Coöp shops. It is dangerous and much care is needed in its use.
Confidor or Crown are good for other parasites.
Propagation: George removes pups when 1/3 to 1/2 size of mother, treats the cut with rooting powder. and sits them in a pot for 2 weeks to let the wounds heal, and new roots begin.
Potting immediately after removal of the offset retarded growth.
George finished his talk with a series of stunning foliage vrieseas.
Vriesea 'Manua Kea' F2 x 'Pahoa Beauty':
Vriesea 'Pink Goddess':
Vriesea hieroglyphica hybrids:
Vriesea hieroglyphics hybrid:
Vreiea altodaserrae x 'Bianca':
Vriesea 'King David Kalakua' F2:
Vriesea 'King David':
Vriesea gigantea var seideliana x 'Pahoa Beauty':
Vriesea 'Jungle Queen':
Vriesea 'Dark Shadow' (Arden):
Vriesea 'Perfect Harmony':
Vriesea 'Godzilla' (M & M Cameron):
Vriesea 'Gold Fellow' (Fell):
Vriesea 'Mauna Kea' x gigantea var seideliana:
Vriesea 'Wildfire Dream' (Basic):
Vriesea 'Manoa Valley' x 'Campar':
Vriesea 'Crimson Autumn' (Malory):
Thanks George for for your informative and entertaining talk.