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Author Topic: Hoh. castellanosii seasonal change  (Read 4046 times)
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Lisa
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« on: March 03, 2011, 05:34:44 »

Here's how my H. castellanosii looked last September, at the end of summer:

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By November the color was starting to drain out of the leaves:

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Same plants in February:

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No other plant I have is this reactive to slight changes in light levels.  These are in full sun (at least until midday, the shadehouse kind of blocks it in the afternoon).  The light intensity at this latitude is probably higher than what most of you are used to, even in winter.  We've had some overcast days, but not that many.  The days are getting longer now, but it'll probably be a few months before they start to color up again. 
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bromnut45
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 05:49:36 »

Lisa, they are very beautiful.  I have recently purchased one of these and so did Matt and are hoping they will get that colouring.  Mine gets only morning sun, it is still green and hasnt shown any change, but it only been here for a couple of months, will see.

Alfina
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dooleybugs01
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Bromeliads I likey but by crikey they are spiky !!


« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 07:08:26 »

Yes certainly one of the broms that if you get looking good you want to show everyone!!
Dooley.
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Neomea
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 09:30:59 »

Beautiful Lisa! I got one from our mate in the Cape a while ago. Seems they are very slow down here. Also still green :-(  Hopefully mine will turn out as beautiful as yours, it gets ample sun.

Cheers

D
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Growing Bromeliads in sunny Durbs
Rickta66
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 11:51:01 »

Lisa,

I wonder if you loss of colour could be related to rainfall/humidity, in Sept you have fairly low rainfall and the plants could be growing harder hence more colour. With the summer rain - the plant would receive more nutrients hence less colour. Just a thought.

Cheers,

Rick
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Lisa
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 18:19:45 »

Rick, it's our winters that are rainy and the summers drier, although we rarely go a month without rain.  They haven't been fed since those first pictures, so I don't see how winter rainfall could provide any more nutrients.  They just like to be cooked.  I have one inside the shadehouse, and it goes through the same cycle but never colors up as intensely as the ones outside. 
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Brod
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Aechmea lilacinantha


« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2011, 23:40:16 »

I have one probably from the same source as Alfina and Matt. I bought it in winter (August last year) and immediately placed it in full all day sun. It grew steadily but remained green. We moved house at the start of summer and planted it in the ground in all day sun. AS most of you know we had a lot of rain and then some very hot humid days and it burnt a bit along with other so called sun hardy broms. Maybe we have higher UV in tropical and sub tropical Australia than Hawaii. That could explain the burning in part. But no red still green. I was under the impression it only turned red at flowering time so I was not looking for any red until you showed us yours Lisa.
Yours are beautiful Lisa.

Cheers
Brod
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Kerry T.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2011, 02:45:41 »

O.K. - gotta stick my bib in here.

We have discussed the colour of this plant's leaves several times before. As a result, Japie and I have a competition going on as to which of us can be the first to get any red to the tips. I think we now both agree that neither will win without the use of a red texta - if growing our plants under our natural outdoor conditions. I live at approx. 28 degrees south of equator (Australia) and I think Japie's latitude is similar in South Africa. Like others in less tropical climes, ours get yucky black tips and burn in the summer sun.

Lime has been mentioned before as a good addition to its substrate, in the form of concrete chunks or similar. Lisa has previously shown us the difference, or lack of red, if fertilised. But then, the seasons were not taken into account were they Lisa?

As proved, H.c. does not need to flower to get the red leaf ends IF grown "hard" AND closer to the equator - like in Hawaii, South Florida, far north Queensland etc. However, when flowering in those areas, they do get even more red down their leaves (lucky buggas!).

Showing this photo again of these magnificent specimens of H.c. flowering at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Miami, Florida - August 2010 (northern-hemisphere summer).

 
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For those of us growing these plants outdoors and further from the equator, we might get red tips on the leaves of a flowering plant only - and then not nearly as impressive, and spoiled by the blackened dead tips anyway (if grown in our summer sun).
The only place I can grow my remaining clump of H.c. without the leaf ends going black and overall looking pretty scabby, is in my humid, warm green house. Unfortunately they don't get as strong light as full sun, so the leaves are greener than I would like (versus lime yellow). But, the clump is healthy - with no dead tips OR red tips. Just boring green, green, green. I have read they prefer to clump before flowering, so long ago I stopped removing pups in the hopes the now large mother plant will eventually flower and THEN I might see some red.

Lisa - regards your seasonal changes, the only factor left is temperature difference, even if slight, between your summer and winter. Maybe it needs the combination of constant high temps, sun and humidity to retain the red leaf colouring.

I still maintain that many Hohenbergias colour stronger and remain consistent in high, constant heat and humidity. H.c. seems to be the most extreme example of this. Lisa's H. roseas maintain their rust-burgundy colour on leaves year round, as do those from mid-Qld coast and further north. However, rosea grown further from the equator only colour well in the warmer months, and revert to green when the temperature drops, regardless of strength of light.

As Japie has discovered, the next best alternative to H.c. for us in less tropical climes is Aechmea ampla. How is yours now Japie? Photos please!

K
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2011, 04:08:12 »

Here is a pic I took last August of a clump growing in the ground in West Palm Beach, FL and the flowering plant has almost full-on red leaves. I have a few castellanosii pups and they are very slow growing and haven't shown any color.

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bromadorer
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2011, 05:49:57 »

Lisa, it was your pics on GW that inspired me to get one, and I got excited about two days ago when I noticed some red on the tips, so this thread is very timely. I have mine outside, getting nearly all day sun, at least untill 3pm in summer. Its in the ground, but still confined to the pot and we have had alot of rain in the last few months. We are now into our 4th day of Autumn, but the temps have been high (34 degrees C on Tuesday).
I can see the black in the tips, that kerry spoke of, but there is definitely some red there!
BA
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2011, 08:07:29 »

Bromadorer, gee its good to hear that yours is colouring up, after reading all the posts I was starting to get a bit disappointed thinking that mine will never change colour.  Mine only gets morning sun and may have to move it to get more like yours.  Bromadorer are you in Qld?Huh

Alfina
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Kerry T.
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2011, 08:44:40 »

Well congratulations, BA - you win the prize!  Grin    Pretty darn good for your latitude (of about 29 degrees South?).

I hope I'm wrong, but enjoy that smidgen of red while it lasts, because that could be as good as it gets. As the weather cools, so will your red fade... I'm afraid.

Alfina - there's always next summer to cook yours and go for red. Good luck!

K

 
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Lisa
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2011, 20:27:33 »


Lisa - regards your seasonal changes, the only factor left is temperature difference, even if slight, between your summer and winter. Maybe it needs the combination of constant high temps, sun and humidity to retain the red leaf colouring.


By constant high temps, Kerry, do you mean little seasonal change or little day to night change?  If it's the second one, that may be a factor.  I don't think that having even year-round temps plays into it as much because Florida winters can get pretty chilly, at least for a few months.  During summer their nights are almost as warm as the days, however.  Michael's is at roughly 27 deg. N latitude (compared to about 21 N where I am), and his clump of castellanosii (outside the shadehouse) colors up beautifully.  His summer weather is more of a pressure cooker than our mild tradewind climate, but the winters are a lot harsher too. I wonder if his Hohs survived the latest freeze?  Probably not, unless he moved them inside the house.   

I may have to ammend my statement about not having that many overcast days, though.  I tend to forget about them as soon as the sun comes out, but since it's raining at the moment, it all comes back to me.  Roll Eyes  It's been a comparatively mild winter in terms of temps, but we did have several storm systems passing through.  This is how things looked right around New Years.  The Hohs are at the far left, and you can still see some red in the tips, but several days of this really sucked it out of them. 

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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2011, 21:25:39 »

Hey Mitche (...or Quesnelia..hehe  Wink)...how does your castellanosii's perform here in Auckland ?
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Kerry T.
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2011, 01:51:29 »

Back to why the fading of red in the cooler months:

By constant high temps I did mean year round, Lisa, rather than fluctuations in day and night temps - which I guess would only happen within 10 degrees either way of the equator (?).

Michael's is at roughly 27 deg. N latitude (compared to about 21 N where I am), and his clump of castellanosii (outside the shadehouse) colors up beautifully.  His summer weather is more of a pressure cooker than our mild tradewind climate, but the winters are a lot harsher too. I wonder if his Hohs survived the latest freeze?  Probably not, unless he moved them inside the house.  


Yes, I saw Michael's beautifully coloured clump in August last, with some flowering too. Oh dear - how bad was the latest freeze in Florida?
Another question though - Does Michael's clump also fade red-wise in their cooler months?


O.K. How's this for another theory?

It came to me when I looked again at Rick's current Ae. pectinata thread. When seeing the drastic change in colour on the lower leaves of his pectinata in only two weeks, I was sceptical that a new home and stronger light were the only causes. My initial thought was that it changed so quickly because now is the time when mature pectinatas are in flower, mine included (Australian summer). Some of mine have just about finished flowering, and they are quickly losing their brilliant flush of pink on their leaves. A couple are still developing their inflos, and their leaves are still dazzling colour-wise. Over the years of growing this species, I have noticed that immature plants, not ready to flower yet, also flush pink on some of their leaves - but not as intensely - at the same time that their mature counterparts are flowering. Their leaves then go back green at the same time i.e. when flowering has finished on their flowering counterparts.

I understand that Ho. castellanosii, similar to Ae. pectinata, colour intensely on their leaves at anthesis to compensate for the lack of colour and perfume of their inflorescences, in order to attract native pollinators. After eons of these species growing in their natural habitat, they develop unique methods of survival. The comparatively short time in which they have been cultivated away from their original home is not enough to change its style of growth. As they say - "Old habits die hard".

So, could this be the reason why Ho. castellanosii colours the most intensely in the summer months in the years before it flowers? Kind of like a sympathy vote for its flowering counterparts?

Certainly light, heat and humidity seem to aid the degree or lack of red. If anyone has seen or can show photos of Ho. castellanosii with much red on its leaves in that plant's winter, then it's back to the drawing board for me.

K    

« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 02:02:28 by Kerry T. » Logged
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