Sunday, April 15, 2007

The wonderful intense coloration and luxuriant appearance Neoregelias are so well known for ,is all determined by exposing them to an optimal level of sunlight.
Although many people ideally grow their Neos under 50% shade cloth in a shade house the alternates for using Neos as landscaping subjects are endless.
Many Neos [other than full sun varieties] require some morning sun to be at their best. This is why many growers prefer to keep their plants in pots - so plants can be moved to gain the maximum benefit of the suns movement during the changing seasons.Pots can be easily hidden with mulch, pebbles or even partially buried if the existing soil has good drainage. The pots can then be placed in a position where the plants will receive plenty of morning sun and where trees or shrubs block out the hot midday and western sun.
Trees that provide dappled but bright light are ideal. Keep in mind also that plants can be exposed to more light in colder weather due to the lower UV levels.
Nutrition is also an important factor for optimal coloring in Neos. Most Neos only really require feeding once when they are young - to get them going. Over feeding particularly, in larger established plants can result in loss of color and can also reduce your plants resistance to the cold. This is particularly the case with use of excess nitrogen as nitrogen disrupts the uptake of potassium and calcium which is all too important for good strong leaves and rich color. This is why timing of fertilizer is important. When fertilizing is necessary, it is best to feed plants in spring so any fresh new growth has time to harden off before the cooler months.

Although these plants are quite hardy and great in water-wise gardens- requiring the minimum of fuss... these little additives help to bring out the best in these wonderful plants.
More soon

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