info on Weigelias , hosta , and Bromeliads - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Question by dfgquilter
July 21, 2008
Hi! Thanks for all your past help! It was great.
I have 3 questions today...
l. Is it too late to trim my 4 feet Weigelia back a foot?
2. I have a hosta that has a problem. Each spring, upon emerging,
several leaves are stunted on one side. I wonder if it has a
fungus or something. 90 percent of the plant is OK and looks great. I don't want it to spread. Can I spray it with something?

3. My new Bromeliads.. What fertilizer do they like and how often should they have it? Also, how often do they bloom? What can I expect?
It is in semi-light in the house.
Thanks alot.. Dorian

Answer from NGA
July 21, 2008


You can prune your weigela back now. I'd dig the hosta and remove the affected parts, including the roots in that area. It sounds like a disease but there's nothing registered for use on hostas so simply removing that part of the plant should take care of the problem.

Bromeliad blooms are a wonder of variety and longevity. They come in an astounding array of colors and shapes. Some remain tucked inside the rosette of leaves, while others grow into plumes reaching two or more feet in length.

Numerous factors contribute to bromeliad blooms: time, light and water are just a few. One of the most important variables is temperature, with a minimum requirement of 50 degrees.

Many of the more popular types of bromeliads, including Aechmeas, Guzmanias, Neoregelias, Tillandsias and Vrieseas, bloom naturally during the spring, summer and fall months. Guzmanias require purified water and more humidity than other types.

It is possible to prematurely force a bloom by exposing a bromeliad to ethylene gas, a natural byproduct of decomposing organic matter. Commercial products such as Florel, often used to ripen tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables, have successfully been used to produce bromeliad flowers.

It's usually best to fertilize just once in the spring, using either a 20-20-20 or 20-10-20 formula mixed at about half the recommended strength. Anything stronger can seriously burn the leaves, and it's best to skip the fertilizer altogether during the dark winter months.

Ideally, the plants should have an abundant amount of filtered sunlight. Because bromeliads are so resilient, they may receive insufficient light for several months and still look great. But eventually the new growth will appear weak or spindly and the foliage may begin to lack color.

Best wishes with your plants!

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