Wholesale Bromeliads of Australia

Newsletter No 19 - December 2016

by Wholesale Bromeliads 22. December 2016 06:14


Involvement in these societies is a great way to socialise with other bromeliad enthusiasts & also a great source of information & sharing of knowledge & experience. Bob & I belong to the Gold Coast Succulent & Bromeliad Society which combines interest in bromeliads & succulents. It meets every 4th Saturday in the month (except December) at the Helensvale Community Centre, 31 Discovery Drive, Helensvale (Gold Coast). You can attend initially as a visitor if you wish. Information is at www.gcsbs.org.au

We also belong to the Bromeliad Society of Queensland but can't get to meetings due to the distance. Their website is bromsqueensland.com.au

A list of Bromeliad Societies in Australia can be seen at www.bromeliad.org.au/Contacts/BromSocs.htm


What is It?

Quilling is a problem many of us face in the cultivation of bromeliads where the inner leaves roll up into a tube. This occurs when the natural gums secreted by the leaves of some bromeliad species is not softened by humidity or washed off by adequate watering or rain. The gum causes the leaves to stick together instead of separating as they grow, resulting in a tight, often wrinkled tubular shape. The genera most susceptible are guzmanias & vrieseas.


Maintain high humidity & regularly flush the plant out with water to thoroughly wash it out.


  • Soak the plant beginning to quill in a dilute solution of liquid detergent & water. Let the mixture remain for half an hour. The soapy water will dissolve the hardened glue substance. Then gently loosen the leaves from outer to inner. A flat, blunt object may help. Remember to rinse the soapy water off afterwards. 
  • This recipe is from Len Trotman (Illawarra Bromeliad Society): 500mls of Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid / 200 mls household cloudy ammonia /  100 mls Citronella or Pine-O-Cleen Disinfectant. Mix all of these into container with 5 litres of cold water. As this mixture is very concentrated use only 2-4 tablespoons per litre of water in the spray solution or 1 litre in main 200 litre holding tanks with liquid insecticides, fertilizers or fungicides.
  • Jan Townsend (Central Coast Bromeliad Society) has used Clensel to great effect. The plant is thoroughly watered before being drenched in the Clensel solution (follow the mixing instructions on the bottle). It is also sprayed down the centre of the tightly curled leaves. Some plants respond within 24 hours with leaves relaxed & spread as normal. Other plants responded well after a repeat application. The plants are then thoroughly watered to wash off any remaining Clensel.