You are here:  meetings

You Are Invited

Visitors are always welcome at all Bromeliad Society meetings and events.  Please see the "Join Us" box for more information.

Monthly Meetings

  • Monday, September 11, 2023
    6:00 pm

    Note: The start time has been moved up to 6:00.

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

    Bob Smedley
    will present:

    "Alternative Mounting Media"

    Bob Smedley is a native of Orlando. He first was introduced to bromeliads in 1972 by his mentor, Bill Frase.  Mr. Frase always welcomed a tour of his garden.  It was like a small Cypress Gardens and obviously a work of love.  The garden and greenhouse tour would end with a collection of plants to take home.

    Bob is a landscape bromeliad grower.  At a BSCF several years ago, Tom Wolf gave a presentation on mounting bromeliads, and it inspired Bob.  Using old tree stumps was a great way to change elevations in the garden display, but the tree stumps quickly rotted away, motivating Bob's search to maintain the variety of elevations with more permanent options.

    Bob’s presentation will demonstrate mounting options that can add dimension to your bromeliad landscape.  Bob's artistic designs will hopefully motivate you to create your own bromeliad artwork.  Bob is a mixed media resident artist at Faith Arts Village of Orlando (FAVO).

2023 Meetings Review

  • Monday, August 14, 2023
    6:00 pm

    Note: The start time has been moved up to 6:00.

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

    David Denholm
    will present:

    "The Jardim Botanico"

    David Denholm has been a member of the Sarasota Bromeliad Society since 2009. He joined the SBS upon leaving the cold Midwest to enjoy the tropical weather of Southwest Florida. Although his primary interest in undergraduate studies was in pre-medical he did obtain a minor degree in Botany from the University of Michigan. He has always had an interest in plants, particularly bromeliads. The first one that caught his eye was the urn plant Aechmea fasciata he saw in a magazine. He is particularly interested in Billbergias. The recent transition of Michael's Bromeliads from Michael Kiel to David Sand has provided David Denholm an opportunity to work with David Sand and to help his new business along.

    David Denholm served as Vice President for two terms as well as Secretary for two years. He has participated in over 5 Shows with the Sarasota Bromeliad Society. He lives just south in Venice, Florida, and happily makes the trip to Selby Gardens for the SBS meetings. He has also been a member of the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society for the last two years. He helped with the silent auction at the 2023 Extravaganza recently held in Palm Beach. Lately he has enjoyed exploring nurseries including Tropiflora in Sarasota, as well as other growers in south Florida, Homestead, and the southwest ranches area.

    David's presentation will take you on a trip to Jardim Botanico the most famous gardens of Rio de Janeiro as well as most of Brazil. The Jardim Botanico of Rio de Janeiro is a 130-acre manicured garden with over 6500 species of trees, orchids, succulents, and bromeliads. David has visited the Botanical Garden several times over the years and always finds it breathtaking. You will see not only the well-manicured grounds of the park, waterfalls, fountains, and rivers but also the settings of tropical plants in their natural habitat. Join the tour and see examples of the highland areas and tepuis plants, those of the wet pantanal areas, an of Amazon rainforest. You will see and learn the many species that are endemic to the area and recognize many names that have helped to forward the cultural development of bromeliads. The country of Brazil and the city of Rio de Janeiro will impress you with its beauty.

  • Monday, July 10, 2023
    6:00 pm

    Note: The start time has been moved up to 6:00.

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

    Ray Lemieux
    will present:

    "Tearing up Terrestrials"

    Ray is an avid plant collector who has been involved in the plant industry for over 30 years. He has made some interesting bromeliad hybrids like xEnchotia Ruby, xPitcohnia False Teeth, xDyckohnia Cherry Bomb and many others.

    He is currently running Red Island Plants a mail order succulent nursery

    Ray will discuss and demonstrate how to clean up and re-pot terrestrials such as Dyckia, Hechtia, Encholirium, Puya, Orthophytum, Sincoraea, Forzzaea and others. The presentation will focus on propagation techniques, soil mixes, light and water requirements, as well as fertilization of terrestrial bromeliads.

    Ray's presentations are always entertaining and educational. We hope you can join us at the July meeting.

  • Monday, June 12, 2023
    6:30 pm

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

    Nancy Abramson
    will present:

    "Interior Design
    Using Bromeliads"

    Nancy Abramson is an artist, former master gardener and 'foodie'. From early childhood she always had an interest in gardening and cooking. When she is not gardening, cooking, entertaining or volunteering she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

    Nancy graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is interested in various art forms including glass, wood turning, pottery, painting, and drawing. Nancy has also taken her passion for bromeliads into her art doing a series of colored pencil drawings. She has donated pieces for both the SBS and the FCBS Auction.

    Nancy gave a presentation on landscaping with bromeliads a few years ago, showing us how to artfully display bromeliads in the garden. Her garden has been on tour by the Sarasota Garden Club, Sarasota Butterfly Club, and the Sarasota Bromeliad Society. Our members who took advantage of the field trip to her garden can attest to her beautiful garden as well as her culinary skills.

    This month she has prepared a PowerPoint presentation to share different designing methods to arrange bromeliads inside your home. In addition, she will do a hands-on demonstration creating a table centerpiece and a combination plant basket. At the end of the presentation there will be a raffle for a lucky member to bring home one of the arrangements. I hope you can join us and become inspired to bring your lovely bromeliads inside to enjoy.

  • Monday, May 15, 2023
    6:30 pm

    Please note that the May Meeting will be held on the third Monday (the 15th) instead of the usual
    second Monday.

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

    David Sand
    will present:

    "All About Bromeliad
    Plants and People"

    Most of our members have probably met David if they visited Michael's Bromeliads, Donna's Secret Garden or went to a plants sale, Extravaganza, or World Conference. David has worked with Michael and Donna Kiehl for the past 17 years at their nursery on First Dirt Road in Venice.

    For those of you who have not met him, you are in for a treat. He is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about all aspects of bromeliads. His talk will have something for everyone from the novice to long-time bromeliad growers.

    He will be discussing the general maintenance and care of bromeliads, different ways to display your plants and demonstrate a way to force a bromeliad to bloom. Additionally, he will discuss his experiences in the world of bromeliads and the people he has met along the way.

    Michael's Bromeliads has been closed to the public since Hurricane Ian. However, David will be bringing some of their beautiful plants for sale at this meeting. I hope you can join us.

  • Monday, Apr. 10, 2023
    6:30 pm

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens..

    Jason Mellica
    will present:

    "New Neoregelia Hybrids 2023"

    Jason will discuss the process of hybridizing bromeliads and the thought that goes into this process. He will bring plants, including some of his new hybrids, to sell at the meeting.

    Jason received his Bachelor of Science in Botany from the University of Florida. Following his graduation Jason did an internship at Selby where he developed an interest in bromeliads. He has been growing, hybridizing, and selling bromeliads for the past 27 years. He is currently president of the Sarasota Bromeliad Society.

  • Monday, Mar. 13, 2023
    6:30 pm

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens..

    Guillermo Rivera
    will present:

    "Diversity of Bromeliads in Central Brazil"

    Guillermo is the owner of Plant Expeditions (formerly South American Nature Tours) a company dedicated to the organization of tours for the last 17 years, throughout South America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador), Mexico, and South Africa, Madagascar, and Nambia, with emphasis on plants: bromeliads, orchids, cacti, and other succulents.

    He has prepared a PowerPoint presentation that includes photos of plants taken throughout a 400 km area in cemtral Brazil.

    Other trips Guillermo has planned this year include Baja, California, Peru, Chile and Argentina. In 2024 there are trips planned for Socotra, Namibia, Brazil, and South Africa!

    If you wish to be kept informed about his future trips, Guillermo asks that you email him at or or visit his website here:

    We will also have a Member Plant Sale at this meeting because our speaker Guillermo is not going to have plants to sell.

    We thought a Members Plant Sale would be a good way to share extra plants while making some money to purchase a plant you may want to add to your collection.

    All plants must be labeled and clean. They may be potted, mounted or bare rooted. They can be single or multiples. $5, $10, $20 prices would simplify the math. We thought the first time we should limit the number of plants to 5 per member.

    We sale will be split 80/20 with 80% to the member and 20% to SBS. We will have a discussion and the members will decide how best to spend the money collected for the club, maybe a field trip, refreshments, goody bags at the holiday party, special door prize. Write down your ideas and give them to one one of the officers and we can discuss them at a future meeting.

  • Monday, Feb. 13, 2023
    6:30 pm

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens..

    The theme for this meeting will be the pineapple, a symbol of warmth, friendship, and hospitality.  Bring something pineapple-related for Show and Tell — clothing, jewelry plates, cups, etc. — and if you bring a pineapple related refreshment item you will receive 3 raffle table tickets in addition to a food ticket.

    Terrance Hoffman
    will present:

    The World History of the The [Pineapple] Bromeliad

    Terrance has had an interest in bromeliads for over 50 years.  Originally from Pennsylvania, he moved to Florida in 1981.  After retiring in 2002, he turned his energy to his 50-year hobby of growing Bromeliads.  Terrance estimates that he has currently between 3000 to 4000 plants with 220 different varieties.  He has developed several hybrids about half of which have been registered.

    After the presentation, Terrance will have plants for sale.  He will bring some favorites from his collection to sell, including several popular hybrids from Chester Skotak and Ray Coleman.

    Terrance is also bringing a special red pineapple plant for the food door prize.

  • Monday, Jan. 9, 2023
    6:30 pm

    This meeting will be in the Great Room at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens..

    Dr. Terrie Bert
    will present:

    Growing Beautiful Bromeliads in Central Florida

    Terrie will bring about 100 bromeliads from many different genera and talk about growing them in central Florida.  These plants will also be for sale, so you will have the opportunity to purchase your favorites.  Terrie will also include information on the ecology and history of the various genera, as well as cultivation tips and humorous stories about growing Bromeliads.