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VITALIA

VOICE

February 2014 | www.VitaliaAtTraditionHOA.com


Vitalia Information hours of operation Vitalia Lifestyle

Monday-Friday 9am-2pm

Amenity Center

Daily 5am-10pm Daily Sunrise-Sunset

Pool Hours

phone list AAM Customer Service

For ALL Club & HOA Matters

866-516-7424 csr@aamfl.com

AAM After Hours Emergency

866-553-8290

AV Homes Customer Care

800-858-5933

VitaliaHomes.com/owner-care HOA Compliance Department Architectural

863-427-7022

Violations

863-427-7032

Fax

863-427-7093

Vitalia Lifestyle

772-345-4921

Driver’s License Department

772-337-5600

Florida Power and Light

772-462-0555

Home Town Cable Plus

772-345-6000

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center

772-461-4000

NUI City Gas

772-871-2551

Port St. Lucie Police Dept.

772-871-5000

Port St. Lucie Utilities

772-873-6400

(Emergency After Hours)

Port St. Lucie Utilities

772-871-5330

(Set Up)

Social Security Administration

800-772-1213

Port St. Lucie County

Medical Center

772-335-4000

Recycle

772-462-5678

Sheriff

772-462-7300

Port St. Lucie Fire Department

772-621-3400

Port St. Lucie West Library

772-873-3309

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birthdays Gerard Ziehm Nicki Storey Charles Embler Kenneth Grossman Linda Hack Barbara Wilson Fonda Sadowsky Ruth Pezzi Anne-Marie Dolbeau Mickey Almaliah Diana Coutts Anthony Digregorio Tom Bright Alan Sadowsky Fran Weissman Bob Henner Leo Garrity Bonnie Gambatese Julia Byrd Filomena Magno Domenick Marmorato Carole Perry Terry Finkelstein Nicki Katzenbach Daniel Scola Roberta Brachfeld

1st 4th 3rd 7th 7th 7th 7th 8th 9th 11th 11th 11th 12th 14th 15th 16th 18th 20th 21st 22nd 22nd 25th 26th 26th 27th 28th

anniversaries Vito & Mary Blancato Bob & Linda Steil Harold & Fran Weissman Tom & Dorothy Mace Richard & Linda Dixon Robert & Carin D'oca Jerry & Hope Krause Edward & Joy Bailey Fred & Flo Kraft

1st 4th 5th 8th 14th 14th 22nd 27th 28th


department news By David Smith, Division President of AV Homes, Inc. Winters at Vitalia don’t feel quite so cool and dull with so many clubs and activities to keep our residents warm. Turn up the heat with a fun Zumba class! The movers and shakers were getting down to the cool beats of Latin and Caribbean-inspired music with guidance from a certified instructor. This class has become so popular that last month it was offered three times a week! What a unique and fun way to spend time with friends and neighbors all while staying in shape. Come to think of it, those Zumba classes probably helped work off some of the tasty bites had at The Taste of Italy that was held at Tradition this past month. There was such a great turn out with fun for people of all ages! The new clubhouse is making some big moves in construction. In case we forgot to mention, our stateof-the-art clubhouse will feature 24,000 square feet of amenities, such as a cyber café, multi-functional banquet room, card room, and dart room. Fitness-inspired activities

will expand to include tennis courts, Pickleball courts, bocce ball, as well as a resort-style pool. Watch the day melt away from the picturesque sunset dock in true Vitalia fashion. Need a mid-week break? Pop in the Sales Center for the "After Hours" evening every Wednesday where we leave the lights on a little later. Entertaining guests? Perfect; take advantage of the extended hours and bring them on by, we love to show off! Hint - friends can easily turn into neighbors. Also, being a regular has its perks! Just ask our local movie stars! Come watch your neighbors on the big screen as they tell us everything they love about being a Vitalia resident. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next breakout star! The Sales Center is also the best place to find out the most recent updates concerning community activities, special events, or offers. So make them a part of your routine and don’t run the risk of missing out! David Smith 863-427-7000

Newsletter Deadlines

Club Bank Information

Newsletter and calendar submissions should be emailed to dosterholz@aamfl.com.

Any club that collects funds needs to set up a bank account. You will need the Articles of Incorporation for Vitalia at Tradition. Please contact Zaid or Shannon at Tradition Wells Fargo for a free basic checking account. They are located at 10330 SW Village Center Dr. in Port St. Lucie. Contact information is 772-345-1602 or zaid.iqbal@wellsfargo.com.

March Submissions Calendar submissions and newsletter articles are due Friday, January 31st by 3pm.

April Submissions Calendar submissions and newsletter articles are due Monday, March 3rd by 3pm.

May Submissions Calendar submissions and newsletter articles are due Tuesday, April 1st by 3pm.

February 2014 | Vitalia Voice   3  


department news

Rules & Regulations

W

Kraig Carmickle Community Manager 321-332-1878 kcarmickle@aamfl.com

ith several new Vitalia at Tradition homeowners, and more coming in 2014, I want to go over the basic rules and regulations, or covenants and restrictions (C and Rs) also referred to as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (C, C and Rs). Everyone that has purchased a home within Vitalia should have approved of the covenants and restrictions and rules and regulations at closing or before closing on your new home. Below are some common rules and regulations that are included in the documents for Vitalia that I would like to review with you.

Parking Overnight or long-term street parking is not allowed. This is as much a fire and police safety issue as it is an aesthetic issue. Boats and trailers are not allowed to be stored outside, so you must find room in your garage or park them offsite. Below is the original and current verbiage on parking. 13.37 Parking. All automobiles, including, without limitation, Owner's automobiles, shall be parked in the garage or driveway of a Home and shall not block the sidewalk or protrude into any roadway. Each Home will contain its own garage. Onstreet parking will be permitted for domestic cards and commercial vehicles only during daylight hours. Golf carts shall be parked only in the garage of a Home. No vehicle (i) without valid Department of Motor Vehicles registration or (ii) which cannot operate on its own power shall remain on Vitalia for more than twelve (12) hours, except in the garage of a Home. No repair, except emergency repair, of vehicles shall be made within Vitalia, except in the garage of a Home. No "commercial vehicle" (as such term is defined in the City or County Code in effect on the date of recordation of this Declaration): (i) shall be permitted to be parked in Vitalia for a period of more

than four (4) hours per day unless such commercial vehicle is temporarily present and necessary in the actual construction, maintenance, or repair of a Home or other improvements in Vitalia or (ii) shall be permitted to be parked overnight or stored in Vitalia unless fully enclosed within a garage. NO RECREATIONAL VEHICLE OF ANY KIND SHALL BE PARKED OVERNIGHT IN VITALIA, AND NO BOATS, BOAT TRAILERS, TRAILERS OF ANY KIND, CAMPERS, MOTOR HOMES, MOBILE HOMES OR BUSES SHALL BE PERMITTED TO BE PARKED IN VITALIA UNLESS KEPT FULLY ENCLOSED DAY AND NIGHT WITHIN A GARAGE. No vehicle of any kind shall be used as a domicile or residence, either temporary or permanent. Owners may not park in any designated guest parking spaces.

Changes to the Exterior of Your Home Vitalia documents require that an architectural or design review committee approve any changes you wish to make to the exterior of your home. This includes things such as adding a screened-in patio or painting your home a different color. Even changes to your landscaping must be approved. Architectural forms can be found on the website www. VitaliaAtTraditionHOA.com or you can pick up the form at the clubhouse. The Architectural Guidelines can be found on the website or you can request the guidelines from Dotti Pleitgen at dpleitgen@aamfl.com.

Pets and Animals All pets should be walked on a leash, which shall not exceed twenty feet. All pet excrement needs to be immediately picked up and placed in a recyclable bag for disposal in a proper trash receptacle by the person walking the pet. Below is the original and current verbiage on pets and animals. Continued on Page 5

4   Vitalia Voice | February 2014


department news Continued From Page 4 13.28 Pets and Animals. 13.28.1 Four (4) commonly accepted household pets such as dogs and cats may be kept. ONLY two (2) household pets over 100 pounds are permitted. 13.28.2 Swine, goats, horses, pigs, cattle, sheep, chickens, rats, snakes, reptiles and the like, are hereby specifically prohibited. Animals, fowl and reptiles which are deemed by the Board to be obnoxious or dangerous are prohibited. The determination of what is or what may be obnoxious or dangerous shall be determined by Association in its sole discretion. 13.28.3 No animal breeding or sales of animals as a business shall be permitted in Vitalia. 13.28.4 Pets may be kept in a Home only so long as such pets do not cause and are not the source of annoyance, nuisance or disturbance to any other Owner or occupant. A determination by the Board that an animal or pet kept or harbored in a Home is a nuisance shall be conclusive and binding on all parties. No pet or animal shall be "tied out" on the exterior of the Home or in the Community Property, or left unattended in a yard or on a balcony, porch, or patio. No dog runs or enclosures shall be permitted on any Home.

13.28.5 All pets shall be walked on a leash which shall not exceed twenty (20) feet. No pet shall be permitted outside a Home except on a leash or in the fenced portion of a yard. Pets' excrement shall immediately be picked up and placed in a recyclable bag for disposal in a proper trash receptacle by the person walking such pet. Failure to do so by any person walking the pet shall be deemed a violation of the Owner. Owners shall be fully responsible to notify guests, invitees, licensees, occupants and/or tenants of such requirement to pick up pets' waste. When notice of removal of any pet is given by the Board, the pet shall be removed within forty-eight (48) hours of the giving of the notice. If you haven’t registered on the HOA website please take the time to register and explore the community website, www.VitaliaAtTraditionHOA.com. Within the HOA website residents can view their personal account information for the HOA, submit maintenance requests, and download HOA documents and monthly HOA financials. We will also utilize this HOA website and database to send weekly HOA email blasts with important community information. If you are having problems with the website or you cannot log onto the website, please email webmaster@ aamaz.com for further assistance. This will be a great tool to improve the overall communication within Vitalia. Enjoy Valentine's Day and the beautiful month of February!

Architectural Changes

Dotti Pleitgen Community Standards Manager 863-427-7032 dpleitgen@aamfl.com

Happy Valentine’s Day! I wanted to remind you that you need to call me at 863-427-7032 or email me at dpleitgen@aamfl.com after any approved architectural item has been completed, so we can update your property record. In order to submit an architectural request through our website, you do need to register and sign in. Please see screen shot to the right. Should you need assistance, please be sure to contact me. We appreciate your cooperation.

February 2014 | Vitalia Voice   5  


recipes

Crock Pot Candy

Recipe from www.food.com

Prep time 5 minutes

Total time

2 hours 5 minutes

Yields

24 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

1 (16 ounce) package dry roasted salted peanuts 1 (16 ounce) package unsalted dry roasted peanuts 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate bits 1 (4 ounce) German chocolate bar 32 ounces white almond bark

1.

Put peanuts in bottom of crock pot and add other ingredients on top. 2. Cook on low setting for one and half to two hours. 3. Place rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients Cookies: 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup + 1/8 cup strawberry cake mix (this is about half of an 18.25 ounce box of Pillsbury Strawberry Cake Mix)

Frosting (makes about 1 cup): 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar

Recipe from www.averiecooks.com

Instructions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl combine the softened butter, egg, vanilla and stir by hand or with a mixer until combined. Add the cake mix and stir until smooth. Form 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are barely browned. Allow the cookies to cool before removing from cookie sheet. Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla extract and 2-4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth (more sugar = thicker frosting). After the cookies have cooled, frost them. Finish with sprinkles, sanding sugar, or other garnishes such as coconut flakes or chocolate shavings, as desired. Optionally, make sandwich cookies.

6   Vitalia Voice | February 2014


February 2014 | Vitalia Voice   7  


out & about Lifestyles Romeos Friday, February 7th | 12:30pm Park Avenue BBQ Grille, Port St. Lucie

Join the gentlemen of Vitalia in a neighborly lunch at the Park Avenue BBQ Grille in St. Lucie West. RSVP to the Activities Office.

Bunco Sunday, February 9th | 7pm Clubhouse

Come join the Bunco Club for a fun and energetic dice game. Are you unsure of how to play bunco? No worries, the group will be more than happy to teach you how to play. RSVP to the Activities Office.

Trivia Saturday, February 15th | 7pm Clubhouse

Please join your friends and neighbors for a friendly game of trivia. Test your knowledge of a variety of categories. This is Vitalia’s most popular event. RSVP to the Activities Office starting SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST.

Juliets Tuesday, February 18th | 5pm Juno Beach Fish House

The Juliets will be going to dinner at the Juno Beach Fish House. This will be in place of the usual luncheon on the second Thursday of the month. The Juno Beach Fish House is known for its fabulous lobster special on Tuesday nights! Please call Carla Mansfield by Thursday, February 13th to RSVP at 772-345-1460. All ladies of Vitalia are welcome. NEW DAY THIS MONTH ONLY. NO JULIETS ON FEBRUARY 13TH.

Bingo Sunday, February 23rd | 7pm Clubhouse

Where can you go on a Sunday night for a couple of hours of fun with your neighbors? Don't know? Bingo. To RSVP email the Activities Office or leave a voice message for Donna or Debbie at the office.

8   Vitalia Voice | February 2014

Fitness Classes Current class schedules are posted in the Clubhouse and on the www.VitaliaAtTraditionHOA.com calendar.

Aqua Aerobics/Hydro Pilates M – T – W – Th | 11am Clubhouse

An excellent cardio and strength workout for people of all fitness levels. This class utilizes water weights, aqua gloves, and noodles to achieve a very unique workout. Swimming is not required.

Yoga Mondays | 12pm Clubhouse

This class is for men and women of all levels. The class focuses on physical poses, breathing techniques, and stretching exercises. Actively improve balance, flexibility, and strength. Manage your aches and pains, achieve better health, and improved spirituality. Take time to relax. Leave feeling refreshed, energized, and stress free. Work at your own pace. Please bring a mat.

Zumba Thursdays | 9am Saturdays | 7:45am, 9am Clubhouse

Come be part of one of the most popular classes offered at Vitalia! “Exercise in Disguise.” Zumba is a dance-fitness class that incorporates Latin and international music and dance. It offers a blended balance of cardio and muscle toning benefits.

Aqua Zumba Fridays | 9am Clubhouse

Get your ‘groove on’ as you burn calories with a complete, no-impact workout in the pool. This class is for men and women who enjoy having a blast while getting in an AQUAFANTASTIC workout!

Stretch Fridays | 10am Clubhouse

This class is for men and women of all levels. Lengthen and strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, and allow your body the time to relax and rebuild. Relieve back pain and muscle soreness. Stretching helps every health condition, increases endurance, adds strength for daily activities, and prolongs life. A necessary piece to any balanced fitness routine. Please bring a mat.


out & about Classes

Poker

Mosaic

Every Monday through Thursday | 6:30pm-10pm Clubhouse

Mondays | 10am Guardhouse

Darts

This interesting class involves putting together small pieces of tile, glass, and pebbles to create patterns on a variety of surfaces. Create beautiful items for your home or patio. Projects range from $35-$50. RSVP to the Activities Office.

Mondays | 7pm

Annual membership dues are $5 per person. Please make checks payable to Vitalia Dart Club. Contact Dave Pachuta at mirage0204@htcplus.net or 772-345-2311.

Conversational Italian (New Class)

Men's Golf

Tuesdays | 4pm-5:30pm Guardhouse

Mondays

It's never too late to learn a new language. The cost is $20 for the month. The instructor is Maria Zaniboni. Please call the Activities Office for details.

Silk Painting

Steve Tuckman is leading this group which meets every Monday afternoon at different area golf courses. If you’d like to join, please contact Steve at tuck61494@gmail.com.

Ladies Golf Mondays

Wednesdays | 9am Guardhouse

Debbie will be guiding you in creating a one of a kind masterpiece using easy techniques. This surprisingly simple art form has amazingly beautiful results! Projects range from $10-$20. RSVP to the Activities Office.

Spanish

The Vitalia Ladies 18 Hole Golf Group plays at various courses throughout St. Lucie County. If you have basic knowledge of the sport and are familiar with golfing etiquette, you are welcome to join. Contact Marianne Martinovic at marianne@htcplus.net.

Bowling Tuesdays | 1:45pm Superplay U.S.A.

Wednesdays | 9am Clubhouse

Challenge yourself to a healthier brain! Come learn a second language with your friends and neighbors. The cost is $20 per month. Contact Diana Reese for more information at 321-574-1158 or 772-408-8523.

Join your Vitalia neighbors for a friendly game of bowling. Informal and fun. No RSVP needed. Just show up and play. All skill levels welcome.

Canasta Every Tuesday through Thursday | 6:30pm-10pm Guardhouse

Club / Group WEEKLY EVENTS Mahjong Club Please contact Sue Ann Goldman at 772-345-2460 or bobsue@htcplus.net for more information and days/times that the club will be meeting.

Stickball Sundays | 9am

Meet in the Clubhouse parking lot. This is a great way to spend a morning getting exercise and having fun. Play ball!

The club also meets on Monday evenings when there is availability in the Guardhouse.

Good News Club - Bible Study Wednesdays | 2pm Guardhouse

As we focus on a new year with new changes and challenges, we invite you to join the Good News Club. Join our discussions on some of the most challenging questions mankind has faced: Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is happening around me? Is there a reliable source for answers to these and other questions? Yes! Join us and enjoy the answers with us! Contact Geof Hoge at 772-216-7005 or Kathy Simon at 352-238-5472, if you have questions.

February 2014 | Vitalia Voice   9  


out & about Club / Group Co-Ed Water Volleyball

Sunshine Club

Wednesdays and Sundays | 9am Thursdays for Beginners | 3pm Clubhouse Pool

Thursday, February 20th | 10:30am Clubhouse

This game is for anyone looking for a little friendly competition. No experience necessary. No RSVP needed.

Hand & Foot Thursdays | 1pm-4pm Clubhouse

We meet every Thursday at the Clubhouse. New players are cordially invited to learn and play.

Men's Water Volleyball Saturdays | 9am Clubhouse Pool

The men of Vitalia will meet at the pool for a friendly game of H2O Volleyball.

MONTHLY EVENTS Gun Club Thursday, February 6th | 10:30am Guardhouse

This club discusses issues which are important to gun owners. Also, plans are made for an occasional trip to a shooting range. All are welcome; however, no guns or ammunition of any type are allowed in the Guardhouse. Contact Jerry Mastrov at 772-345-0377 for more information.

Music Lovers Club Saturday, February 8th | 7pm Clubhouse

Come join the Doo-wop and Disco Party! Space is limited. Contact Mark Rosenbaum at 772-345-2626 or suptmr@aol. com for more information and to RSVP.

Red Hot Seasons Lunch & Fashion Show Thursday, February 13th

The Lunch and Fashion Show is hosted by the Capella Rosa group from the Treasure Coast. Tickets are $25 for lunch. Please let Helen Penzel know if you are interested.

Red Hot Seasons Lunch Wednesday, February 19th | 12:30pm 10   Vitalia Voice | February 2014

Garden Club Thursday, February 20th | 1:30pm Guardhouse

If you have any questions, please contact Lewis Honig at 772-345-1395.

Red Hot Seasons Lunch & A Show Friday, February 21st | 12pm

We are going to Indian River State College to see Fiddler on the Roof for the 2pm performance. We will be going to lunch before the performance at Red Lobster at 12pm. Please call Sue Ann at 772-345-2460 before February 4th for tickets.

Book Club Tuesday, February 25th | 10am Guardhouse

Please visit our book club, we'd love your company! This month, we will be discussing the novel, Heft, by Liz Moore. Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. 20 miles away, in Yonkers, 17-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career—if he can untangle himself from his difficult family life. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur—a plea for help—that shatters their isolation. Told with warmth and intelligence through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft is the story of two improbable heroes whose connection transforms both their lives. It is a memorable, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive novel about finding sustenance and friendship in the most surprising places.

Club Amici Friday, March 7th | 6pm Clubhouse

SAVE THE DATE for Club Amici's Gala 2nd Anniversary Celebration! There will be music and dancing! Space is limited for this event. Please contact Angela Moltzon for details at angelam1944@aol.com.


entertainment

Things To Do

Botanica Gardens Festival Saturday-Sunday, February 8th-9th | 9am-4pm Port St. Lucie Botancial Gardens 2410 S.E. Westmoreland Blvd., Port St. Lucie

Admission to the Festival and the Gardens are free on both Saturday and Sunday. More than 40 vendors are expected to participate, making your Valentine’s Day shopping a breeze. Annuals, perennials, and Florida-friendly plants will be on sale, along with fruit trees, shrubs, orchids, bamboo, and native and exotic plants. Hardscape dealers and garden-related craft vendors will also be in attendance, and you will be able to gather many new landscaping ideas for your garden or yard. You will have plenty of chances to talk with the experts and find what you need to make your garden grow. Food vendors will also be on hand each day. Be sure to bring your folding chairs or blankets to have a picnic on the lawn in front of Tradition Town Hall! Plant carry-out services will also be available. Contact Friends of the Botanical Gardens at 772-337-1959 for more information or visit www.pslbotanicalgardens.org.

5th Annual Talent Show Friday, February 21st | 7pm Port St. Lucie Civic Center 9221 S.E. Civic Center Place

Prizes will be awarded to the winners. Admission to the show is $5 per person. Snacks and drinks will be served during intermission. Contact Jackie Basile at 772-8074499 for more information.

49th Annual St. Lucie County Fair Friday, February 28th through Sunday, March 9th 15601 West Midway Rd., Fort Pierce, FL

Are you ready for the 2014 St. Lucie County Fair? There will be tons of entertainment, rides, special events, live stock events, home arts events, and food! Some of the entertainment on various days include The Nitty Gritty Band, PRCA ProRodeo, Demolition Derby, Racing Pigs, The Tiger Encounter, Petting Zoo, The Funny Little People, Ditsy (face paint, glitter tatoos, and balloon sculptures), The Groovin' Groundhogs, Lloyd Mabrey, Chris Mabrey (hypnotist), Mighty Flea Circus Band, and Lady Houdini (escape artist). Visit the "Daily Info" page on the St. Lucie County Fair website for complete schedules and admission/ticket prices. Call 772-464-2910 or visit www.stluciecountyfair.org for more information.

Treasure Coast Seafood Festival Saturday, March 8th | 12pm-10pm Martin Health System Village Square at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center (9221 S.E. Civic Center Place)

Bring your appetite and all of your friends and family! Enjoy the best of the sea! Arts and crafts vendors and Kids’ Zone. Free live music and parking. Call 772-807-4488 for more information. February 2014 | Vitalia Voice   11  


club & group pictures

New Year's Eve Party

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club & group pictures

February 2014 | Vitalia Voice   13  


brain games

Word Search Puzzle Find and circle all of the words listed below related to activities at Vitalia! Search words horizontally and vertically.

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BINGO BOOK CLUB BOWLING BUNCO CANASTA CLUB AMICI COFFEE DECAF FISHING TOURNAMENT FOOD GARDEN CLUB GOOD NEWS

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POKER PRIVATE PARTIES RED HOT SEASONS REGULAR ROMEOS SILK PAINTING SODA SPANISH CLASS STICKBALL STRETCH TEXAS HOLD EM TGIF TRIVIA

VALENTINES PARTY WATER AEROBICS WATER ZUMBA WOMENS GOLF YOGA ZUMBA

Puzzle submitted by resident, Helen Penzel. 14   Vitalia Voice | February 2014


vitalia vines

Bromeliads

Nan Rothschild Resident Master Gardener mininan1@htcplus.net

Bromeliads belong to the plant family Bromeliaceae, which encompasses over 2,700 species plus thousands of hybrids. With one exception, all are native to the Americas. They grow from the southern part of the United States throughout the Americas to Chile and Argentina in South America. Spanish moss and ball moss are bromeliads found across a very wide range, but the pineapple is the most familiar bromeliad. In nature, many bromeliads grow as epiphytes, or air plants. They take their moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere and debris that decays in their cups. Their roots are used mainly for support. They are not parasites and will not harm the plants to which they are attached. While many grow on trees, others grow in the ground or on rocks or cliffs. They are one of the most versatile and adaptable plant families. They have many forms and color combinations. Bromeliads are divided into groups called genera. Different genera and species require varying amounts of light, water, and humidity. Within genera, cultural requirements are usually similar. The most commonly found genera are Aechmea, Billbergia, Cryptanthus, Dyckia, Guzmania, Hechtia, Noregelia, Orthophytum, Tillandsia, and Vriesea. Bromeliads can be potted in almost any medium that drains well, or mounted on wood or other material. Bromeliads are a good complement to orchid collections. Bright, diffused light is best for most bromeliads. Hard, spiny, thick-leaved varieties, as well as those with gray-green, gray, or silvery leaves can take bright light for extended periods of time. Soft, thin-leaved plants and those with purplish foliage do well in a spot with lower light intensity, but no bromeliad likes a dark environment. Symptoms of too little light are dark green, soft, drooping leaves that are longer

than normal. Symptoms of too much light are yellowed leaves, faded, bleached out markings, a leathery, stressed out look to the foliage, and in extreme cases, sunburn spots and holes. Bromeliads like to be moist but not soggy. Many bromeliads form a “cup” or “vase” in their center to hold and absorb water. Do not let this water stagnate, as it may attract mosquitoes. They prosper between 50° and 90°. They are not winter hardy, except in tropical regions. Humidity and good air circulation are essential. Bromeliads are relatively pest free. Contact your extension office if mealy bugs or scale are present for pesticide recommendations. Most bromeliads bloom only once in their lifetime. After a plant has bloomed, it will die very slowly over the next year or two. It will replace itself with new plants called “pups.” Most pups grow off the side of the mother plant at the base. They can be removed when they are 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the mother. Use a sharp knife or clippers and cut as close to the mother as possible without injuring it. Bromeliads such as Aechmeas, Billbergias, and Tillandsias can be mounted to grow as epiphytes (air plants). Wood, roots, tree fern slabs, rock, and cork are good materials for mounting. Plants can be wired, stapled, glued, or tied with nylon strips to secure. Foliage is considered the most important part of a bromeliad. Flowers vary greatly from tiny inflorescences in the cup to ones that rise above the leaves. They are a simple to care for plant that I frequently recommend to those with little time to garden. If you find that you are very interested in bromeliads, we have a “Treasure Coast Bromeliad Society” that has wonderful meetings.

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February 2014 10023 SW Oak Tree Circle Port St. Lucie, FL 34987

Vitalia Voice | February 2014  

February 2014 Newsletter