About SBBA

Our club was founded in 1968 by enthusiasts who collect and nurture tropical plants, notably bromeliads. Members often belong to several clubs with specialty interests in orchids, cactus, succulents, begonias, and many others. Our members range in experience from new growers to those with decades of growing experience.  Bromeliads are easy to grow and offer a great range of beauty and interesting forms. Shown above: Neoreglia ’Orange Glow.’ [Photos by Katherine Poehlmann unless otherwise indicated]


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SBBA Meetings

Regular monthly meetings are held on the first Sunday of each month except July—club picnic, August—annual show and sale, and December—holiday party.

We meet at the Community Room (second floor) of the Palos Verdes Main Library, 701 Silver Spur Road from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free. Here is a map to the library.

Our meetings feature a speaker presentation, refreshments, a show-and-tell display of members’ plants, and a door prize drawing at 1:30 p.m.

Guest Speakers present slide shows of trips to Bromeliad habitats, botanical gardens, methods of growing Bromeliads, or demonstrations of potting and growing techniques. Sometimes they bring special plants for sale.

An exciting plant auction is held at each regular meeting, where attendees can buy Bromeliads, often at bargain prices. 

Our portable SBBA Lending Library contains outstanding books on the cultivation and identification of Bromeliads, available for checkout to club members.


Guests and visitors are always welcome!



Annual dues are $10 per year per household (individual or family), for which will receive a monthly newsletter and may participate in all club parties and special events. A member privilege is selling plants at our club auctions and plant sales. You are invited to join the SBBA to enjoy the friendship and knowledge shared by our members. 

           For more information, contact Ted Johnson: (310) 541-4185.


Our club is an affiliate of the Bromeliad Society International. BSI graciously allows us to present SBBA-specific info on these pages. Here are the many benefits of BSI membership:


Upcoming SBBA events


October 7th Program – “2008 BSI Conference in Australia

Cristy Brenner has attended all of the BSI conferences since 2000, and states that this annual event was by far the best of all. The 2008 conference was held in Cairns, in the tropical area of Northeastern Australia, and some of our members attended. The Aussies are exceptional growers and hybridizers and created beautiful displays. Visitors also toured many beautiful gardens and enjoyed the Aussie’s amazing hospitality. Come and enjoy bromeliads at their best!

A world traveler, Cristy is a recently retired Geography professor at Saddleback College and the current president of the Saddleback Valley Bromeliad Society.


This & That


Rainforest Flora greenhouses destroyed by wildfires in Bonsall, CA last December. If you wish to help the employees whose family home on the premises was a complete loss, please donate to the GoFundMe campaign.

This news article tells the sad story: Damaged plants that have a chance to recover have been moved to the greenhouses at the Torrance, CA location. Volunteers who wish to help with tillandsia rescue are invited to contact Rainforest owners Paul Isley or Jerry Robinson using contact data on their website. Their beautiful showroom and retail store in Torrance, CA remains in business.


Rainforest Flora Nursery is a frequent venue for the annual SBBA show and sale in August. Located at 19121 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503, their website is Take a vicarious tour through the magnificent display area, with waterfalls, koi fish, and a wide variety of exotic tropical plants—bromeliads, tillandsias, orchids, and ferns—through this four part series:


Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


Mysteries Solved! See what happens in the garden when you’re not looking. View this enchanting video, enhanced with music in the background:


Dave's Garden is the hands-down favorite website of gardeners around the world. Articles and videos show how to start seeds and learn how to have your best garden ever. Members can chat with other gardeners in 230 forums, and get help to identify plants, pests, birds and butterflies. Membership on Dave's Garden is free and allows you to participate in dozens of forums, plus PlantFiles, BugFiles, BirdFiles, the Garden Watchdog, maintain a personal garden diary, trade list, wish list, and many other features. This article, “Introduction to Bromeliads,” was written in 2008 by Geoff Stein. It offers marvelous photos and cultivation advice for some of the bromeliads that are found in the landscapes and greenhouses of our SBBA club members.


Tips and Techniques:


California is in the midst of a severe drought. You can help by reducing water usage in ways you may not have considered. Here are some useful tips:  One way to reduce evaporation in the garden is by using organic mulch. L.A. County offers free mulch at eleven sites. Bring a shovel and fill your own bags. shows locations, open hours, and details. Recirculating ponds, rocks and paving instead of grass, drip irrigation systems, and xerographic plantings are a specialty of landscape designers like EnviroscapeLA in Redondo Beach, CA. Get ideas here: Owner Mike Garcia offers free workshops. Learn how to save up to 90% of otherwise wasted water and still have a beautiful, sustainable garden.


► Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? is a very useful website to identify trees, weeds, and grasses that may trigger allergic reactions. Enter your zip code in the search window. You can list All allergens or Significant or Moderate, shown by season and/or species.


“What's Eating Me? Clues to Bug Destruction from a Tropical/Succulent Point of View.” Geoff Stein has written an excellent illustrated article on parasites and pests that attack the kinds of plants we collect.  Geoff describes himself thusly: “Veterinarian and Exotic Plant Lover…..obsessive, compulsive collector of all oddball tropical and desert plants.”


How to make a “gutter garden” for growing veggies from seed in a small yard.


Preparing bromeliads for show or sale.


          How to make your own inexpensive plant tags.


          Free bagged used coffee grounds on request: Call 3-hours ahead to your local Starbucks and ask for used grounds for composting. You can also arrange for regular pickup (e.g., once/week at a specific time). More info on coffee grounds for composting:


Special Events:


► Check to find out what’s scheduled for Southern California each month.


The South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, offers visual delights and activities of interest for all ages. Open 364 days per year, 9 to 5, admission is free on the third Tuesday of the month. Annual membership includes reciprocal admission privileges at hundreds of other botanic gardens across the USA. For details, see 


Classic Bromeliad book available for sale.



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