Efforts to bring the outdoor plants back indoors have kind of stalled; out of about 130-140 that were outside at the peak of summer, I've managed to find spaces for all but about 30-40 of those, mostly Agaves that may or may not have scale. So that's kind of both good and bad. And the scale situation inside the house hasn't really improved either; it's still confined to certain spots, as far as I can tell, but it's hit a few plants that I didn't think were scaleable. So I'm finding plants more depressing than interesting right now. What's ultimately going to have to happen, I'm afraid, is another purge,1 but that will take some working up to. (All the plants that would be easy to throw out already have been.)
So the post isn't a complete bummer (if I'm only going to post once every three days, I should try to make it pleasant enough to show up for), here's a Neoregelia 'Gazpacho' that's surprised me by blooming this month.
I knew it was old enough to bloom -- the parent plant flowered almost five years ago, and its offspring are now larger than the parent was then --
-- but it's been large enough to bloom for at least a year, maybe two, so the only reason I can think of why it would have chosen now is, I repotted it in May, along with the other two of the original plant's offspring. I also gave them a partly-obstructed south window, instead of a pretty wide-open east window, this summer, which may or may not have had something to do with it. (That still wasn't enough to give it full color: had I been able to grow it outside like it would have preferred, it would all have been red with green spots, instead of mostly green with a red-and-green center.)
The original 'Gazpacho' lived for another year and nine months after blooming, and about half to a third of the offsets survived. It would probably have had a higher survival rate if I'd let the offsets get a little larger before giving them their own pot. In any case, all three plants currently have at least one offset already, and the one from this post is going to start pumping them out now that it's bloomed, so I suppose I should brace myself for a Neoregelia population boom in the next year or two.