Bromeliad Plants Blog

Separating Pups of Bromeliad – Reblooming Bromeliads
March 5, 2008, 9:19 pm
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Bromeliads are a popular house plant and many people wonder how they can make them reflower and enjoy the long lasting colors again to brighten their home. Does this sound like you?For instance take the variety Guzmania Rana. After the flower has said goodbye the plant will just sit in the pot for years. Will it reflower? Does the plant need re-potting? What are those little pups coming from the base of the mother plant?The Rana Guzmania variety is a hybrid in the Bromeliad family which consist of a wide variety of “monocarpic” plants. From edible pineapples to Spanish moss hanging in the southern states. What exactly a “monocarpic” plant? The easy description – the plant dies after it flowers. This death may occur very slowly, but during it’s downward slide the Guzmania should produce between 1 to 3 pups or offsets which you can separate and grow into a new mature, ready to bloom plant.

To get stared the plant needs to have some pups. Does the plant have little offsets or pups? The pups can “live” on the mother plant for a long time but it’s usually best to remove them once the new plants reach about one-third to one-half the original plants size.

Once removed pot each plant individually in it’s own pot. Of course the next question is – how do you do that?

For starters, the plant needs to be separated from the main plant. Where the pup attaches to the “mother plant” remove the soil, if the pup is about one-third the size of the original plant give a gentle pull or tug to separate the two plants. If this does not work and the plant does not pull away it’s time for some quick surgery to easily cut the pup away from where it attaches to the mother plant.

Before potting your new plant let it sit exposed to the open air but not the sun for a day. This allows the cut area to dry.

Using a good potting soil like a 60/40 mixture of peat moss and perlite pot up the bromeliad cutting into a small pot. Keep the soil mix damp but not wet and place the plant in bright light – again no full sun or direct light. If possible try to keep the temperature over 65 degrees.

Do not expect flowers to burst out into flower right away. The bromeliad can take a few years to reach a mature blooming size. Once the plant reaches a mature size you can force flowers by placing the plant in a clear plastic bag and adding a ripe apple for 7 to 10 days. The ripe apple gives off ethylene gas and helps force the plant to flower. As a side note – this is great little plant science experiment for students.

Do not over pot and give the plant lots of bright light and water regularly.

If all the potting stuff sounds too much to work. Do nothing and enjoy the plant as is.

Thomas Fryd writes for where you can learn more Indoor House Plant Secrets and receive a free weekly newsletter on house plants.

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