The Bromeliad


Bromeliads can be propagated by removal of “pups” or “offsets” from the “mother plant” (asexual) or by seed (sexual). Bromeliads slowly die over a period of a year or two after flowering. However, several pups usually develop during the flowering cycle and usually emerge from the soil near the edge of the container. The pups should be separated from the mother plant after they have developed a small rosette of leaves similar to the mother plant. To remove a pup, use a serrated knife, pruning shears or small saw. Coarse hacksaw blades may also be used for this purpose. Push the saw blade into the growing medium, between the pup and mother plant, and cut through near the base of the mother plant. The young pup may or may not have developed a root system of its own. Don’t be alarmed if it hasn’t. Add more potting medium to the area where the pup has been removed and transplant the newly cut pup into another pot. The mother plant, especially if helped along with a small amount of dilute fertilizer, will continue to produce pups until it dies. Pups should begin growing soon even though initially roots may be absent. Don’t overwater. These plants will normally flower in 1 to 3 years. Propagation by vegetative means (pups) is by far the best and most satisfactory method for home gardeners.