Bromeliad "pup" question...

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
As the title states, I need some help with my bromeliad pups.

I've always had a thing for orchids and bromeliads, but always seem to kill them off in the cage. So now I just have lots of both and rotate them in and out until the finally die. Lately, I've started a "we'll see if this one comes back..." graveyard in my front bushes and on my lanai free range area. Orchids go through a bloom phase, but I've still completely killed a few.

Low and behold... what was dead is now alive!!

Here's my specific bromeliad with pups:
15734321264562391257238799340032.jpg

It actually has 3 little pups. Here's the smaller 2:
15734321914847142510783480943609.jpg

I also have a similar situation with this one:

15734322500101050027751149285915.jpg



So my question is... can I split any of these off of the main plant? I mean, they look to share a "root" system with the main plant, but I assume there is a way to split them off. Otherwise, do I chop off the main plant and let the new growth go?

I'm not great with plants... I tend to do best when I completely forget about them and stumble across them months later. However, itd be nice to save myself a few bucks if I can snap off some of these pups!
 

Connorology

Established Member
My understanding is that the bromeliads usually sold at the supermarket or garden center stores are Guzmania bromeliads, which tend to be sold for their colorful blooms. The reason they die is because they bloom at the natural end of their life cycle, then they split into new pups as the mother plant dies off. I haven't kept Guzmania for a long time, but I did successfully repot a pup years ago. I just let it get to a decent size and cut if off like mentioned above.

If you're looking for something that will last longer, Neoregelia bromeliads are very hardy and will pup without blooming, so they won't randomly die on you and need to be replaced. I believe a few of the site sponsors sell them, and anyone who keeps dart frogs probably has some on hand. I'm a big fan of Neoregelia "fireball" because it turns bright red with sufficient light, and does so without blooming, so you get the color but don't lose the mother plant.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
An update for anyone following along:

I took the largest of the above pictured pups and gently peeled it away from the main plant. I didn't see much in the way of roots so I used a 2oz deli cup with a little bit of water in it and put the pup in it. (Hydroponics style). It may very well die off, but I figured soil would probably just be too much for it right now.

I had a 3rd bromeliad that has been in my plant graveyard for quite some time. It was in the cage for the longest period and was clearly waterlogged when I tossed it to the graveyard. This evening I happened to look at it and boy was it not making a come back. The whole top 1/3 was a white-brown color and the bottom 1/3 was a nasty yellow-brown. Well, I decided to pitch it out. When I picked it up to toss it, the "bloom" portion and top half just flaked away. However, when I went to grab the lower half I noticed 2 "pups" the size of the smaller bromeliad in the above photos. They are massive! The main plant was probably 2ft tall and the pups were easily 6-8".

These were easier to "peel off" the main plant. Upon examination, I noticed the "roots" are actually in the lower part of the leaf and not really dangling like a traditional root. (The biggest of the pups I did actually get some danglers). These I potted in the large deli cups with potting soil. I also noticed that one of the pups was even growing a pup... lol.

There's a valuable lesson to be learned here... the more I mess with a plant, the more they seem to die; leave them be and mother nature will take care of her pups!


Thanks to everyone for your input!
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Im not an expert or broms but I believe you are supposed to wait until they are a certain size before breaking them off. Then i believe you can cut them off close to the mother plant.
Yep, this. These are way to small. There will be quite a few little roots coming off the base, thats when you know they are good to cut off.
An update for anyone following along:

I took the largest of the above pictured pups and gently peeled it away from the main plant. I didn't see much in the way of roots so I used a 2oz deli cup with a little bit of water in it and put the pup in it. (Hydroponics style). It may very well die off, but I figured soil would probably just be too much for it right now.

I had a 3rd bromeliad that has been in my plant graveyard for quite some time. It was in the cage for the longest period and was clearly waterlogged when I tossed it to the graveyard. This evening I happened to look at it and boy was it not making a come back. The whole top 1/3 was a white-brown color and the bottom 1/3 was a nasty yellow-brown. Well, I decided to pitch it out. When I picked it up to toss it, the "bloom" portion and top half just flaked away. However, when I went to grab the lower half I noticed 2 "pups" the size of the smaller bromeliad in the above photos. They are massive! The main plant was probably 2ft tall and the pups were easily 6-8".

These were easier to "peel off" the main plant. Upon examination, I noticed the "roots" are actually in the lower part of the leaf and not really dangling like a traditional root. (The biggest of the pups I did actually get some danglers). These I potted in the large deli cups with potting soil. I also noticed that one of the pups was even growing a pup... lol.

There's a valuable lesson to be learned here... the more I mess with a plant, the more they seem to die; leave them be and mother nature will take care of her pups!


Thanks to everyone for your input!
Id be surprised if they lived. Honestly your best bet is to leave them alone till they look like a relatively good size. Impatience is the doom of all horticulturally inclined individuals.
 
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