We’ve all seen them on the shelves recently in their magnificent, brightly colored flower display! A gorgeous long leaved plant with a pillar of color brightly shining and growing from the middle of its leaves!
But after they bloom, what happens? Here, you’ll learn about how to care for your Bromeliads so that you can continue to enjoy more blooms for years to come!
Bromeliads come with flowers in the colors of red, orange, fuschia or yellow, and they last for a good few months before fading and dying, making them an excellent display in your home! After flowering, with proper care, the mother plant will start producing new pups and eventually fade away as well. It’s the new pups that we can separate from their mother, and replant so that we can continue to enjoy their impressive flower.
Once the flower has faded and no longer looks bright, carefully cut the flower out with a clean pair of scissors or blade so that the mother plant can put all of its energy into creating new pups. The flower’s care will continue to be the same as it was during flowering. Place them in a spot with bright, indirect light and water after the soil and cups have fully dried out. We like to place them under running water, allowing fresh, clean water to fill the cups, and making sure the water is fully drained from the growing medium it’s been planted in. Empty and replace water in the plant’s cups every few days to avoid any salt or mineral build up on the leaves.
Pups will start to form around the base of the plant. If the pups need a bit more light or space, it’s ok to cut back some of the mother’s leaves to ensure proper growth! Once the pups are about ⅓ to ½ the size of the mother plant, they’re ready to be transplanted! Using a clean pair of scissors or blade, cut the pup away as close to the mother as possible without causing injury to her. Sometimes there’s an ‘outer’ leaf that’s protecting the base of the pup, it’s ok to remove this leaf to reveal the entire base.
For added protection you can always dip the base of the pups in rooting hormone and fungicide, or you can directly plant it in a high draining potting medium. It’s recommended that they grow in growing mediums rather than potting soil. A simple combination of 50% orchid mix and 50% soilless mix would be an easy way to create a growing medium! The roots on the pups are shallow and take some time to establish. We recommend that you prop the plant in place with wooden sticks while the roots are growing. Once the pup is no longer top heavy, you can remove the stabilizing supports and continue to watch it grow!
Caring for the pups is a labor of love and patience as it can take up to three years for these pups to mature enough to flower. Making sure they’re planted in a high draining soil medium, putting fresh water in the cups every few days after it’s dried out, and watering once a week (rainwater is best as Bromeliads don’t overly benefit from frequent fertilizing) will help the plant mature in a healthy fashion.