The Q&A Archives: Repotting A Bromelaid Cactus

Question: We have a cactus referred to as a bromelaid. It is in a 6" pot, is about 18" high and is a single plant. It has a large bright pink flower growing from the center that has now turned brown and is dying off. Around the base are a number of new shoots. Should these be potted separately or should they just be left alone? Will the main plant bloom again? What type of soil should be used? The plant is in a very bright northern window in a warm location.

Answer: Your plant sounds quite happy with its living arrangement; producing a flowering stalk and offsets are both signs of contentment in your plant. Cut the flower stalk down to foliage level to remove it from the plant. Another will form eventually. The offsets can be removed and potted up to grow into mature plants. Some offsets develop roots while still attached to the mother plant and others won't develop roots until they've been detached from the parent. You should be able to easily remove the little sprouts with a gentle tug. Pot them up in very fast-draining soil such as a commercially prepared cactus mix. Good drainage is essential to the health of your plants. After potting up the offsets, place them near the mother plant so they're receiving the same exposure to light. Once they've successfully rooted you can move them elsewhere (as long as there's bright light), or give them away to friends.

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