The Q&A Archives: Bromeliad Propagation.

Question: I have a bromeliad that has a large pup now and the main flower has faded to a light brown. How do I separate the pup from the main plant?

Answer: Bromeliads are easy to asexually propagate once an offset, or "pup" has sprouted from the base of the original bromeliad, or "mother plant." The advantage of asexual propagation is that you are rewarded with a mature plant in less than nine months. Pups usually emerge from the soil near the edge of the pot. They should be allowed to grow until they are one-third to one-half the size of the mother plant and have several sets of leaves.

Besides a mother plant with a pup, you'll need a second pot, clippers and some newspaper pages to spread over the work area. This won't take long, but it could be messy. You'll also need soil. For the best results, mix bark, wood chips or perlite (a quarter to an eighth of an inch diameter) with an equal amount of peat moss.

1. Remove the mother plant and pup from their container.
2. Gently pull the soil away, exposing the area where the mother plant and pup are joined.
3. The pup may or may not have its own root system. If necessary, pull additional soil away so you have a clear view of the base of both plants.
4. You may not need those clippers after all. Most of the time, the pup can be pulled off the mother plant without the use of any tools. If it resists a firm but gentle tug, make the cut near the base of the mother plant. Replant the mother plant (and only the mother plant) immediately.

5. Before planting the bromeliad pup, let it sit in the shade for at least a day. This allows the area that has been pulled or cut away from the mother plant to callous, preventing soil-borne diseases from entering through the soft tissue. Then you can plant the pup, using one of the recommended mixtures and gently pressing down on the soil around the base of the pup.
6. Care for the young plant just as you would a mature bromeliad.

Best wishes with your new pup!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"