Ask a Question forum: Help! My plant is dying and I don't know what to do!

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Hakunanatasha
Jun 23, 2015 4:57 PM CST
Hi there, I have this plant that was a gift and I completely forgot what it even is.
The reddish bloom in the center began to brown so I wanted to prune it, but it wouldn't come out when I tried to pull it so I did not want to force it. I've been slowly removing the leaves as I can, but not the rest of the green on the plant is spotted with some sort of disease as well. Since it is a gift I'm hoping that it isn't on it's way out.

Is anyone able to at least identify it or have any suggestions about how to encourage new growth?
Thumb of 2015-06-23/Hakunanatasha/e44ccd
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Jun 23, 2015 5:07 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP. You have done the right thing to post your question.

Is this some sort of bromeliad?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Hakunanatasha
Jun 23, 2015 5:11 PM CST
Hi there!

Yes! I believe that's exactly right. The poor thing used to have a beautiful red to it, but this brown situation came quite quickly and now I'm at a loss...
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Jun 23, 2015 5:33 PM CST
I'm not positive but I think bromeliads die after blooming. But they send out pups before they die. I can see the new pups coming out the side of your mother plant.
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Hakunanatasha
Jun 23, 2015 5:43 PM CST
Thank you so very much!
So do you believe yeah new pups should be replanted alone?
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Jun 23, 2015 6:08 PM CST
I don't know enough about bromeliads but if it were me, I think I would just remove the dead flowers and continue to take care of the whole plant. Until the mother is dead, the pups will continue to grow and get nutrients from her. After the mother is dead or close to it, I would think about repotting the babies.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 23, 2015 6:27 PM CST
Hi Natasha, and welcome. Jay is absolutely right. Bromeliads do die after they bloom only once, but they make new babies to keep the family going. You have a nice healthy pup out the left side of yours in the picture.

Mama might make more pups before she is done, so don't do major surgery yet. You can cut out the dry flower stem with a pair of scissors, and remove any dead leaves, but keep any leaves on the mother plant as long as they are green.

Bromeliads are epiphytes, so they gather a lot of their moisture and nutrients from the leaves, and really not much from the roots. The roots are just to anchor the plant in place. So spraying the foliage is just as important as keeping the soil in the pot moist. I have orchids (which are also epiphytes) so I am often walking around with a sprayer, and at least weekly I spray very weak fertilizer on all the orchids and the bromeliads sometimes too. If you can get a little bit of soluble fertilizer and keep a spray bottle of water around that will make them very happy.

They really don't make a very big root system so re-potting isn't usually necessary unless you have so many new pups in one pot that they need more room to spread out. You could just wait until Mama is completely dead, then lift the whole thing, remove her and set the pups right back in where they were.

I've just thrown bromeliad pups on the ground here and had them root themselves and grow beautifully. Lots of shade, humidity and leafy ground, and they grow well.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jun 23, 2015 7:09 PM CST
I agree Nothing much I can add to Elaine's answer. I just remove the leaves when they brown and yes, cut away that dead flower/stem. Generally the lower leaves will turn brown and brittle first and then the leaves progressively up to the crown of the plant. I might remove only a leaf of two at a time and it might take months before the "mother" plant has completely died.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jun 23, 2015 11:47 PM CST
Confirm that it looks like a bromeliad to me.

My friend gave me one as a gift, a few years ago. I had never grown one before, and I freaked out when I saw it "dying" - I thought that I had killed it! Hilarious!

But no, I hadn't.... and it did put out pups for me. Thumbs up
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jun 24, 2015 8:08 AM CST
Learn something new every day. Very interesting.
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