Texas Gardening forum→rooting a bromeliad

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 17, 2019 10:04 AM CST
What am I doing wrong? I got three bromeliads like this one last fall. This one is blooming, so I thought surely it had developed roots. No so. At least two of these haven't. Guess I need to check the other one. They haven't died. The other one without roots is showing signs of growing a pup or new center. Are they epiphytes that don't have to have roots at all? Sort of like the Tillansandias?

I actually got a lot of bromeliad cuttings, the others just don't have this kind of appearance. I've been assuming that most have grown roots based on the new growth. Maybe I'm wrong about those as well. I'm wanting to get them in stronger containers. Small plastic ones are too light for the windy conditions that show up here.

The photo:
Thumb of 2019-06-17/needrain/db4b86

Donald
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jun 17, 2019 5:26 PM CST
The one in bloom is commonly called an earth star or Cryptanthus. Earth star because it is terrestrial.

I have quite a few and they don't have large root systems. I grow them in shallow bulb pans..

You might have to set your containers in clay pots to keep them from becoming air born.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jun 17, 2019 6:13 PM CST
Yes, bromeliads are epiphytes. Maybe not technically speaking. Just wait for the pups. I occasionally play around in the Bromeliad forum and I've been very surprised to learn that even after the mothership is dead or nearly dead that she still can produce a lot of pups.

When I grew Cryptanthus I kept them in clay pots. Small ones.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 17, 2019 7:04 PM CST
pod said:The one in bloom is commonly called an earth star or Cryptanthus. Earth star because it is terrestrial.

I have quite a few and they don't have large root systems. I grow them in shallow bulb pans..

You might have to set your containers in clay pots to keep them from becoming air born.


Thanks. Shouldn't it have roots after this long, though?

They are all nested in clay pots. This was just out for a photo op. Putting it back in place is when it got bumped slightly and I discovered it still had no roots. I'm just not fond of plastic pots in any circumstance. Clay has always been a lot more user friendly than plastic. Probably has to do with my caretaker habits, but the wind is always a consideration here.
Donald
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 17, 2019 7:15 PM CST
Hi Donald, my Cryptanthus is also like that. I suddenly got cuttings from mother plant when my naughty cat decided to play with it. So I just stuck the cuttings in well draining soil. Yes, I did notice it did not grow new roots but it is not dead either. I guess the leaves holds water quite well. So I still keep the media moist as needed. Sometimes I spritz the leaves. Seems to work okay like that.

I don't check anymore if it was able to grow roots. As long as plant stays alive, I am fine with it. Smiling

Comparing it to my other terrestrial bromeliads here, seems okay getting spritz on the leaves. It is so dry here anyways so dry out time is quite fast.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 19, 2019 7:58 AM CST
The Cryptanthus (thanks @pod ) is finished blooming. At this point it's still just sitting there. What happens now? Is it monocarpic? Will it produce pups without roots? I have three of these. At least the other one of these that I knew didn't have roots back in the spring has new growth but I don't know if that growth has any roots to go along with it or not. The 3rd one is still sitting there looking fine, but just the same as when it arrived early last fall. No new growth, no blooming. I have no idea whether it developed roots.

I'm considering putting all three of these together in a shallow, relatively small diameter container. Should work if they aren't going to die and/or develop an extensive root system. If the growth rate remains like it has been, they can exist together for quite a while. What say you with more experience?
Donald
Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas Bulbs Cactus and Succulents
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SALL20
Jul 19, 2019 11:02 AM CST
@needrain I don't think you should put the Crypthantus in a small pot together. Here are pictures of my pink one and green one. Each started out as a small pup. As you can see, the leaves can get pretty long. The green one is kept in bright shade and the pink one gets morning sun. They are planted in cactus mix and get watered about once a week. Both have made pups and the green one bloomed earlier this year, but hasn't shown any signs of dying yet.

As for the other bromeliads, I would plant them in a well draining mix and make sure the 'cups' always have water. You don't really need to water the soil that often. Just don't let it get bone dry.
Thumb of 2019-07-19/SALL20/7dcfac
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Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jul 19, 2019 9:57 PM CST
@SALL20 - Those are some very nice 'cryptos' you've got growing there! I grew a lot of them when I lived in Austin because I kept repotting the pups. Now I see that I should have left more of them alone. And I didn't know that there was a green one. May have seen it without knowing. So anyway, that's good advice that you gave @needrain.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jul 20, 2019 7:06 AM CST
In my experience, I lean toward a small, shallow container. As I said, mine grow in bulb pans. They do require more water in summer but I found the larger containers hold too much moisture in cooler weather creating rot.

Yes, in my experience, they are monocarpic but will not die quickly after blooming so repotting would be o.k. I like the look of a clump of them. Or maybe that is just my age and having fewer pots to tend to... Whistling
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 20, 2019 10:05 AM CST
The clay container I was considering is shallow, but it's fairly wide. Probably a 10 inch diameter. I have some 5 inch diameter terra cotta azalea pots I could use. Have another one or two I could drill holes in and use. Been intending to drill those holes for a few years, but seem to only get motivated when I have a plant I'd like in them. Have to think about it. Part of the appeal is going from 3 containers down to one. Easier to care for, less space used. I'm just wondering what the fate of the one that bloomed will be and what happens if they don't grow roots. In a couple of months it will be nearly a year. Seems like in that time they should have grown some. I've potted up some of the bromeliads and the roots had way outgrown the container I used to root them in. Had trouble prying them out. Good thing they were plastic which had some bend to it. I did another one obviously yet a different brome and it had good roots, but not a mass of them. I'm not sure what I'm going to find when I get them all in better containers than those little plastic pots I used to root them.
Donald
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Jul 20, 2019 10:22 AM CST
I am also trying to observe how my other noid terrestrial bromeliad grows this summer. It seems it is trying to make some blooms, but it is doing it very slowly, being tempered down by our dry heat. I have stepped up watering on this plant, liberally showering it daily here since it is outdoors. I also want to see if it indeed goes monocarpic if it does manage to make blooms.

08July2019
Thumb of 2019-07-20/tarev/f2bdae Thumb of 2019-07-20/tarev/df1ebc

Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
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Bubbles
Jul 20, 2019 2:50 PM CST

Moderator

@tarev I had so many of these, I used them as a border along a sidewalk in backyard last fall.

Thumb of 2019-07-20/Bubbles/fe6caa

Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas Bulbs Cactus and Succulents
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SALL20
Jul 20, 2019 3:10 PM CST
I have that plant too! It was a pass along plant at the garden club exchange. It was just labeled 'bromeliad'. Guess they multiply freely. Mine has grown nicely, but no pups yet.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jul 20, 2019 3:49 PM CST
I have that one also... what a neat idea @Bubbles. Did they overwinter for you?

It is one of the Cryptbergias. I have two C. Red Burst and C. Rubra. I tip my hat to you.

Cryptbergia (XBiltanthus 'Red Burst')


Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jul 20, 2019 4:53 PM CST

Moderator

Lost my reply...will answer again when the sun isn't in my eyes! Almost to lake.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 20, 2019 6:53 PM CST
There were three like this one and another similar. The three more burgundy ones like this were packed with roots and hard to get out of the containers. I did this one this week. I think it tried to bloom inside before it came out this spring and didn't succeed. It started as a single fan, but there are four offsets now.
Thumb of 2019-07-21/needrain/4cffaf

There are three that more or less look like this one. One came out in early spring and high winds ripped it out of the cache pot and dumped it out of the plastic pot I'm using to try and root it. No roots at all. It's still here and has recovered some. This one did grow an offset. I want to plant it in the ceramic pot in the photo, but my sister from Houston area told me it's too small and the brome will bust out of it. For now, I'm just letting it be. I'm assuming it has roots. The offset is as large as the original now.
Thumb of 2019-07-21/needrain/423e44

Donald
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Herbs Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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pod
Jul 20, 2019 9:26 PM CST
I love the colander container you have that one in. That plant looks the same as all of ours. Apparently they are very prolific.

The bromeliad in your second photo appears to be quite large. With the orange tint and the size I would guess that might be an Aechmea blanchetiana.

Odd but I know I have some smaller Neoregelia bromeliads that don't have much for roots. I really don't pay attention to the root system as they receive moisture and nutrients via the plant vase. Now I will have to look at the roots and see what is going on.
Believe in yourself even when no one else will. ~ Sasquatch
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jul 21, 2019 6:05 AM CST

Moderator

@pod We got home late. There's always something unexpected to do at the lake.

The border on the walk lasted through the winter and a few freezes. In spring they seemed to flop over the walk so I moved most of them into a communal pot. They are as tough as the bromeliads.
There are still some in the bed that I missed.






Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jul 21, 2019 6:27 AM CST

Moderator

Here's a couple of mine that I can pop the new plants off and just set them in another pot to fend
for themselves.

Thumb of 2019-07-21/Bubbles/d95132


Thumb of 2019-07-21/Bubbles/292431

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Jul 21, 2019 9:11 AM CST
pod said:I have that one also... what a neat idea @Bubbles. Did they overwinter for you?

It is one of the Cryptbergias. I have two C. Red Burst and C. Rubra. I tip my hat to you.

Cryptbergia (XBiltanthus 'Red Burst')




Oh! Good to know its name! I got mine from Esperanza Big Grin So happy how this plant enjoys it here being outdoors year round too! Big Grin I used to avoid bromeliads, since I often kill them first Hilarious! I realize now, the epiphytic bromeliads won't like our outdoors, but the terrestrial bromeliad varieties handles it better.

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