Ask a Question forum: Found Bromeliad - is it sick?

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Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
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Monsterplant
May 19, 2018 9:33 PM CST
Hi there,
(My apologies, I first posted this tagging on to someone else's question)

A friend came by today after he found this bromeliad on the side of the road (= we don't know the history of it).

I started reading up on bromeliad care to see in how good/bad shape it is. I have attached some images as I am wondering if the plant suffers from heart rot?

Here some details on how it arrived:
- the soil (and centre of the plant) was bone-dry
- I didn't notice a rotten smell/the leaves did not seem loose
- it was warm today and rained later in the afternoon so I left it outside to take in some rainwater
- later I filled the center with some filtered water

Can you assist me with care instructions/is there still hope? The plant has a few brown tips on its leaves and a few of the central leaves are brown at their bottom stem. The pictures highlight how the center of the plant looks...
Thumb of 2018-05-20/Monsterplant/96c173
Thumb of 2018-05-20/Monsterplant/9323f0
Thumb of 2018-05-20/Monsterplant/b8d924
Thumb of 2018-05-20/Monsterplant/76877e
Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
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ScotTi
May 20, 2018 4:55 AM CST
Looks like you have a Vriesea Splendens (Flaming Sword) Bromeliad. The plant looks pretty good from the photos you posted. I can see a new pup emerging and the orig. plant looks to have flowered and is fading out of its life. The new pup should recover and reward you with more flowers and pups in the future. Keep water in the cup of the plant and keep soil lightly moist. A well draining potting mix is key and mixing reg. potting soil with orchard bark 50/50 will fulfill its needs.
[Last edited by ScotTi - May 20, 2018 5:24 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1713622 (2)
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
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Monsterplant
May 20, 2018 8:28 AM CST
Thank you for the info! I'm excited to find out how this one will turn out.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 20, 2018 8:46 AM CST
Its hard to tell from the photos, but it appears that there are two plants in the pot; the dying "mother" plant on the right and a new offset or "pup" on the left, as Scott pointed out. If so, then the older plant will slowly die back. Cut off and trim any discolored leaves on the larger plant as they develop.

The future is the offset. Its brown leaf edge is probably due to its having gotten very dry before you got it. That brown part can be trimmed off with scissors and new leaf growth should be fine as long as your plant gets good light and proper watering.

If you keep it inside, then it should be on a sunny windowsill. If outside, keep it in light shade.

I don't recommend repotting it as that may be too traumatic for the fine root system that it has. Conventional wisdom says to keep water in the cup. More recent advice is that in humid climates or locations where air circulation is limited, water in the cups may cause the cup leaves to slowly rot. Once Bromeliads are potted in soil, their root systems are able to supply adequate water for the plant without the aid of increased humidity or water in the cups. Water the soil thoroughly as soon as the surface of the soil feels very dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
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Monsterplant
May 20, 2018 5:34 PM CST
@WillC thank you so much for the detailed response! I carefully emptied the cup today and watered the soil, as well as carefully wiped down and trimmed the leaves. I will keep my eye on the cup and see how it goes.

We live in a cottage and I have it at an east facing window with most of my other plants. Since the garden opens up right in front of us I am considering leaving it outside during my work days where there at about 3hrs of morning sun and then light shade for the rest of the day. The temperature inside and outside is not too different as we usually keep all windows/doors open whenever we are home. Would it be better to just leave it inside?

Thanks again for your advice, this year has been a big year for me in terms of investing my spare time into my plants and I'm pretty excited about every bit of new information.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 20, 2018 6:42 PM CST
Outdoor direct sun would be too much for it. Outside it needs to be in light shade at all times.

Inside in an eastern window should be fine. No need to schlep it in and out.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Image
Monsterplant
May 21, 2018 4:03 PM CST
Thanks for this! I'll keep my eyes on it and am looking forward to watching the pup grow :)

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