Bromeliad with pup

Propagating Bromeliads

Bromeliad collections can easily be reproduced through propagation. The best method of propagating depends on your plant type.

This section will explain the different types of propagation.

Bromeliads are propagated in two ways -- from seed or from offshoots. Seeds often germinate very promptly when fresh. The fattest seed usually germinates best.

Start the seeds in moist, sterile media at 65 degrees Fahrenheit under light. A sterile paper towel or a piece of flannel kept evenly moist in a shallow container, covered with glass, in bright filtered light works well. Don't let young plants dry out.

Every bromeliad leaf has a bud or "eye" at its base that is a potential plant. Some of these eyes develop into shoots, offshoots, or "pups" about the time the plant begins to flower.

In order to propagate a plant from offshoots, remove the pups when they are a quarter to one-half the size of the parent, depending on the variety.

The pup is ready to leave home when its base is no longer soft and tender and has become hard and firm.

Use a sterile blade to cut the pup off as close to its parent as possible. If it is an important plant, dip the cut ends in fungicide and rooting hormone before potting.

Pot it up, centering the pup in the pot and making sure you do not set it too deeply into the mix.

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