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bromelaid

bromelaid
Posted by michelle (michellem@webjogger.net) from NY on 2006-07-10 12:42:00

got a bromelaid for gift; how do I care for it properly?
  • Bromeliad care
    Posted by Will Creed (wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com) from NY on 2006-07-20 04:45:00

    Hi Michelle,

    Bromeliads are in the same family as pineapples and Spanish moss. They are "monocarpic." That means they die after flowering. The death is a slow one, often taking up to 3 years. In the interim, 1 to 3 offsets (called babies or pups) are produced to carry on the species.

    Keep your bromeliad in a small (5 to 6") pot and place it on a north or east windowsill where it will get lots of bright, mostly indirect light. If it is properly potted, a weekly thorough watering will be just right. The soil should be quite dry before watering. The customary practice of keeping the cups filled with water has been discredited because indoors, where air circulation is poor, the cups often rot. Keep the soil barely damp and it will not be necessary to water the cups. Fertilize at half strength during the warmer months.

    The pups can be left on the mother plant or they can be severed and potted up separately. If you choose the latter, then wait until the pups are about one-third to one-half the size of the mother. This takes about 6 to 9 months.

    Remove the soil where the pup attaches to the mother plant. Most of the time the pup can be pulled away from the mother with a firm but gentle tug. Otherwise, cut the pup low on the woody part of the stem that attaches the pup to the mother. Allow the severed pup to sit in the open air (out of the sun) for a day before potting it. Pot the severed pup in a small pot filled with a mix of peat moss and perlite. Keep this mix damp and place it in bright light away from direct sunlight. Keep temps above 65 degrees. You may want to place it inside a clear plastic bag to help maintain high humidity for the first month after it is potted up.

    BTW, the customary practice of keeping the cups filled with water has been discredited because indoors, where air circulation is poor, the cups often rot. Water kept in cups must be changed every two days. Keep the soil barely damp and it will not be necessary to water the cups.

    Let me know if this is unclear.

    Will Creed
    Indoor landscaper

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