Propagating Bromeliads: How to Remove & Pot Up Bromeliad Pups

I want to show you how to remove and pot up bromeliad pups so your plants can live on.
Bromeliads grow outdoors in temperate climates and also make wonderful and easy houseplants. They bring color and beauty into our homes and liven and brighten up whatever space they’re in. The mother plant dies after flowering but produces pups (babies) before going through that cycle. Fortunately for us they’re very easy to propagate! I want to show you how to remove and pot up bromeliad pups so your plants can live on.

The bromeliad pups are very easy to remove. You need to let them grow to a fairly good size, at least 6″ tall, so that the roots have started to form. The bigger the pups, the more root there will be. In the video, I grab them firmly at the base and pull it away from the mother while keeping a good grip on her too. You can also use a clean, sharp knife to cut the pup away. By the way, your bromeliad pups won’t flower for 3 to 6 years so don’t expect it to happen soon after the transplanting.
The pups on this Guzmania are a good size to remove. I’m demonstrating where you’d put the knife to cut the pup away from the mother.
You can see the Aechmea pup emerging here. It’s better to wait until it gets bigger to remove it.

The steps are easy & few:

Remove the pups from the mother plant either by pulling away or cutting them off. If the mother plant is starting to turn brown, you can either cut it all the way down or leave it as is. Some people leave it in case the mother produces more pups but I’ve never done this.

Fill the pot with a mix of 1/2 potting soil & 1/2 orchid bark. Bromeliads are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants in their native environments, & require excellent drainage. Because they’re not growing in soil, whatever moisture they get just washes off. The good dose of orchid bark ensures that the mix doesn’t stay too wet.

Arrange the pups in the pot however you want (they usually have a flat side from growing close to the mother so I face that towards the center) & fill in with more mix if necessary. You may have to push the pups into the mix a bit to get them to stand up. Be careful not to bury them too far down in to avoid any chance of rot.

Top with bark. This isn’t necessary but I like the look & I think it ups the ante on the air circulation factor a bit. Bromeliads are usually found growing on trees so I feel they’re a match made in heaven when it comes to bark!
Water in well. It should flow right out of the pot. I also put water in the urns (or cups or vases – the center well) because that’s their main method of collecting moisture.

These are the Guzmania “Jeannie” pups which I remove in the video. I bought this plant ages ago from Rainforest Flora. It was growing in my garden in Santa Barbara & I dug it out to bring here.

I put my pups in a shaded corner on the patio right off my kitchen. They’re protected from the strong desert sun and the winds which tend to whip around in the afternoon. Because it’s the end of May and temps are nearing triple digits, I water them once or twice a week. You may not need to water yours that often.
It’s nice to know that even though the bromeliad with the pretty flower you bought eventually dies, babies will appear for you to pot up and watch grow. The lineage is carried on!

Happy gardening & thanks for stopping by,


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