what's wrong with my bromaliad?

danesnpits(2a)June 21, 2014

Over water? Too much light? Will it ever bloom? I do fertilize with appropriate stuff. Just saw new growth in the middle.

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splinter1804

Hi everyone
danesnpits - I hope I'm wrong, but Just looking at your pic and the fact that the new growth is much brighter in colour than I would have expected, suggests to me your plant may be rotting; perhaps from too much water or some other cause.

First smell the centre of your plant, if it stinks to high heaven it's rot; or without being brutal, just very lightly pull on the central leaves and if they're loose or easily pull out, again it's rot.

If that isn't the case, the next thing I would do would be to knock the plant out of the pot and make sure the mix isn't water-logged, if it is, wash away any existing mix and re-pot in a suitable fresh mix.

If the plant has rotted, that doesn't necessarily mean its the end. Just cut away any rotted material, treat it with a reliable fungicide and allow it to dry out for a day or two. It will look pretty daggy for quite a while, but if it isn't completely beyond help, it could still produce a pup.

Good luck!

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:40AM
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danesnpits(2a)

Thank you Nev, I had a sneaking suspicion I have been over watering it. I did the tug in the middle, and smelled it. No smell and no sign that it's rotten as it did not want to pull out of the middle. I can take the plant out of the pot and check roots for sure and go from there. Thank you so much. I take it, the bloom it had is done blooming? I thought it would open up into a spectacular flower but it has stayed the same for almost 8 months. If this is indeed the bloom, and it is done, should I then cut it off?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:33AM
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splinter1804

danesnpits - It looks like the inflorescence has never developed for some reason. It should have matured into something like the one of mine in the Pic. below ....... Why it hasn't developed, I don't know.

Incidentally, you don't by any chance have the plant sitting in a saucer of water do you? If so, make sure the saucer has pebbles in it and the base of the pot isn't in the water, but sitting up clear of it. People use this method when growing plants inside to provide better humidity.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 5:37PM
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gregsytch(z9b Tampa Bay)

This variety LOVES tight, dry roots and water only in the cup. I've rotted one. Now I plant mine in clay and grow in a bright, shadier spot. It is also doing very well in my landscape.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 6:50PM
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hotdiggetydam

Flush or dump water from bromeliad centers atleast weekly or it will have a bad odor.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 8:57AM
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danesnpits(2a)

Oh boy what do I do? It's opened and little fuzzies came out the bloom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:43AM
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naoh123

I haven't grown these so please, anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this plant is actually doing quite fine, you just happened to catch it in the transition from maturity to pupping/seeding and the inevitable die-back of the parent plant. I have a few catopsis that seed just like this, super fuzzy tails on the seeds. Also, I just noticed the mention of that "new growth" which looks like a pup. I'm thinking you got this plant after the bloom expired, or right at the tail end of its prime. As everyone else has said, make sure it's not staying damp for long periods of time, and make sure it's getting good sunlight. The main plant will slowly die off as the pup gets bigger. To summarize, this is a perfectly natural part of the lifecycle of bromeliads.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 3:15PM
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petrushka

wow, i love nev's triple bloom!
does it happen often to have 3 pups at once? is it possible to help it to develop sev pups? i read that 1 is more common.
i wrapped the rootball of mine in coir matting(like for basket lining) and inserted a nylon wick on the outside of coir, dropping in water reservoir on the bottom. so mine gets it's water slowly from the bottom. and i also fill up the leaves 'cups' from the top. so no danger of over-watering - wicking provides very slow steade moistening of the medium.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:23PM
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danesnpits(2a)

Thanks all! I'm excited now! I feel awesome for looking after it properly to get it to this stage! He he. Now the question, do I leave that bloom stem on or cut it off! Does it fall off on its own?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:36AM
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sunshine_qld

You will have to cut it off as it will not come off by itself.
All you have to do is wait for pups now.
I usually give my mums a small amount of fertiliser to help them along.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:59AM
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splinter1804

Hi everyone - I think that plant of mine only produced the three pups because it thought it was going to die. This was following an exceptionally cold winter (for here) and the plant suffered extensive cold damage.

I was debating whether or not I'd toss it in the bin it was so badly damaged, and I'd put it to one end of the bench and forgotten about it until I saw the pups emerging. I think it was the plant's one last valiant attempt to save itself from extinction. Isn't nature wonderful?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:02AM
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sunshine_qld

Broms are much hardier than we give them credit for.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:04AM
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janartmuse

I wonder if you should try growing some plants from those seeds? Wouldn't that be fun? As for multiple pups, there was a rather horrible but fascinating thread on this site I just looked at maybe yesterday. A title something like "Screwing my bromeliad". Apparently you can mangle the plants to promote multiple pups. i'd never do it, unless I had a plant I didn't care about and was simply curious. However, the triple pupping was probably from the cold winter stress, as I imagine being stabbed by a screwdriver or apple corer would be mighty stressful too! Anyway, i bet there's info from folks who frequent this site as to how to start them from seed. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:18AM
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petrushka

i thought punching was practiced on neos primarily?
i would try it if i had many broms outside - to get a lot of pups. i think quite a lot of people do it.
nev,
mind telling what is the pot size on this triple?
i wonder, if it's ok to plant 3 pups together to simulate the look? and what the pot size should be?
i can't find any info on how to determine the pot size for clusters.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:04PM
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sunshine_qld

It looks like a 140mm pot. No reason why you can't plant 3 pups in the same pot. I would use a squat pot though probably a 7 or 8inch. 180/ 200mm if you plant 3 together.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:55AM
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petrushka

i reuse mum-pots a lot (but not for broms) - they are wide and squat and totally holed out on the bottom. i love them, but i can't buy them, nobody stocks them. yah, i know...- ordering online is the only solution. they prolly will be just right for a clump?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:55AM
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naoh123

I want toss in another two cents on this thread. You might be over-thinking the potting. These guys are epiphytes, so they'll adapt pretty readily to wherever you plop their bases as long as you're giving them the water/light/nutrients they require. A lot of non-terrestrial bromeliads are potted up in standard potting mix like any other house plant because it's convenient for retailers, but the fact of the matter is you don't have to worry about pot-binding and crowding since the roots are just providing support.

My thought is this: pick a pot that is stable and sturdy, something that can't be easily knocked over, and make sure it has good drainage. As far as size goes just make sure it will be proportionate to the adult size of the tenants--again, this is more for stability's sake so that it doesn't become a top heavy setup just waiting to topple over.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:33PM
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splinter1804

Hi everyone.

Petrushka - Firstly to answer your question about pot size, that Vr. Splendriet of mine is growing in a 51/2" plastic squat pot the same as I grow the majority of my plants in.

I tend to agree with Noah, and we should never lose sight of the fact that in nature, brom's grow "ON" things such as trees and rocks and not "IN" things like pots. We cultivate plants in pots only for our own convenience and not necessarily because it's the best way to grow them.

Petrushka - regarding your question about well ventilated pots; if this is a requirement and you can't buy what you want, why not custom make it?

Just take a plain plastic squat pot of a suitable size and use a red hot poker (or something similar) to burn extra holes through the sides and the base of the pot. I did this regularly when I was growing Cattleya orchids and wanted more air circulation around the roots. Just make sure you don't put too many extra holes in the bottom as that already has holes and too many will weaken it.

I must also add that any information I post is based on what I have found in my own growing environment here in Australia.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:20PM
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petrushka

keeping them in small pots is very good news.
i just wanted to make sure i know what you guys recommend.
luckily i usually have enough mum-pots for now ;).
but sure, i perforate pots too, usually smaller sizes.
i also line my brom pots with cocofiber matting like for wire baskets, but i buy it by the yard - it is not as compressed as basket liners.
the matting allows for more air circulation around the sides of the plastic pot.
i also saw coco-matting pockets used for broms in bot garden's displays - but i can't use that in the apt.
but now i am thinking of using net-pots used for aqua-culture/ponds lined with coco matting and then positioned in a clay pot. i also have some oriental ceramic orchid pots with large slits on sides that can be used as cachepot with net-pot for pretty display indoors.

This post was edited by petrushka on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 13:28

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:13AM
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splinter1804

Hi everyone

petrushka - Firstly, what do you mean by "mum-pots", it's a name I'm not familiar with here in Australia.

The one thing you need to remember when asking questions on forums is that often the question is being answered by someone in another part of the world with growing conditions much different to yours and you must take this into consideration when using this information. The same applies to information you get from books; always look to see what country the author lives in....... Just thought I'd mention it.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:50PM
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petrushka

i know that some people here are in australia. or in california or fl , whatever...with very diff growing conditions but all very good for broms.
and i understand that most avid growers here are 'outdoors' growers. or at least they have a greenhouse for overwintering/growing, for example.
whereas i am in an apt in a hi-rise. so that imposes pretty severe limitations on me. and also supplies are quite limited, though i did break down finally and ordered some stuff online.
all right, since i can't grow them outside on trees or cork or in wire baskets i am trying to come up with some idea that will give them more aeration in a pot.
that might be a novel idea for outdoor growers here, but i put my blooming broms on the display in my living room :). so they need to look good and not leak on furniture.
i know , i know ..some of you think it's very amusing.
but i have now 4 healthy broms and i rebloomed 2. one of them is vriesea splendens, like OP. which is why i was posting here.
for now all of them did fine in just reg 6" plastic pots they came in. but i am thinking about other options too since i prefer clusters.
about mum-pots...- that's the pots they sell blooming mums in.
these are just like azalea pots - more wide then tall. and since they are water-wicked from below in greenhouses - they have lots of holes on the bottom. so better aeration.
i save the pots. i find them very handy for caladiums and begonias. and now may be large clustered broms? they are about 8" and squat.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:48PM
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janartmuse

Your apartment must be beautiful with plants! Your "mum" pots are probably just fine. I don't think the plants care too much so long as the pot is kindof small and you don't overwater. Those slot pots (the ceramic orchid pots) are handsome. I have a lycaste I put in one last month (It's also indoors. I have lots of stuff outdoors, but as much indoors, so approve of your plant filled apartment!). My only concern is how much more often I need to water the plant than I did before. I bought the pot because it was a lovely cobalt blue and I thought I might try it. I also need to water in the sink where I can let the water flood through and out, so am unconvinced these orchid pots are for me. As for potting medium, the last repotting I did of my various bromeliads I tried Black Gold cactus and succulent mix. I'd be curious what others think of that. It's very well drained, and for houseplants, which can sometimes get too much water when one is making the rounds, I thought this might be good for the bromeliads. I also potted up a load of young African violets in this same mix and they are thriving. (The orchids are in bark mostly). You should post your favorite picture of you caladiums, bromeliads, etc.! They must bring you a lot of pleasure!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:45AM
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petrushka

i actually have black gold cactus too. but i use it for like aloes. my AVs are in mg AV soil+perlite on wicks.
i think BG should be good for broms too, but i would cut it 30% with lava rock.
i post my pics mostly in houseplant forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: here's my cals last year in full glory

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:43PM
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