Alcantarea grass pups

rickta66(Brisbane)December 20, 2008

Gidday all,

I attended a really informative talk on growing Alcantareas by one of the local Alcantarea growers and I thought I would share some of the points presented on promoting grass pups.

1. To encourage grass pups - plant your Alcantarea high in the mix using skewers to support the plant.

2. Fertilise regularly using a combination of slow release fertilizer and liquid fertilizer.

3. A good Alcantarea seedling mix is one part perlite to four parts coir (coconut) peat.

I purchased some 15month old seedlings to practice with:

The plants that have been planted high in the mix have definately produced more grass pups - I have taken nine or so off the Edmundoi (don't use ice cream sticks as markers):

Alc.Brasiliana grass pups:



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thanks rick thanks for the info now i know how to look after the ones i brought. one question though why do they call them grass pups.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 5:50AM
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Yep it works all right...sounds like advice from the wonderful Bruce Dunstan of Stockard Nursery?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 6:16AM
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I think they are called grass pups because they look like some type of grass seedling.


Yes - it was a Bruce Dunstan presentation, I was reluctant to credit him because my recollection of it would not have done him justice.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 6:43AM
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Hi Rick - Thanks for the very interesting information you're kind enough to pass on to us.

Not having had any experience taking grass pups off a mother plant, I would have thought they would need to be much bigger before separation because they look so tiny and spindly at that stage and as the name suggests, they just look like "grass".

Do the same techniques apply to other plants which throw grass pups such as vrieseas? I have grass pups on a Vr. Ospinae and I was going to wait until they were about 4-5 inches high before I removed them or should I be removing them now at their present stage (about 2" high)?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 1:55PM
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The lady who sold me the Alcantareas said that the pups would be fine to take off when I did, they were probably around 25-30mm high. I have been misting them everyday for the last month or so and have not lost them yet.

Jaga suggested in another post to take them off around 50mm high, I think their survival rate depends a lot on your climate - it is nice and hot and humid here at the moment.

I have not had anything to do with Vriesea grass pups but I remember being told that they could be treated like Alcantarea grass pups once.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Good info there Rick...thanks. I've found that Alc's grown from grass pups tend to be quite prolific at producing their own grass pups, however, the production of grass pups typically slows down as the plants it's always good to keep a few going, espec Alc. imperialis Rubra as they do not produce 'normal' pups after flowering.

Nev, I have grown on a number of Vriesea grass pups...many Vriesea grown from seed produce grass pups that can be removed & treated just like Rick describes above. I tracked down an old post that relates to a group of Vr. hieroglyphica seedlings, & a few grass pups that I got off them. See the link.

Cheers, Andrew.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vriesea grass pups.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 7:49PM
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The grass pups grow to slow for me LOL...Even my neo moms that produce grass pups and the bloomed moms are heavily fed it still takes 4 years to get the plant big enough to do any thing with it...

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 9:00PM
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Thanks Rick and Andrew. I was particularly interested to learn of the recommended mix for the grass pups. I knew about keeping them planted high in the mix - Bruce has had great results for propagation that way. He also only places the slow-release pellets near the base where the roots will grow, rather than right to the edges of the pot.

Rick - your Alc. edmundoi are more likely to be Alc. extensa. In Australia, many extensas have been incorrectly sold as Alc. edmundoi and nahoumii.

BTW. Brom-nutter = Richard... Bromaholic = Shane :)


    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 3:34AM
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Shane, sorry for calling you Richard.


Thanks for the update, if I can keep him alive until flowering I'll let you know if you are correct:)



    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 3:47AM
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Fern_Freak(Northern Beaches Sydney)

Great info Rick. I removed my first grass pup 6 weeks ago. I planted into a brom orchid bagged mix and seems ok still. Ive got some A. Vinicolor im about to pot up so this is very handy to know. Thank you

    Bookmark   December 2, 2014 at 2:02AM
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Fern_Freak(Northern Beaches Sydney)

Any update if they were edmundoi or extensa 6 years later hehe. Im new here and going through all this awesome info!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2014 at 2:06AM
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