Reblooming Bromeliads: Your Questions Answered

Author: Melanie Dearringer30 Comments

Blooming, Care and Culture, Frequently Asked Questions

A few months have past since you received your bromeliad. The once beautiful inflorescence is fading. In fact, it’s becoming an eye sore. You may be wondering what to do with your plant now that the bloom is gone. What can be done to get your bromeliad to bloom again? Should you cut off the dying inflorescence? This post will answer some basic blooming questions so you know what to expect from your bromeliad. 

My bloom has faded. Should I cut it away?

Bromeliad in Bloom

-Bromeliad in bloom

The answer is yes. Bromeliad blooms can last for several months before they inevitably die off.  No amount of care will bring your spent inflorescence back to life. Aechmeas, Guzmanias and Vrieseas are examples of a bromeliad whose inflorescence require cutting after the blooming process.

To remove the exhausted bloom, use a sharp, sterilized blade and cut the flower stalk as close to the remaining foliage as possible without harming the rest of the plant.

Will my bromeliad ever bloom again?

Most bromeliads bloom only once in their lifetime. Before you run off and throw your bromeliad in the trash, it is important to understand how they grow. As bromeliads age, they add new leaves from the center. The addition of these new leaves makes it impossible for bromeliads that produce flower stalks from their center to continue producing them. They simply run out of room. Instead, bromeliads that have bloomed will begin to form offsets or pups. Pups are exact clones of the original plant. While it not possible for your existing bromeliad to bloom again, by properly caring for the pups you can enjoy your bromeliad’s blooms over and over. For more information on how to care for and harvest pups, check out our free Beginner’s Guide to Bromeliad Pups.

My bromeliad looks like it is dying. What can I do to save it?

Once your bromeliad blooms, it will only live for a couple more years. During this time, it will continue to produce pups as its way to continue its legacy. Bromeliads have a definitive life cycle. Fortunately, through vegetative propagation, bromeliads can be enjoyed for many generations.

Sources
Bromeliad in bloom photo credit: Geek2Nurse via http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladylong/85767069/
Bromeliads featured image photo credit: random letters via http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessiemoore/4027090017/

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30 Responses to “Reblooming Bromeliads: Your Questions Answered”

  1. carol says:

    Question: I have two bromeliads that I have put outside this summer. The mother plants leaves have turned white from the sun. The mother plant is still healthy and is producing “pups”. Do I cut off the sun damaged leaves or just cut the pups?

  2. admin says:

    @Carol – I would leave the leaves alone and wait for the pups to grow to the size explained above. After you cut the pups you can discard the mother bromeliad and start caring for the pups. Good luck!

  3. Dory says:

    If you place apples or other fruit in the soil or on the soil in the pot at the base of the plants will that encourage the pups to produce flowers?

  4. admin says:

    @Dory – You got it! As the fruit decomposes it will give off nutrients that will trigger the bromeliad to bloom.

  5. Alison says:

    You are the BEST! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I recently moved to a more humid area, and Bromeliads love it here. Now I have finally found a site to answer all my questions regarding the proper care for my new finds. My pups are half the size of their mom- looking forward to raising them properly! Sincerely, Alison

  6. Deborah says:

    Question: If a bromeliad has frozen, can it produce pups in the spring or should the entire plant be thrown out?

  7. Lynn says:

    What do I do with the Motherplants that have had s pup/s and now is straggly. Leaves have grown long and untidy.

  8. SHIRLEY says:

    WHAT KIND OF PLANTING MIX SHOULD I USE FOR REPOTTING

  9. Tammy says:

    will my plant bloom if i don’t cut the pups off?

    1. Debbie Adams says:

      I have a dark green variegated bromeliade that had a spear-like flower. I cut it out of the center and now three sets of leaves – pup-like in appearance are growing from the center. Will these new growths throw flower next year?

      1. Celeste Booth says:

        Typically pups will bloom in 1-3 years, depending on the type of bromeliad.

  10. Cynthia Stinnett says:

    This is a very helpful site. I am wondering, should I water the plants throughout the winter (plants are indoors) months as I normally would have while they were blooming? Thanks for any help.

    1. Susan O'Connor says:

      I just waqs given a a plant, how often or when should i water it? would it be better off on my lania or inside. i live in florida.

      1. Melanie Dearringer says:

        Do you know what kind of bromeliad you have? If not, check out our Bromeliad Identification Chart. Most bromeliads prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn bromeliad leaves.

  11. Petra says:

    I have read so much about Bromeliads on the net – all with differing information – I am totally confused and do not know what to do any more.

    My Bromeliad came a s a gift in a large square stone pot without drainage, the central plant has finished blooming and I cut it off (carefully) yesterday. The plant still has 3 good-looking pups of 8″- 10″ 12″ respectively.

    Big question: What do I do now?
    1. Do I leave the rest in the pot and water with guesswork?
    2. Do I take everything out and remove/ repot the pups – and in what medium?
    3. Is it healthy to keep the plant in a non-draining container (regardless of how pretty)?
    Help, please – I cannot bear to possibly loose a plant

  12. Renee says:

    Thank you very much for your informaion

  13. Toni Mccloy says:

    Could i use my bromEliads as cut flowers?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      You could, but keep in mind that your bromeliad will only flower once in its lifetime. It might be just as nice/nicer to leave them on the plant.

  14. NniX says:

    I was tRying to harvest a pup, & i broke it off at the base, w/out the root. W/rooting compound in soil, will it root like a succulent?

    1. Richard Harold says:

      Will the gazpacho bromeliad bloom more than just one time? can it be fertilized with the seaweed based fertilizer named mazsea 16-16-16 all purpose fertilizer? if when at what frequency?

      1. linda tenbrook says:

        I have a Beautiful yellow bromeliad almost 2 ft tall
        Never saw pups
        Now no change yellow turning brown in middle can i save it?

        1. Terri C. says:

          My bromeliad did not produce any pups. the flower is fading in color & the leaves are starting to curl so I believe the mother plant is nearing the end of its life. What would cause it not to propagate with pup(s)?

  15. what is the difference between the more florally looking bloom and the straight up (red) looks like a feather bloom…..can both be on one plant??

  16. Karen says:

    Can anyone tell me how to mosquito-proof bromeliads

    1. Melanie Dearringer says:

      Be sure to flush the central tank of water regularly. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

  17. Alexia says:

    My bromeliad lost all its leaves and the bloom is faded and dry. Should I remove the bloom at the base of the plant? If I remove this, not much of the bromeliad will remain. I’m afraid that it may be dead. Do you think there is still a chance to save it?

  18. Jørgen Jakobsen says:

    I have a Vriesea splendens, it seem to reproduce itself but never throw more than 1 pup, is this normal or could you inform me of how I can encourage it to give more than 1 pup

  19. Jill says:

    My bromeliad pup is growing sideways and is bent how deep should I plant it?

    1. Celeste Booth says:

      Hi Jill, it will not need to be planted deep. If it’s at least 1/3 the size of the mother plant you can remove and repot it. Here is our post which will go over more details of bromeliad pups.

  20. stephanie marshall says:

    My bromialaid is still closed it produces small flowers out the sides but only 1 at a time then it does then few days later another one appears in dif Part I’m confused HELP

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