Question: I was given a Bromeliad Rana as a gift about a year ago, how can I get the Bromeliad to bloom again? It’s been in the same pot for over a year, is that ok? Kathy, Atlanta, GA
Answer: The Rana variety is a Guzmania hybrid in the Bromeliad family.
Bromeliads cover a wide vareity of “monocarpic” plants from edible pineapples and Spanish moss.
What exactly a “monocarpic” plant? The short version – the plant dies after flowering.
This death may occur slowly, but during it’s passing your Guzmania should produce between 1 to 3 pups or offsets you can separate and grow on to flower again, given the right conditions.
Does the plant have pups? If so they probably are growing larger!
These pups can stay on the mother plant but it’s usually best to remove them once they reach about one-third to one-half the original plants size.
Once removed pot the plants up individually. Of course the next question is – how?
For starters, where the pup attaches to the “mother plant” remove the soil.
Once a pup reaches one-third the size of the original plant a gentle pull or tug is all that is needed to separate the two plants.
If the offset does not pull away easily cut the pup where it attaches to the mother plant. Before potting your new Bromeliad, let it sit in the open air (not in the sun) for a day. This allows the cut area to dry.
Using a mixture of peat moss and perlite pot up the bromeliad cutting into a small pot. Keep the soil mix damp and put the plant in bright light – no full sun or direct light. Keep the temperature over 65 degrees if possible.
Don’t expect the bromeliad to flower right away. It can take a few years for the plant to reach mature blooming size.
Once the plant reaches maturity you can force the plant to flower by placing the plant in a clear plastic bag and throw a ripe apple inside the bag for 7 to 10 days.
The ripe apple will give off ethylene gas and will help force the plant to flower. By the way that’s a great little plant science experiment for kids science class.
Don’t over pot the plant, give it lots of bright light and water regularly, Bromeliads are easy to care for.
If all the potting and work sounds too much to handle. Do nothing and enjoy the plant as is.