My belated Valentine's 'Bromeliad'(pics)

Lamora(4)February 23, 2012

Hi all! My DH got this on the spur of the moment. (he actually rememebered that I said I wanted some plants with a bit of color!!) So this is my belated Valentine's plant.

I looks a bit tilted-- is that ok? or should I try to get it straight up.

I hope it will be ok.. after he got home he mentioned it looked a bit heavy.. he wants to prop it up. I told him to wait to see what you all said-- ;)

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Morning Lamora,
Very nice Bromiliad. Is the top purple or pink? I've seen pink, but never purple. Very pretty..
Guess your DH accepts your new hobby? lol

Lamora, do you know how to keep Bromiliads going? Toni

PS: Belated, Happy Valentine's Day! :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Hi hopeful-- Not sure if DH accepts my "hobby" or not, yet. But he is willing to put up a lighting system for me if I need it.. and he got a shelf out for them just now. (It was in the bathroom-- not sure what he did with everything that was on it-- almost afraid to look!)lol

It is pink on top-- such a fine line between pink and purple, isnt there, (light purple or dark pink?) It had one purple flower on it when he came home with it, but it is gone now. :(

Been looking up on the care-- kinda confused about the lighting tho, some say direct sun and others say indirect. The little tab that came with it said bright light all day. is that sunlight?

And the watering too, read one site that you need to water "every day"? Plus from what I am reading, you mainly water in the base of the plant (inside the leaves?) and only water the soil rarely. The soil is wet to the touch right now, from the store. It is much smaller than it looks in the pics. The plant itslef is maybe 6" tall

So yea-- I have a few questions-- again. I went to the Bromeliad forum, didnt see much there to help me. But I didnt ask either. This is my first "home" :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Lamora, are you sitting? Don't panic. :)

Once a Bromiliad starts flowering, it's on its way out. In other words, it's dying.
The original flower is long-lasting...up to 8-months.

But, Bromiliads will last forever with some work, and well-worth the effort.

As a Brom blooms, pups/offshoots appear.
Look at your you see offshoots?

When pups are half the size as mom, they need to be cut off w/roots, then potted in the same size pot mom was in. Number of pups vary.
My A. fasciata had 8 pups. When pups were half mom size, each were cut, then potted in individual containers. I kept one and gave remainders to friends.
It took 2-yrs before blooming, but I was SOOOO happy. lol.

At this point, your Brom can be placed anywhere. Pups are a different story. They need, at the minimum, bright light to grow and flower.

Mom doesn't need fertilizer..just water.
Some people add a couple drops of water in the vase, others water soil. I watered through the vase.
Broms will rot if soil is too wet.

Any other questions, please ask..Toni

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 2:06PM
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hopeful-- no offshoots :( does this mean I shouldn't get too attached to it? (too late) I dont want to give up on it yet, why would it die so soon? I thought that the flowers meant it was getting ready to open up. or am I misunderstanding that too..

I went to where my DH got it and there were at least 5, about the same size, they all had flowers on them, does that mean that they are all bad? Is there anything I can do for this one? I really want to keep it.

Please advise.. Im getting sad now.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Lamora, you're panicking! :)

Your Bromiliad will be around a long time.

In your post before the last you said a purple flower was fading?
Brom flowers are long-lasting. Perhaps one flower opened, but they'll be more to come.

Give it time. My Brom took 4-5 months before pups grew. Now it has four.

Some Broms take longer to produce pups than others.

Usually, Broms are sold in bloom. People buy the plant, then toss afterwards like they would cut flowers.
They either don't know or care Bromiliads live on many years.

Sorry, didn't mean to make you feel sad. I only mentioned it so you'd know what to look for and do before mom dies. Don't want you thinking you killed it. I'm really sorry.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 4:20PM
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after thinking about it-- it makes since in what you said. and feeling sad-- im just a little over-emotional lately, lack of sleep does that to me :/ sigh

I will keep it and hope to see a offshoot soon, but I aint giving up hope :) (hope is all I have ;)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Lamora, you're talking to a fellow, 'female' insomniac. lol. 4 hours sleep per night is getting to me, too.

I looked at the flower on your Bromiliad again. It's young and fresh.
If you look closely, little, purple buds are hidden. At least they look like buds from my end.
This is a guess, but I say your flower has, at least, five-months. Possibly more.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 6:13PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Lamora,

Let me try to clarify something abt your new Bromeliad (very pretty, nice gift to you).

Toni may or many not know this (& is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong) but I believe the upper part of the pink bloom that has all those individual segments (for lack of a better word) is a 2 part thing. If I recall correctly, EACH SEGMENT will sprout a purple flower & they bloom one at a time, so I believe that's how it could be that they'll be in bloom as long as Toni suggests.

So pls. no need to be sad, especially abt such a lovely gift as this, enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Hi Karen. Perhaps you were writing when I posted to Lamora, "If you look closely, little purple buds are hidden." Last post.

Meaning, each bud will become a purple flower.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:20PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry Toni, you're right, I see it now, yes, we must have been posting around the same time.

Anyway Lamora,

Toni & I agree that you'll have lots more little purple blooms to come!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:34PM
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hopeful-- 4 hrs -- sounds about right. I love my DH, BUT! He is very restless and snores! (almost 35 yrs now, you'd think I would be used to it by now-- :/sigh) plus--If only I could find that "off" button to my brain-- that would help too!

so-- back to the plant--it will basicly stay the same as it is then? I was kinda hoping it would open up, but its ok either way. :)(i may be thinking of another plant all together)

this plant sounds like it will be sooo purtty!! to bad they won't all bloom at the same time, that would be too kool! Thanks for the heads up tho. Would it hurt it if I took off the dead flowers?

DH wants to know what will happen to the mom part of it, will it fall off? just die to where i need to cut it off? what will happen?

All I can find is how to care for it-- not what will happen to it later on.

anyway-- thanks for the info- I feel better now. :)

p/s is it ok for it to be "leaning" to one side like it is? should we try to brace it up straight? just wondering is all :)


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:54PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I wouldn't brace it, perhaps just turn it to the opposite direction, as it may be turning to the light.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Lamora,

I just wanted to say that your DH did a fine job picking out a beautiful flower for you on Valentine's Day!!!

Congratulation on having a keeper!!!

He did a wonderful job on that beauty!!!

i hope you have lots of beautiful flowers blooming for you for a long time to come!!!

How sweet of a gift!!! : )

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!!! I'm still enjoying my Chocolates!!! : ) YUM!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 12:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You have a Tillandsia cyanea, a favorite species of bromiliad. Knowing the specific kind you have is essential to being able to care for it properly.

Bromiliads comprise a very large family, and like all families, the members have some broad similarities as well as significant differences. Think about it...when you look at your own siblings or your offspring, do you wonder what planet they call come from?

Unlike other bromiliads, I'll recommend that you investigate methods to secure your "Pink Quill" (common name) in that pot. Growing in a potting medium does not come naturally to Tillandsias and this one is no exception. It would have been fine and happy if planted in something like an orchid mix.

Epiphitic bromiliads such as tillandias are often called 'air plants'. That is because they live up in the trees or cliffs and collect moisture and necessary nutrients in specialized hair-like cells called trichomes. Trichomes, for epiphytes, can be located all along the leaves but especially towards the middle. The foliage is adapted to steer any rain or even condensed mist towards the center.

Get a plant mister and some distilled water. You will simply need to keep the mister filled with water and spray your plant thoroughly every couple of days. Watering and feeding at the roots is far less important than the frequent foliage misting. Yes, the plant will need fertilization which is also accomplished by misting. Never use fish oil or other such fertilizers on your plant, but a simple, water soluble product that yo can mix at a very low rate.

By the way, most bromiliads are purchased for the colorful bracts surrounding what are usually insignificant blooms. The spike you are disappointed in IS what this bromiliad is all about. You could look a pictures of a hundred flowering bromiliads and the story is exactly the same: the colorful, exotic part we are all attracted to are modified leaves surrounding the flower....they are called bracts. Many different plants have very colorful bracts that disguise the puniness of their floral display. Poinsettias and Dogwoods are two that pop into my mind immediately.

It is unlikely that you will ever see more than one or two of those bright little florets emerge from the bracts. I'll link you to the google images page so that you can see a few gazillion examples just like yours.

Enjoy your bromiliad while it is blooming. Who knows how long this period might last, since your plant was artificially forced to bloom. It might be several months! Towards the end of the bloom period, you may begin to see small divisions at the base of your plant. Allow these to grow a bit before carefully excising them carefully from the mother plant.

The collecting of bromiliads is a HUGE pasttime. Part of that reason is that the family is so diverse. We have to research the requirments of each new plant we bring into the collection, as the care requirements are likely to be unique from others. But they aren't for everybody, that's for sure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Other 'Pink Quill' bromiliads just like yours!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:54AM
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My God, I feel like the voice of doom. :(
Lamora, I didn't mean to make you feel bad..Your Brom is beautiful and it was nice your dh presented you with such a wonderful gift on Valentine's Day.

Rhizo gave a fine explanation and posted a link that will answer your questions, 'Hi Rhizo.'

Laura, you and your candy..Ever since you mentioned chocolates, I've been craving sweets. :)
What type of chocolates did you get? It's been years since I've had chocolate, especially creams in a heart-shaped box..

Rhizo. Pink Quill. Now there's a word from the past. I haven't heard the term in years. Pink Quill certainly fits the description. :) Toni

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:51AM
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rhizo- thanks so much for the info and link. I will put it to practice.

hopeful-- you didnt make me feel bad at all, you were just saying it like it is.. I like that.

I'm just going to keep it as well as I can and see what happens. Even w/o the flower part, I like the leaves, so as long as they are going well, I'm going to keep it. but from the sounds of it, I should have it for a while.. :)

Thanks again everyone, knowing me I will be asking again about something...


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:09PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone!!!

LOL..Toni!!! Yes, i do love Chocolate. This is my weaknest and my "sweetie" does a wonderful job with my love of Chocolate. I try and only have a few favorite is the Lindt, Lindor Milk and White Truffles.

Makes my mouth drool at the thought. You asked!!! LMAO!!!

I dont get them very often, but he does like to give these to me for Valentine's day!!! "He is a keeper.." : )

Hope you are well! Love all of the beautiful pics here and at the forums... its so nice to see color this time of the year!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 12:07AM
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