What is wrong with my bromeliad?

Sian87April 16, 2014

Hello everyone,
My bromeliad is not looking too healthy.. What can I do?
Thanks for your help!

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It looks like its dried out too much and is curling from lack of water. At least, that's my guess.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:08PM
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it looks like a guzmania - they need to be very warm (75F) and humid (70%) to grow well. but at least above 70F.
i see a pup growing too - so the old plant will naturally decline. not to say it should be declining as fast as it is doing now...
you should not allow it to totally dry out. but don't allow it to be wet either.
it likes a very weak 1/4 strength diluted fertilizer, but make sure it does not contain copper or boron, those are toxic to broms.
sprinkle some spring water (not tap) into the base of leaves - actually that's how you can water it, the water will run out into the soil.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Here is another photo. Should the soil ever be completely dry? It's completely dry now.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:55PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Fill a spray bottle with distilled water, set the brom in the sink and spritz the foliage (not the soil) every time you walk by the sink, as often as possible. It should look a lot better by tomorrow. It looks like it needs higher humidity than what it is getting.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:01PM
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the soil should never be completely dry.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Eventually the longer middle section will wilt away
Not as easy as it sounds when unsightly later in summer you could just hard cut most of the mother plant out of the pot but avoid cutting leaves off from the smaller pups
For now as suggested after misting the plant fill the inner middle leaves ( sometimes called a cup) for the smaller pups with water

Soil shouldn't be dry at any time usually what happens when I water them here is some water will spill into soil when filling cups, they do better in a moist soil not damp

Also you may want to set the plastic pot inside a slightly bigger than the pot drip/ humidity tray and remove it from the clay.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:49PM
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by the way, from the 2nd photo it looks like you have 3 pups going! that's very good. i would keep them as a cluster.
it would be a show, if you can make them bloom! temp over 75F is required for bloom - so you might need to put them outside. but beware - they burn very easily, take least amt of sun compared to other broms - so strictly bright shade.

This post was edited by petrushka on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 21:46

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:44PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Based on the last photo -- has the main plant bloomed before?

I'm guessing "yes" based on the center portion of the main plant. In which case, the withering of the main plant is likely perfectly normal. With most broms, the main plant dies after flowering. The process may take months, but there is no saving the mother plant after it blooms. It is just the natural lifecycle. Before that happens, however, broms typically produce a number of pups -- just as yours is doing.

Make sure to pour water in the leaf axils of the pups and mother plant. Watering the soil is not really necessary with Guzmania -- assuming this is what you have. With many broms (but not all - there are exceptions) the roots have little function beyond attaching the plant to a tree limb or other surface. Water uptake instead happens in the cup and axils of the plants.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 10:51AM
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