Last month our local Lowe's had a lone basket of broms drastically reduced from $34 to $8. The bloom stalk on this one was dried up so I cut it back and wondered who might be able to ID it by the foliage?
Looks like Vriesea spendens or maybe one of it's hybrids. If so, it's an "upper pupper" meaning that the often lone pup comes up right in the center of the old plant. I agree with peg, to leave the center dry.
Thank you, Dave. An "upper pupper" it is and now has one that's about 4" tall. Just curious what an appropriate size it should be to remove it and what's the best method? Or should I leave the plant alone? Is this one where the mother completely dies back?
Since the old leaves will interefere somewhat with the ability to make new roots (since the "stem" is elongating), I would remove any leaves that are mostly dried/dead. The safe way to do this - and this applies to many tropicals whose lower leaf sheaths wrap almost all the way around the base - is to split the leaf in half right down the middle, then gently pull one half of the leaf away from its center to the side. (Sounds confusing huh..) Since Bromeliad leaves have parallel"veins" just take a knife and make a slit at the leaf tip and split the entire leaf in two.
I've been meaning to post this simple technique here in a series of pictures - maybe this will incent me to do it.
Oh my goodness, I have never heard of an upper pupper. I have one similar to the rescue pictured above, I am going to run right out and empty the throat, I had been watering it like the other broms. THANK YOU
Poor writing on my part. I should have said, "...pull each half of the leaf away from the center cut to the side." The leaf will split all the way to its base and easily come off in two pieces.
I wouldn't worry too much about the center rotting. These are rain forest plants and the "tea" that forms inside the cups in nature is pretty yucky. Its a mix of rain water, bugs alive and dead, bug droppings, dead leaves, etc. That's mother nature's way of fertilizing them.