- Pups grow faster while attached to the mother plant than
they do when separated.
- When separated from the mother plant, small pups grow more
slowly than larger pups of the same plant.
- Fertilizing the mother plant after she is finished blooming
encourages pup formation.
- Vriesea, guzmania, and green-leaved tillandsia pups often
grow so close to the axis (stem, caudex) of the mother plant
that seperation is a difficult and risky process. However,
when the pups are near mature size, they can be separated
easily by pushing the pup downward and away from the point of
attachment. A larger pup will come away cleanly and well
callused so there is no danger of rot. No roots yet but
they'll soon emerge after the pup is firmly potted.
- Pups of variegated plants are sometimes poorly or unevenly
variegated or perhaps not variegated at all. As soon as it is
clear that a pup does not have the desired variegation, it
should be removed so that the reserves of the mother plant
will go to the remaining pups. Be aware, though, that
variegation does not always show up in a very small pup and
may only be perceptible after the pup has had time to grow.
- Pots may be turned on their sides so that the most
promising area for pupping (the area under the best variegated
leaves) is encouraged to develop pups. If some variegated
leaves are more desirable than others, that area should exposed to
- Don’t throw away that prized plant when all the leaves are
gone. The caudex or stem may still be able to produce new pups. The
caudex of some plants attains considerable size and contains a
large store of reserves. The pups produced may grow slowly but
they will mature. The Neoregelia ‘Gespacho’ (photo right)
mother plant, between the two pups, has only 1˝ leaves left
but several healthy shoot buds at the base of the plant are ready
to grow. One or two will make it.
- If a pup quills (grows as a tight tube instead of flaring out)
it may be best to remove it immediately and get new pups started,
making sure the humidity is adequate and washing the new shoots
with detergent if necessary in order to remove any secretions
which dry up and cause the leaves to stick together.
- The new pups often look quite different from the mother plant. The
characteristic markings of the mature leaves may not be apparent,
the color may be more intense, the leaves may even be different
from the later mature leaves. So if the pup doesn’t look
like its mother just give it time.
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