When a Bromeliad is mature, it may come into flower. Flowering time for Bromeliads is never certain, but usually occurs when the plant is a certain size and during a particular season. The flowering season is different for every species, and there are Bromeliads in flower every month of the year at Exotica. No one season is any better than another.
Some Bromeliads are very reluctant to flower, even when full size. This is due to a number of factors, but the most common is temperature. At Exotica, we can't always rely on natural flowering, so a trick is used to make the plants flower. This trick was discovered in the Pineapple (the most well known Bromeliad) plantations of Hawaii. Some observant person noted that, whenever the maize and corn stubble was burnt off in the paddocks surrounding Pineapple fields, that about 4 months after the smoke cleared, the Pineapple plants would fruit en masse. Eventually it was realised that the ethylene in the smoke caused these plants to flower. Once this was known, the technique was tried with success on other Bromeliads. Now, modern Bromeliad nurseries use products which produce ethylene gas in the vases of the Bromeliad plants. These cause no long term effect on the plant, other than triggering it to flower.
The technique can be used in the home garden also. Just select a mature plant, place it in the shade. Next to the plant, place a banana skin or piece of apple. Then cover the plant and fruit in a plastic bag. The fruit gives of ethylene gas as it decays, triggering the Bromeliad to flower. After 3 days, take the bag and fruit away and return the plant to its' former position. All going well, it should flower in about 3-4 months.
Most, but not all species of Bromeliads produce offshoots, these are called pups. Usually they are produced near or after flowering. The flowering period of Bromeliads can take from several weeks to several months. After flowering, the flowered plant (called the Mother plant) usually dies. This can take from between 1 to 3 years, depending on the species and how well it was grown.
For further information see our book:
||BROMELIADS FOR THE CONTEMPORARY GARDEN
This sumptuous book has been written for all gardeners who love gardening with Bromeliads. Masses of information on landscaping with Bromeliads, in shady or sunny gardens, as epiphytes on trees or rocks, as greenhouse plants or in pots. Glorious photos of garden scenes complement the text.
More book information HERE