Plants are like children, they grow and in doing so they will need to be transplanted. While this process is simple, the bromeliad can have its own challenges. These range from the type of pot you use to the soil but taking these challenges into consideration will make your replanting project a success.
First, lets talk about soil and why your bromeliad cannot use just any soil. Bromeliads are from the tropics. In their native land, the soils are light and drain quickly. Common potting soil is heavy and retains a lot of moisture. While this potting soil characteristic is important, as far as bromeliad is concerned, it can mean death. To address this need, plant nurseries that specialize in tropical plants do have bromeliad soil and you could use this soil. Another approach is to make your own. While this does sound complicated, it really is not and it can really save you a lot of money.
To make your own bromeliad soil starts off with sand but not just plain sand. The type of sand you will need for this project is what is called Builder’s or course sand. This sand is heavy but it will not clump. This weight is very important since bromeliads tend to be top heavy.
The remaining ingredients include bark and peat moss. Once you have your soil ingredients, the next step is to combine the ingredients in the right proportions. For bromeliad soil, you will need one part sand, peat moss and bark. Mix completely and store in a sealed container until you are ready to use it.
Now that you have the soil, the next consideration is the container. The type of container you choose will depend on the environment your bromeliad is growing in. If you are growing it in a humid environment, plan on using a clay pot. Why, you may ask? Well, the reason is that clay is porous and since the environment is moist, it prevents allow excess moisture to leak out of the pores. On the other hand, if the environment is dry and/or heated, consider using a plastic container. Since plastic is not porous, the soil will remain moist longer. Regardless of what you pot is made of; make sure that it has a drainage hole.
Bromeliad plants themselves do not need transplanting instead their pups. A mature bromeliad will produce these pups after it blooms. Once the bloom is spent, the mature bromeliad will die. Before this happens, you will need to transplant the pups. To do this, remove the mature bromeliad from its container. Once that is done, pull off the pups or little bromeliads growing off the mature or mother plant. Place in a container that has been filled with the soil recipe. Water in as usual.
Moving your bromeliad indoors, take a look at this blog for hints.