Q. I have a Guzmania with 3 pups in the pot. What is the best way to separate them to repot separately?
Guzmania is a bromeliad prized chiefly for their flower heads, which may be either on tall stalks or on stumpy ones in the center of their rosette. The short-lived flowers are normally white or yellow, but the long-lasting bracts as well as the rest of the flower head may be a brilliant red or orange color. Propagation of offset is best done in spring time, when the offsets are 3-4 inches long. The ofsets should not be cut away until they have begun to take on the characteristic rosette shape. If removed too early, while still little more than tightly rolled tubes of leaves, they will not root,or else they will take an inconveniently long time to do so.Try to cut or pull the offset away at a point as close as possible to the parent plant.Insert each offset in a 2- to 2 1/2-inch pot of potting mix, and keep in bright filtered light, add water moderately. They will root in about six months, then move to a pot one size larger for each pup, and treat as a matue plant. Keep the mature rosette wet and water plant regularly. Rainwater or spring water is best for these plants. Since these plants have little root systems, 3- to 4-inch pots should be large enough. If a plant needs more room, move into a pot one size larger in spring. Give these plants a temperature of 65 degrees F or above, and not below 55 degrees. Give high humidily. Increase humidity by standing pot on a wet tray of pebbles, and mist-spray foliage every day. A good potting mix is peat based (common potting mix) and if possible add leaf mold for a rich nutrient blend.
Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service