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Author Topic: Removing central pups from Vrieseas.  (Read 1186 times)
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splinter1804
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« on: October 15, 2016, 23:25:17 »

Hi everyone.

There was a question asked by a new grower on another forum about the removal of pups from Vr. splendens and as no one else had responded I did, even though my experience with Vrieseas is minimal.

This was what I wrote in part, “The best time to remove pups is when the weather is starting to warm up such as spring time; if pups are taken in the winter they tend to “sulk” and not grow until the warmer weather arrives and during this time while they are in limbo, they are more vulnerable to rot from various causes. This is particularly important with pups from Vr. splendens and other plants bred from it, such as Vr. ‘Splenreit’ and Vr. ‘Splendide, as these plants are quite “cold sensitive”.

Most bromeliads produce pups from the base of the plant where they are easy to access, however some plants (such as your Vriesea splendens) produce pups from the centre of the plant which I have found makes them difficult to remove without removing a lot of leaves and virtually “wrecking” the Mother plant.

Personally, I prefer to let nature take its course with the Mother dying off naturally as the pups continue to grow and take over the space. This is the way it happens in habitat and in my opinion, is the safest way to go. The Mother will look untidy as the leaves start to die, but her appearance can be improved if the dead leaf tips are trimmed off to the same shape as a healthy leaf tip. Nothing looks worse than a leaf just cut straight across and it seems to attract attention whereas if it is trimmed to the shape of the other leaf tips, it will be hardly noticeable.

I had a plant of Vr. ‘Splenreit’ which had three pups which I chose not to remove; and they just grew and grew as the old Mother plant declined until it eventually died and the pups were then almost adult plants which soon filled the space left in the pot by the dead Mother. When the pups reached maturity the three of them all flowered and made a beautiful feature plant (See pic. below) which added colour inside the home for several months. Using this as an example, in the case of your Vriesea splendens, I think you would be best to leave the pups on the plant and let Mother Nature take her course.”

Apart from what I answered above, I also have problems trying to remove pups from my clone of Guzmania sanguinea which produces pups from the centre as well.

Does anyone on this forum have experience with the removal of pups from these types of plants that pup from the centre? I thought maybe John could have some good advice as he seems to be the “Vriesea Man” of our little group.

By the way, I heard from Conrad the other day and he’s soon able to start back at work again, something he’s looking forward to very much.

All, the best, Nev.


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Kayleen C
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2016, 11:36:01 »

Nev I have a Guzmania sanguinea that I have to take pups off. Might take it along to one of our workshops when the pup is big enough to remove. I Know I have seen it done bit it was a while ago and I think the outer leaves were taken off to get the pups off. Not even sure what plant it was now.
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2016, 18:37:26 »

Good question Nev. I have been growing my Vriesea glutinosa for several years and have built up my stock from the original 1 plant to about 20. This was slow and as each plant only gave me 1, 2 or seldon 3 pups, it has taken quite a while.

This is the method I use.

If the plant produces only 1 pup, leave it to grow within the mother plant. It will not be a show plant, but I have found that once the pup has flowered it does produce more than one pup.

When the mother plant produced 2 or more pups, I leave them to become quite string and large. Then using a sharp knife and a hammer, I insert the knife in between the plants (usually the center of the old rosette), and use the hammer to cut down the old stem from the top to the bottom. I remove some of the mother plant leaves and then plant the pup into a new pot. Glutinosa is a large plant and the stem is quite hard. Smaller plants will not require the use of a hammer, but skillful knife use would be required.

Unfortunately this method obliterates the mother plant and you cannot get any more pups from it as you can from most other Vrieseas.

The next time I do my dividing, I will take photos.

Conrad
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splinter1804
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2016, 21:21:47 »

Hi everyone.

Conrad - Good to see you back again and I think your idea of some pic's on how to remove these difficult pups would be great.

If you take  enough of them I could probably make a Power Point Presentation to show at one of our meetings.

All we need now is for a plant to oblige by producing some central pups.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 07:59:53 »

I do have a plant but don't separate mine normally. This conserves space. In the past I have done it a few times and as Nev points out its about now. So the pups do need to be a good size and when you cut them off you need to take as much as the mother plant with each pup that you can, yes the mother will be decapitated! if its more than 1 pup. With Vr splendreit there is a change of getting more pups from the lower leaves if the pups are at the top to start , but as you can see this various as the example below has 2 pups from the base. Vr elata is a classic case of pups from the top and in my case so far its only replaced its self. A lot of guzmania also do this. I have been told once they start flowering to give them a big dose of nitrogen that way the plant generates a few pups.

John.

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splinter1804
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 01:39:28 »

Hi everyone.

John - Giving the plants a big dose of nitrogen once they start flowering makes a lot of sense as it would compensate for all of the nourishment being taken from the Mother plant for the new inflorescence, and adding supplemented food at this stage could certainly help boost pup production. I haven't done this but it's certainly worth a try. ........................Never to old to learn.

All the best, Nev.
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 04:37:30 »

Nev, I do fertilize the neo's this way but there is a limit as the pups also take on that supply of grunt.

John.
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 20:37:45 »

Hi everyone.

John - I only feed the Mother with a double dose of fertiliser after flowering if I want extra pups; as space is a problem now, this doesn't happen unless it's a plant that's really special or rare in our area.

In the past, I've done the thing with Osmocote prills in the lower leaves as I've mentioned before, but just to satisfy my own curiosity.

I’ve always under-fertilised if anything, and always with a fertiliser that’s higher in Potassium than Nitrogen as find this maintains better foliage colour.

I saw the result of excess nitrogen on Neo’s when a friend over-fertilised with a high nitrogen fertiliser and the leaves on the plants in question were long and thin, very dark green, devoid of other colour and inclined to droop; for this reason have always stayed away for high nitrogen fertilisers.

All the best, Nev.
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 23:11:06 »

Hi All.

I have a plant ready for dividing of Vriesea glutinosa. It has 3 pups. But you will have to be patient for a while. It is currently raining here and I am also going back to work on friday. Light duty though. Once the sun is out I will divide it.

Conrad
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splinter1804
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 21:37:19 »

Hi Conrad - That's great news that you're going back to work and although it’s on light duties, it's a very important part of the treatment and rehabilitation process.

So keep improving mate; but don’t overdo it.

I’m sure we are all looking forward to seeing your pictures on the removal of difficult pups when the weather improves and you are feeling up to it.

All the best, Nev.

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chefofthebush
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 16:27:58 »

Hi Everyone. At last an almost sunny day without rain and my pain meds not strong enough for me to be in bed. But unfortunately it did effect my focusing – with the camera, that is. (Please excuse where applicable) 

How I divide those big hard Vrieseas.  The plant I am using is Vriesea glutinosa.

A couple  of before picks.

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Some delicate tools for a delicate job!

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Remove all the soil from the root ball.

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Pull off all the mother plants leaves up to the point where the pups are visable.

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Remove most of the roots from the stem.

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Remove the old spike and remaining central leaves if any.

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Now do an assisted cut (using the mallet to get into the wood) and cut, between the pups, only a third of the way into the stem. Do this between each pup.

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Now split them apart. Not difficult. The one on the right is the central old spike and a few leaves.

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Remove some of the old stem if attached to a pup. This is to help it fit into a pot.

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Now pot up as usual.

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Add water, give some of Conrad’s secret patented mystery formula fertilizer; wait 15 minutes and……

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Happy dividing!

Conrad
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splinter1804
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2016, 23:24:53 »

Hi everyone.

Conrad – Thanks for the great tutorial you’ve given us here.

They say a picture paints a thousand words so I guess you’ve written a very accurate story which I’m sure will help many inexperienced growers who lack the confidence to tackle such a task.

It’s a great example of minimum words with maximum pictures to explain a process, and I’m sure people seeing this will now be more inclined to attempt this awkward operation rather than leave it in the hope that someone else will do it.

Not having much experience with Vrieseas myself, I was once told that it didn’t matter if you broke off all the roots when dividing Vrieseas as long as some of that black fibrous material (indicated with the red arrow on picture below) remained, as that was part of the dormant root structure. Can you, John or anyone else please confirm if this is correct?

Once again, thanks for sharing the great series of pic’s with us.

All the best, Nev.

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chefofthebush
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 13:20:58 »

Hi Nev,

My observation is that these are extra thickened vascular bundles that run from the growth point down in the stem and could even become roots. The constancy of these fibers are similar to the roots. They are even spread around the stem and surrounded by the pale softer tissue. They give the overall strength to the plant.  They seem to act as support columns supporting the often heavy spike of 1.3 meters as with glutinosa.

Conrad
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 13:58:02 »

Good job Conrad. You make it look easy. Would you mind if I was to reprint this with the photos for our club magazine please?

Also I will have a kilo of Conrad’s secret patented mystery formula fertilizer please.  Cheesy Cheesy
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 05:23:31 »

Kayleen you are welcome to use whatever photos I have put on the forum. The least I could do for my friends!

Conrad
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