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Bromeliad cuttings: tear the shoots


How do you propagate Bromeliads?

The tricky thing about a Bromelia? You can only cut this plant if it has made babies. Is this not yet the case? Then there’s some good news! Because a Bromelia (in most cases) only makes babies when it is going to die itself. So your Bromelia will last for a while. Just like other flowering plants like the Anthurium, the Bromelia is a real eye-catcher.

The babies of the Bromelia usually grow as soon as the plant is in bloom. If there are no babies, you can still enjoy the Bromelia for a while. Has your Bromelia already made babies? Then you can easily cut them!


  • Bromelia
  • A clean and sharp knife
  • Flowerpot with fresh soil
  • Optional: cutting powder

Everything you need to know before taking cuttings

Do babies grow next to the mother plant? Water the calyx once a week. Keep this up for 2 to 3 weeks.

The water makes the cutting grow its own roots faster. This will make the cutting grow faster, it will become stronger and the difference will be smaller after loosening it. This makes a difference when you remove the cutting from the mother plant!

Propagate a Bromelia in 4 steps

1. Excavating the Bromelia

Before you can really go cuttings you grab all the essentials together. The cutting of the Bromelia does not start directly with a sharp knife. No, on the contrary!

First dig out the Bromelia well. Both the mother plant and the cutting. It’s best to remove the plant from the flower pot and remove some potting soil. By digging out the plant and the cutting you’ll reduce damage to the roots, the cutting itself and the mother plant.

2. Crack to cuttings

You propagate a Bromelia by tearing the plant in parts. You grab the cutting and the mother plant tightly, and carefully pull them away from each other. Isn’t this direct?

Then use a sharp and clean knife. With the knife you can cut the cutting of the mother plant. Whatever you do, do it carefully! Do not pull the cutting from the mother plant. There are still roots that connect both plants.

3. Loosening potting soil

It is important to separate the roots of the cutting from the mother plant. Since you had taken the plant out of its flowerpot anyway, you can easily keep the plant under the tap. It is best to use lukewarm running water for this. This loosens the potting soil, so you can easily take the roots apart.

4. Applying cutting powder

Did you get the roots apart? Then you have successfully stung the shoot! We recommend applying cutting powder after cutting. For both the mother plant and the cuttings it is best to apply cutting powder to the ‘open wound’. Let the powder dry well. The cutting powder stimulates root growth. This allows both plants to recover faster. To be sure, it is best to provide the mother plant and cuttings with a new flowerpot. Choose a flowerpot that is at least 20% larger than the previous one. Lay a layer of hydro grains at the bottom, and sprinkle a layer of fresh potting soil over it.

Taking care of the Bromelia

Give a little water immediately after cutting. Then keep the potting soil slightly moist each time. The water allows the roots to grow faster, making recovery quicker.

Be careful not to create root rot. Root rot occurs with plants and cuttings that get more water than they can use.

Place the cuttings in indirect sunlight. If you place the cutting directly on the windowsill it can burn the leaves. After cutting, the cutting is very sensitive. Too much sunlight should give the cutting all its energy to the burned leaf, instead of the roots. This is a shame, what this way the cutting itself can die.

You can read more about the Bromelia in our care guide.

Good to know: after cutting, the cutting can hang limp. This is not a problem! A cutting has to take care of itself now and that’s quite a big difference. The cutting just needs some time to get used to the new situation.

Make the Bromelia cut flower

Make the cuttings of a Bromelia bloom? There is (almost always) a successful process for that. Follow the step-by-step plan below and before you know it, the flowering has started:

  1. Place an apple on the calyx one year after cutting. Use a ripe apple, and make sure it is still intact. No strange dents or cuts! If the apple has an open spot this can cause mold.
  2. Close the cutting including the apple with a plastic bag.
  3. Leave the plastic bag in place for three weeks.
  4. Remove the plastic bag and the apple.
  5. Within 8 to 16 weeks the cutting will be in bloom!
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