Most Bromeliad plant growers depend on Bromeliad pups for more plants. Bromeliads can actually be grown fairly easily from seeds. Growing from seeds reduces the cost and allows for more variety of Bromeliad plants to be grown. Selling Bromeliad seeds can also be a source of income for a Bromeliad plant grower. A bromeliad plant takea about three years to go from seedling to mature plant.
Seeds can be purchased or harvested from Bromeliad plants. When harvesting your own seeds, remember they will need assistance to pollinate since insects and birds usually do it. Seeds are ready to harvest when the seed pod is lightly pulled and it is released.
The problem with Bromeliad seeds is that their viability is short. The shortest is the bromeliad seeds from the Tillandsiodeae Bromeliad family. Their viability is about 4-6 weeks. For longer seed viability, choose seeds from the Bromelioideae and Pitcairnioideae Bromeliad families. Any Bromeliad seeds viability can be lengthened with proper care and storage. To extend the viability of Bromeliad seeds you can follow the following guidelines:
For a container to grow Bromeliad seeds you can use plastic containers used to store food or a 2-litter bottle with the middle cut out (reduces the height and the top is removable). Both containers create a mini-greenhouse for the Bromeliad seeds to germinate in. Both containers will need drainage holes. This can be done with a thick nail that is hot enough to melt holes in the plastic. (Use safety guidelines and common sense when working with anything hot.)
Using sterile, soil-free potting mix, fill the container a little over half full. Dampen the mix; sprinkle the seeds on top (do not cover) and water. Using a fungicide in the water will increase the chances of success. Follow fungicide label directions. For chemical free germination, use a finely ground layer of sphagnum moss on top of the potting mix and then sprinkle the Bromeliad seeds.
Cover the container with the lid or top of the 2-litter bottle, except for Tillandsia bromeliad plant seeds because they need air circulation. Place the container where it will receive indirect, but very bright light with temperatures that are about 70-80 degrees F. Seeds will sprout in 10-14 days but may take as long as 6 weeks. If during that time you see the potting mix is drying out, set container in water to absorb water from the base.
For Tillandsia seeds, spread on a plastic screen (copper will be toxic to seeds) and set where air can circulate above and below the screen. Separate the seeds that may stick together. Mist regularly until the seeds sprout.
When seeds are strong and hardened they can be transplanted to individual pots. Hardening should be done by increasing air circulation around the seeds and by changing temperature, not by withholding water.
Growing Bromeliad plants from seeds will take a little effort but it will be worth it when you look at your blooming Bromeliad plant and know that you grew it from seed.
Useful Guidelines for Bromeliad Plant Care.