While I was away in Texas for Christmas vacation, the veterans and the therapy assistant were experimenting.... (at my request!)
They put a ripe apple in each and every potted silver vase bromiliad from the greenhouse. Then a semi-transparent plastic bag was put over the bromiliad with the apple inside and twistie tied shut and put in one of the heated building away from the sun. The ethylene gas from the ripening apple was supposed to trick the bromiliads into setting flowers. I returned to work on the 5th of January but we waited until January 8th to remove the plastic.
No obvious buds or flowers as of yet, but I think I saw the beginnings of some flowers deep in the trumpet.
Do you think it will work? I really hope so!! This is the fun part of horticulture therapy... having more time than money and experimenting with stuff. Until I can get to my own picture of the bromiliads, here is one from Google: