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Aechmea

Description

Grow in bright but filtered light as a house plant. Indoor perennial herb to 100 cm. They like to have moisture in the cup-like space of the whorl of leaves.  Do not overwater in the winter and remove dead leaves as necessary to maintain a quality appearance. It does die after flowering but often produces pups that can be transplanted.  If you would like to try to force the plant to flower place a cut apple near the plant and cover with a plastic bag for a few weeks.  Keep the plant out of direct sunlight.  The ethylene released from the apple should induce flowering.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Problems that occur with most houseplants like mealybug, scale, crown rot and leaf spot.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are purple or green and usually banded
  • Leaves are usually toothed
  • Inflorescence is scapose and pyramidal

Desired in interiors for the beautiful, long-lasting (months) inflorescence and the nicely marked foliage; the pyramidal inflorescence and the banded, toothed leaves help to differentiate Aechmea from Guzmania, Neoregelia or Vriesea; an epiphyte, this plant requires nearly no water at its base, but its central vase must be kept full and the water replaced periodically.

In indoor settings, this plant needs high light, dry soil and medium relative humidity (and the central vase kept full of water); offsets will appear at base after bloom fades and can be removed and started as new plants; no pest/disease problems.

SPECIES: A. chantinii has white and green banded leaves and an open inflorescence made of bright red bracts and yellow, white or blue flowers. A. fasciata has silver/green bands, rose pink bracts and blue, purple or red flowers. A. orlandiana has dark spines and banding/mottling beneath, red-orange bracts and yellow flowers with white tips. 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#container plant#interiorscape#winter interest#prickly#leathery#rough#unique#bromeliad#flowering houseplant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#container plant#interiorscape#winter interest#prickly#leathery#rough#unique#bromeliad#flowering houseplant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aechmea
    Family:
    Bromeliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico to Tropical America
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Broad
    Pyramidal
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Berry, red, ca 0.5 cm, rare.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Description:
    A dense pyramidal-shaped head showy, long-lasting, bracts with small red-purple flowers tucked in. Terminal, scapose, simple or branched, pyramidal. Blue-purple-yellow-red, small; bracts pink-red-purple, crowded at scape terminus, usually toothed.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Strap-like elliptic-oval leaves with black spines on the edges a rosette and have winter interest. Basal rosette, forming funnel-like central 'vase', simple, strap-shaped, generally toothed, generally banded with dark and light shades of green or purple.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants