How To Grow Tropical Bromeliad – Aechmea Fasciata

I have loved plants all of my life.   For a large portion of it, that meant indoor plants.  Now that I have a largish property, it means lots and lots of garden beds with perennials.

I don’t have much time to tend indoor plants, but I still like to have a few of them around.  They brighten up the house so much.

How to Grow Bromeliads - tropical plants with a flower that just won't quit!Last fall, I was shopping at Home Depot in the gardening center and had a look at the houseplants.  They had a lovely Bromeliad – Aechmea Fasciata in flower and I fell in love with it.   I did not think the flower would last long, bug for $16.99, I just had to have it.

Now, 6 MONTHS later, the darn thing is still blooming.  How about that sort of bang for your buck.  And not only is it still flowering but the bloom is setting off tiny babies around the center blossom, so I think it will be going for a while yet!

Incredible flower of the Tropical Bromeliad - Aechmea FasciataWhen I first got the plant, the flower was so incredible that I kept tugging on it to make sure it was real!  It is that beautiful.  But no matter how hard I tug, it is part of the plant, much to my joy.

If it were not enough that the flowers are so pretty, so are the leaves.  My specimen has lightly variegated and striated leaves that are very large. They start out green and then get the extra coloring.

Bromeliad Aechmea Fasciata - long lasting tropical plantThe plant name of this delightful beauty is Bromeliad – Aechmea Fasciata.   It is originally from tropical regions of Central and South America.  It is very easy to care for but not necessarily easy to get it to bloom.

  • Light:  The plant likes bright filtered light.  I have had it in my home in several locations, from a north facing window with an eave overhang, to a fairly dark room and also close to a south facing window but not in direct sunlight.  My experience is that the NC sun is too harsh for bromeliads, so I am careful not to give it too much sunlight.
  • Watering:  I water it about once a week, when it is dry about 1 inch down in the soil.  It’s very happy with this and will take a bit of drying out as well, if I forget to water it.   It needs more water in the summer months though.  Brown leaf tips are a sign that the plant is being left until it is too dry.  They also do well if the humidity is high, which is the main thing which our homes have a problem with, unfortunately.
  • Flowers:  Well…let’s just say I have never had a potted plant keep a single flower on it for 6 months.  Incredibly long lasting bloom.  It is best to buy one in flower, because they normally require green house conditions to flower.  Some Aechmeas will flower again and some will not.  It depends greatly on your care and the growing conditions.   The flower has purple bracts which wither quickly but the main flower still keeps going (just like an energizer bunny –  I just can’t get over how long they last!)
  • Bromeliad Aechmea Fasciata flower Weight:  Because of the nature of the flower, these plants are quite top heavy, so be careful where it is situated or you will have water all over your table if it topples over!
  • Temperatures:  Aechmeas like temps in the 65-75º range the best.  Definitely do not let it go below 32ºF.  They cannot take frosts.
  • Propagation:  The plant will send out “pups” at the base.   Remove the pups and plant them in well draining soil in bright light with warm temperatures.  Patience is required.  It takes about 2 years for a plant to flower from a pup.

Bromeliad "pup". Plant the offshoot for new plants

Have you tried growing Bromeliads?  What varieties do well for you?  Please leave your comments below.

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  8 comments for “How To Grow Tropical Bromeliad – Aechmea Fasciata

  1. Norman
    02/11/2015 at 11:05 pm

    I would like to know the best kind of dirt to use for my new bromeliad Aechmea Fasciata. I am very interested in learning how to grow this plant

    • admin
      02/12/2015 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Norman. Mine is ready to pot, so I have not used different soil, but bromeliads need soil that drains quickly and allow air to reach the roots since they are susceptible to root rot. Some of the soils designed for orchids or cacti would work but as long as you have good drainage any good quality potting soil should work. Adding one part small bark chips and one part peat-based soilless medium is also a good choice (similar to orchid potting mixes.)
      Carol

  2. Norman
    02/12/2015 at 10:18 pm

    Thank you so much for your information

    • admin
      02/12/2015 at 10:34 pm

      My pleasure Norman. Thanks for your interest in my blog.
      Carol

  3. Jen
    03/16/2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hi, I have an Aechmea that produced 3 pups that are ready to be re-potted. Since they have no root system when you remove them from their mother, can you place in water for the root system to form or should you put them directly into soil?

    Thanks,
    Jen

    • admin
      03/16/2015 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Jen, Either way will work. I’ve done it both ways. I prefer directly in soil, because if they do take, I find they end up healthier, bit is is easier to root them in water. Carol

  4. leana
    04/15/2015 at 12:30 pm

    First off i bought one too about 3 months ago and im still in awe over its beauty and resilience! I have one pup but when the pink flower eventually dies do you loose the whole plant or do you just cut the flower?will the blant bloom again?

    • admin
      04/15/2015 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Leana.

      Mine has not rebloomed indoors. They do outside if you have the climate for it (9 or 10). I have one big pup. I am going to separate it and repot it so I have two plants. That one should bloom and I can watch the other to see if it will too eventually.

      Carol

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