Aechmea grow and care – epiphyte herbaceous Bromeliad of the genus Aechmea also known as Amazonian zebra plant, Aechmea perennial evergreen or cold annual used as ornamental cut flower, can grow in tropics, subtropical, mediterranean climate or indoor as houseplant and growing in hardiness zone 10b+ (some species less resistance to the cold and can grow in hardiness zone 11+ or 12+ .
Leaves color can be: green or purple with light or darker patch of color and can be variegate: green with white or purple with white, the leaves grow in rosette structure in elliptic to spear shape and sharp in the point with little spines all the edge of the leaves.
Flower color can be: purple, pink, red, green, orange, yellow or more than one color, flowers grow on stems in inflorescence variety of shapes.
Bracts shape can be like: cone, drops, round, spear and some spices with hive shape flowers and colors can be: pink, yellow, red, yellow, brown, green, orange, purple or more than one color.
How to grow Aechmea plant – growing instruction and care:
Well-drained soil, moist soil, warm climate, more than (15C 59F) can survive 10C but not recommend, better to use purified water or rain water, soil should be something light and enteric, because in the nature those plants are mostly air plants live on rocks or crock of tree or air roots in tropical forest with big amount of rains that keep the plants in humidity all time.
What is the best way to start growing? Plant / Seeds / Vegetative Reproduction
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction? No, but better to start from daughter plants
Difficulties or problems when growing: Mosquitoes that grow inside the leaves
Fertilizer: Better to fertilize by spray on the roots and the leaves better in the rosette base where the water lay, that needed to be in spray because in the nature nutrient arrive from the organic material that the fall down from the trees
Planting season: All year (in hardiness zone 10b better in the spring to summer)
Pests and diseases: Aphids, thrips, weevil, scale insect, mealy bug
Pruning season: All year
How to prune: Dead leaves and flowers (bloom stems)
Size of the plant: 30-80 cm, 12-32 inches
Growth speed in optimal condition: Medium growing
Water requirement: Small amount of water, need to put water in the middle of the rosette leaves, need humidity and moist, but well ventilated and well-drained soil, like in the nature big amount of rains and the plant that lay down on trees
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Half Shade better without direct light / Full Shade (with light), those plants like a lot of light but without direct sun, because the sun will burn the leaves and the flowers and leave on the burning marks
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? Yes, mostly it is easier to grow it as houseplants because it’s better to grow it outside the soil in pot like in a nature that mostly its epiphyte
Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers: Yes, because it’s an epiphyte it’s actually better to grow it in planter or even on cork, disconnect from the soil, if you choose to grow on cork or bark as need to keep with higher humidity and moist on the roots, better to cover it with a bark or something that will keep the moist in the roots.
Bloom season: Most of the year, but you can provoke the bloom in any season
General information about the flower: Purple, pink, red, brown, green, orange, yellow or more than one color, flowers grow on stems in inflorescence variety of shapes, like: cone, drops, round and more and some spices with hive shape flowers
How to grow Aechmea from seeds
Sowing requirement: Better to use fresh seeds, use peat moss (sphagnum soil), high humidity, light moist soil, 25-30C (77-86F) in the day and colder in the night, a lot of light
Saving and care seeds until sowing: Dry and dark location
Sowing season: End of spring to early autumn
How to plant: Put the seeds in sphagnum soil and keep it moist
Planting spacing: 3*2cm (1.5*1 inch)
Depth of Sowing: On the soil
Conditions for seeds germinate: Moist soil with high humidity
Watering requires for Seeds: Small amount of water (do not over water
Germination time: 1-2 month
Condition of seedling: The same as fully mature plant and need to transplant them to location without algae