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Aechmea Plant Care Tips: A Beautiful Bromeliad with the Pink Flower

Bromeliads make wonderful houseplants & are great for beginning gardeners. These Aechmea plant care tips will guide you through.

close up of a pink aechmea bromeliad flower the text reads Aechmea Plant Care Tips: The Bromeliad With The Pink Flower That’s Easy And Tough.

Bromeliads have rocked my world for many, many years so today I’m sharing the love. I’m starting out with the Aechmea fasciata, aka Urn Plant or Silver Vase Plant, because this tropical beauty makes a great houseplant and is so easy to care for.  Beginning gardeners fear not, for this bromeliad with the patterned silver foliage and pink flower will have you singing “green thumb” in no time. These Aechmea plant care tips will help keep yours healthy as can be.

I started out my horticultural career as an interior plant technician maintaining plants in lobbies, malls, offices and hotels. Granted these aren’t the most welcoming environments for flowering plants native to the tropics and the subtropics but bromeliads really held their own. The Aechmea was the most common of all and their pink blooms long lasting. They made it into the pages of my houseplant care book Keep Your Houseplants Alive so you know they’re easy, and fabulous too!

Aechmea plant care tips:

Light:

Aechmeas like bright light, like near an east or west window. They need this exposure to bring out the variegation in their foliage & also to flower. They’ll do okay in lower light for a few weeks but if you’re growing 1 for the long haul, bright is best. Just be sure to keep it out of direct, hot sun because it’ll burn.

Water:

Aechmeas are epiphytes & in nature grow attached to other plants & even rocks. They get the moisture & nutrients they need through their foliage. It’s best to keep the vase, cup, urn or tank (the center where the flower arises out of) 1/4 to 1/2 way full of water. I’ve found that the center of the plant will begin to rot over time if it’s kept completely full, especially in the winter months. Be sure to flush out that vase every 1-2 months with fresh water so bacteria doesn’t build up.

I water the growing medium (letting the water thoroughly drain out of the pot) again every 1-2 months, depending on the temps. If your water is hard & full of minerals, then consider using distilled or purified water. Your Aechmea would welcome an occasional spraying of the foliage every now & then.

close up of the urn vase or cup of an aechmea bromeliad plant with a pink flower

Here’s a close-up so you can see the vase, urn or tank.

Fertilizing:

Aechmeas, like other Bromeliads, get their nutrients from matter which falls on them from plants above. For this reason it’s best to spray the fertilizer onto the foliage & the surface of the growing medium. You can use an all purpose orchid food, diluted to 1/2 strength, or this fertilizer formulated for air plants.

I’ve never fed Bromeliads because I found they really didn’t need it. If your Aechmea does, just be sure not to put too much if any fertilizer in the vase (the salts build up) & do the feeding in spring or summer.

an aechmea bromelaid plant with a large pink flower & a guzmania bromeliad plant sit side by side

Oh yes, the Aechmea hanging out in my bathroom with its fellow Bromeliad buddy, the Neorogelia.

Growing Mix:

Aechmeas need a mix which drains extremely well. They’ll grow fine in orchid bark or cymbidium mix. I’ve also used 3/4 orchid bark mixed with 1/4 coco coir. 

Repotting:

Aechmeas don’t have an extensive root system so yours most likely will never need to be repotted.

Propagating:

Aechmeas are easily propagated by the pups, or babies, which are produced off the mother plant. Here’s a big head’s up: the flower & stalk will eventually brown & die. Cut the stalk completely off.  You’ll see those pups will start to form off the base of the mother plant. The plant will slowly start to die (sad but true – it’s just part of its life cycle!).

You can just cut away the foliage of the mother plant after its completely dried & dead leaving the pups to form in that same pot. Or, you can remove the pups after they’ve reached  4-6″ & put them in a new pot. another option is to mount them on driftwood or bark.

2 aechmea bromeliad plants with pink flowers sit side by side

The reason this Bromeliad is so popular – the flower’s pretty in pink & blue!

Humidity / Temperature:

Average on both is fine. Just know that Aechmeas prefer good air circulation. I grew Bromeliads in my Santa Barbara garden just a few blocks from the ocean so they got a fair amount of moisture from the air. If your home is really dry, then mist your Aechmea once a week. I grow my Bromeliads outdoors in the shade here in my Tucson garden so I up the ante with the water in those uber hot summer months.

Safe For Pets:

I haven’t heard anything about these being toxic to cats or dogs. However, some kitties like to chew on their crunchy leaves so if yours does, you might want to keep your eye on that. It could make your cat sick.

Aechmeas make great houseplants and their large pink blooms can brighten your home for months. Are you going to give one a try?

Stay tuned because next week will be all about the Tillandsia cyanea, or Pink Quill Plant.

Happy gardening & thanks for stopping by,

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16 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great information on the Bromeliad Aechmea, I found a treasure at a Estate sale this past week end with about 8 or more plants, some blooming. All are in a 12″ tight plastic pot with hard packed soil & were in outside patio. I excitedly grabbed it up for such a great deal, a really spectacular plant.. I was encouraged that you have them outdoors in Santa Barbara, as we live in Morro Bay. I want to keep this one outdoors & is already acclimated. It is a huge set of plants and I want to transfer it into a bigger ceramic pot in my patio by our front door. It will get some morning sun, but only filtered sun in the afternoon. Since it is already use to our area I feel it should be fine. Before I move it I would love any tips or no-no’s you can give me. For instance, should I just transfer it with it’s dirt and all??. Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it. I don’t want to do anything that will hurt this beautiful plant..

  2. Hi Susan – I grew bromeliads outdoors for years when I lived in Santa Barbara. I planted them in pots & all in the ground. Bromeliads can rot out if keep too wet. They were in bright light. I always use coco coir, succulent mix & orchid bark as my planting mix for bromeliads because they’re epiphytes. Keep the cup or vase about 1/2 full of water. Hope that helps! Nell

  3. Greetings from Romania! I am sorry, but I do not understand the watering. I was offered this plant in a plastic pot with a plastic plate below it. Do I water the actual pot or do I leave water in the plate underneath, please? Thank you

  4. Hi! I bought a beautiful Bromeliad Aechmea for my house about 4 months ago. When I bought it was very healthy and the pink/purple flower was coming in strong. But I think it was ultimately just too dark in my home because over time the flower seemed to stop blooming, the leaves are drooping more than they should and where the leaves bend there are grey/brown spots. I’ve brought it into work so it can be in much better light. Is there anything else I should do to bring it back to it’s full life and help the leaves heal – or just give it time in it’s new home?

  5. Hi Mona – Greetings from Arizona! It’s best to water the growing medium in the pot once a month; a bit more or less depending on your temps & humidity. Keep the urn (cup or vase – this is the central part of the plant) 1/2 full of water & spray or hose the leaves every couple of weeks. This is explained in the video. Hope that helps! Nell

  6. Hi Lacey – Aechmeas bloom for 2-4 months & then their flowers die. After the flower dies, then the mother plant starts to die. They prefer good bright light (a medium exposure) but it sounds like yours is just going through it’s normal lifecycle. The one of mine that you see in this post & video has already died but 2 pups are growing off the base. Nell

  7. Curious about your opinion or experience on bringing them in during the winter. I just inherited an Aechmea, and it’s center has bloomed, died, been removed but main plant is still there (with 2 pups, a pup on each side of the “mother” plant). Will removing the mother Plant encourage the new pups to bloom, as they have not yet? Also, will bringing them indoors for the winter mess up the blooming cycle? I was told they won’t bloom if I bring them indoors- but I’m in mid-east Virginia, and have much colder winters than you do.

  8. Christy – It takes bromeliad pups 2 to 5 years before they mature & bloom. I’d leave the mother plant be for a while until the pups get bigger. And yes, you definitely need to bring it inside before the temps get below 40 – 45 degrees F. Nell

  9. ,Nell thank you so much for your advice on the Aechmea plants. I am amazed at the utter beauty of my plant which is really 8 plants in total and is giving up several pups now in various sizes. I am going to follow your advice and cut back the dying flower stems. Could you advise me how to split up several of the plants in order to pot them on. Thank you so much. p.s. I live in England’s Lake District. Ron.

  10. My pleasure Ron. I believe this post & video will answer you question: https://www.joyusgarden.com/propagating-bromeliads-how-to-remove-pot-up-bromeliad-pups/ Even if you don’t get a lot or any root, they’ve propagated just fine in succulent mix & orchid bark for me. Nell

  11. Hi, I bought a Del Mar years ago from Ikea. Probably about 8 Years ago. The main purple/orange flower died after sometime, leaving the green spikey leaves, they are still healthy, and lots more than there were originally, it has now even produced another lot of leaves at the base, sprouting from the side. Is it likely to flower again? Many thanks

  12. Hi Katy – The flowers of the Del Mar Aechmea are long lasting & beautiful. It takes the pups at least 5 years until they flower. They should flower again; it’s just a matter of time. Nell

  13. Hi Neil! Thanks so much for all this useful information! I will take care of it this way from now on! I purchased a Aechmea with a pink flower back in October and about a month or two ago the pink flower turned brown (there are still blue now turned pink little pollen(?) things). The person in the shop didn’t know the name or the care instructions :-/ so I’m very pleased to find your video! Will relocate it back to an east window (currently in a north) and water it in the urn(haven’t ever :(.
    Thanks again! I look forward to learning more from you!!

  14. Oh great Anastassia – so glad this post helped! Here’s our bromeliads category for your reference: https://www.joyusgarden.com/categories/#bromeliads Nell

  15. Hi Nell, my two pups have been in separate containers since last summer. I have cared for them all winter inside according to your instructions, but neither is showing any sign of blooming. Does it take longer than six months?

  16. Hi Sharon – Yes it does. It takes anywhere from 4-5 years for a bromeliad to bloom from the pup stage. Nell

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