As original, colorful and exotic as its cousins are, Aechmea is a simply astounding indoor plant of the vast Bromeliaceae family.
Main Aechmea facts
Name – Aechmea
Family – Bromeliaceae
Type – indoor plant
Height – 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm)
Exposure – light but without direct light
Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – end of winter or summer
Native to Central and South America, one finds its mottled foliage and beautiful pastel red blooming appealing.
Planting, repotting an aechmea
Aechmea, like all other Bromeliaceae plants, requires soil that is sufficiently rich and very well-drained to grow well.
Special Bromeliaceae soil mix is the best solution but you can also opt for flower plant soil mix and layer the bottom with a thick drainage medium.
- Aechmea never grows far-reaching roots, which is why a small pot, about 4 inches (10 cm), is more than enough.
- You will only need to repot when you want to split new shoots from the main plant.
If you wish to repot your aechmea, wait for the blooming to end.
- Aechmea roots hate having too much water.
Double-check that the new pot has a hole in the bottom.
Increase drainage with a layer of gravel or clay pebbles along the bottom of the pot, to make water flow through more easily.
- Special leaf plant soil mix is required, ideally specifically designed for Bromeliaceae plants.
The plant, when it lives indoors, needs soil mix because that is the only source for the nutrients it feeds on.
- Low but constant moisture levels must be maintained, which you can ensure if you spray the leaves often.
You must rest the pot on a bed of gravel, rocks or clay marbles doused in water.
The best spot for an aechmea
The best location for your aechmea is in a spot where there isn’t any direct sun on the plant.
- Your aechmea can’t stand the sun’s rays when they touch its leaves directly.
Good light but no direct sunlight is what’s needed.
- Absolutely avoid setting it near heat sources such as radiators, because moisture is what this tropical plant needs most.
- East or West-facing windows are thus usually the best call for your aechmea.
- Aechmea plants fear drafty spots.
Aechmea requires temperatures that oscillate between 65 and 74°F (18 to 24°C) and never drop below 57°F (-13°C).
The temperature of a house or apartment is thus ideal for growing your aechmea.
Watering Aechmea and adding fertilizer
Regular but moderate watering is called for because Aechmea doesn’t usually require a lot of water.
Aechmea in spring and summer
Keep the soil mix barely moist and check that water drains properly.
Provide orchid-specific fertilizer more or less once a month to extend the blooming as long as can be.
- Watering 1 time a week is often practiced.
- Fill the center of the rosette once a month with soft water at surrounding temperatures.
- Often misting the foliage with water at room temperature.
To retain a certain moisture level, it is best to put the pot atop a bed of clay pebbles or little stones wallowing in water. Evaporation will help recreate the living environment of their native habitat without needing to overwater.
Aechmea in fall and winter
Limit the watering and wait for the soil to be thoroughly dry before watering again.
- 1 watering a fortnight is enough.
- Stop adding fertilizer.
- If the air indoors is dry, keep misting the leaves from time to time.
Diseases that are commonly found on aechmea
- If the color of the leaves turns pale, it is probably due to a lack of fertilizer.
- If the inside leaves turn yellow or brown, it is probably due to too much watering.
Smart tip about aechmea
A fabulous indoor plant, aechmea is native to tropical forests and is rendered vulnerable by the dry air in our homes.
Spraying the plant regularly and placing the pot atop a bed of wet gravel will help re-create the plant’s natural habitat.