Aechmea fasciata – Pretty picture, rambling post

Aechmea fasciata
Aechmea fasciata

Last summer I got a written of Aechmea fasciata which had completely finished blooming. There were three good sized pups coming up and I figured I might as well give it a try. End of the summer bringing in the tropicals I cut back the mother plant but left the three pups as is, attached and I believe I potted them up into an 8″ pot? I think the 6″ was getting warped out of shape. Earlier this summer I noticed one of the pups had rotted off at the base which was likely because the soil was too heavy and someone else had been watering the soil in the pot (and to make it worse getting much less light than it should have been getting). I removed the two remaining pups and have mounted them bare root on my fence, keeping the center of the plant filled with water, flushing it with fresh and of course it’s getting rained on from time to time. These two are doing just fine but it’s getting to be about that time to bring it back indoors for the winter.

I’m a little concerned about potting it up again, and there aren’t many places I could hang it that it would fit/not get things wet etc. I guess my other options would be to pot it up just into LECA, but not SH, just dry stones.

Another thing I noticed when I removed the soil was how few roots the new plants had actually formed. Can Aechmea fasciata get by long term exclusively on water and nutrients from the water in the center of the plant or does it need to be planted? I’m not really sure where else I’m going with this post so I guess this is the question – can I grow this plant bare root long term and have it do just fine?

About Andrew

Plant lover living in Toronto, Canada where I grow a wide range of plants in a very small space.
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4 Responses to Aechmea fasciata – Pretty picture, rambling post

  1. My guess would be yes, that you could grow it bare-root and it would be fine, though

    1) I have not tried this and could be wrong;
    2) They’re sort of top-heavy even when planted in soil, so you might have to do extra work to keep your plant upright.

    My plants have done well with regular potting soil mixed roughly 60-40 with unchopped sphagnum moss (sphagnum = the 40), though I did rot some offsets before when I was trying to use just potting soil.

    • Andrew says:

      I will try to keep them bare root, tied to the back of my shelf where so I don’t have to worry about it tipping over, which should put it pretty close to the lights as well.

      Thanks for the advice.

  2. This is my favourite bromeliad, and I have a bunch of them. They’re all potted up in LECA and doing fantastic. You plant will do just fine exclusively on water and nutrients from the water in the center of the plant.

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks. I may do that in the future, I remember you use glass or other heavy containers for most of your plants in hyroponics/just LECA which would help with the stability. For now though saving space is the most important thing as I try to fit everything back into my house after a summer outside with new plants added to the collection all summer so anything that doesn’t need a pot sitting on the shelf itself is a bonus.

      Thanks.

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