How to grow and care for Aechmea Bromeliads (Urn Plants) Indoors

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Aechmea Bromeliad, Urn Plant

Botanical name: Aechmea spp
Family: Bromeliaceae
Sufamily: Bromelioideae

Aechmea Bromeliads description

Aechmea Bromeliads commonly called Urn Plants are popular houseplants grown for the beauty of their foliage and for the beauty of their flowers.

They are typical Bromeliads with leathery, arching leaves and a distinct central 'vase' from which a stout stalk bearing a bold flower-head emerges.

The usual pattern for Aechmea Bromeliads is a rosette of leathery, strap-like foliage and flower-head which arises on a stalk from the cup-like center of rosette.

The leaves in Urn Plants are backward-arching and saw-edged (spiny) and require that you take care when handling.

Aechmea Bromeliads Flower

Aechmea Bromeliads may take several years to reach the flowering stage but the display may last upto 6 months.

These Bromeliads will mature at the age of 2-5 years and it is at maturity when they flower. Once the flower-head fades, the rosette of leaves in Urn Plants begins to die and is replaced by offsets (pups) at the base of the plant.

The Urn Plants display of the flower head is due to the presence of long-lasting showy bracts; true flowers are small and short-lived.

Aechmea Bromeliads Varieties

Several varieties of Aechmea Bromeliads are available like Aechmea fasciata commonly called Urn plant is by far the most popular one.

Other popular plants in this group are Aechmea chantinii (Amazonian Zebra plant), Aechmea caudata, Aechmea fulgens discolor (Coral Berry) and the dwarf Aechmea Foster's Favorite among many other varieties.

Buy beautiful and healthy Aechmea Bromeliads (Urn Plants) from Etsy.

Aechmea Bromeliads Origin

There are about 250 species in the Aechmea genus which are native to the American Jungle from Mexico through South America, where they dwell among the Orchids on trees or on the forest floor.

The name Aechmea comes from the Greek word, 'aichme', which means 'spear' in reference to the spear-shaped flower head.

Aechmea Bromeliad, Urn Plant

Photo Credit: Bloomscape

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) Care Indoors

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) Light Requirements

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) grows best in bright light but away from direct sunlight to avoid sunscorch on the leaves. Urn Plants can also grow under a grow light.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure the plant receives light on all sides for even growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant)

Like with other rosette Bromeliads, Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) require the central 'vase' to be filled with water at all times. Empty and refill the 'vase' regularly to prevent growth of bacteria which may cause the water to become smelly.

Use only chlorine-free water as Urn Plants are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals that may be dissolved in water.

Water the soil for your Urn Plant only when it dries to keep the roots moist; avoid having soggy soil for your Urn Plant as it can lead to root-rot. Allow good air circulation for your Urn Plant to prevent pests and disease infestation.


Temperature for Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant)

The best temperature for growing Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) indoors is an average warmth with a minimum of 150C. However, to bring your Urn Plant to flower will require temperatures above 260C.

Humidity for Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant)

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) require a humid enviroment inorder to thrive. If the humidity is too low, the plant will respond with brown leaf tips.

To raise humidity for your Urn Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Ensure there is good air circulation for your Urn Plant to prevent pests and diseases infestation.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant)

Feed Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) with a liquid fertilizer (foliar feed) every 2 weeks during the growing season.

Do not feed your Urn Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and it may cause fertilizer burn in your plant.

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) Repotting

Repotting Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) is not necessary as its roots are tiny and are unlikely to fill the pot.

Pot your Urn Plant in a shallow heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over as it can become top-heavy.

Provide your Urn Plant with support to help keep it upright. Read more on how to train houseplants.

Soil for Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant)

The best soil for Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most orchid potting mixes are ideal for Urn Plant. Buy quality Orchid Potting Mix for your Urn Plant from Etsy.

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) Pruning

Pruning Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) involves removal of dead leaves to keep your plant neat and tidy and to allow adequate room for the new plants to grow.

Remove the dead foliage from your Urn Plant by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) Propagation

Aechmea Bromeliads propagation can be done from offsets (pups) appearing at the base of the plant.

How to propagate Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) from offsets (pups)

When the Urn Plant offset (pup) is several months old or 1/3 to 1/2 the height of mother plant, seperate it from its mother by cutting with a sterilized sharp knife or scissors. Ensure the Urn Plant offset has some roots attached to it.

Plant the Urn Plant offset shallowly in loose, free-draining, bark soil and place the set up in a warm, shaded place until the new Urn Plant is well established.

Ensure the new Urn Plant is well supported as the roots are small and it may topple over.

Aechmea Bromeliad, Urn Plant

Photo Credit: Bloomscape

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) Problems Indoors

Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults in humidity, lighting and watering. Read on for the remedies and solutions.

Aechmea Bromeliad brown leaf tips

Brown leaf tips in Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) are caused by too dry air which means low air humidity.

To raise humidity for your Urn Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on raise humidity for houseplants.

Aechmea Bromeliad pale, brown leaf patches

Pale, brown leaf patches in Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) are sunscorch marks due to exposure of the plant to hot direct sunshine.

Urn Plant does not like to be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect it from direct sunlight or move it to a shadier spot.

Aechmea Bromeliad dark, soft and drooping leaves

Dark, soft and drooping leaves in Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) is caused by inadequate light (too little light).

Move your Aechmea Bromeliad to a brighter spot as it prefers bright light but away from direct sunlight. Urn Plants can also grow under a grow light.

Aechmea Bromeliads pests

The common pests in Aechmea Bromeliads (Urn Plant) are Scales and Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Aechmea Bromeliad dying

If your Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) has not flowered, then root-rot brought about by soggy soil is the cause of its death. Read more on root-rot disease and how to deal with it.

If your Aechmea Bromeliad has flowered, then rotting and death of rosette which bore flower-stalk is natural to give room for the new plants.

Remove the dead foliage from your Aechmea Bromeliad by cutting at the base with a clean knife or a pair of scissors.

Is Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) toxic?

Aechmea Bromeliads are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

However, the leaves of Aechmea Bromeliad (Urn Plant) bear short spines which may cause physical injury if handled with bare hands. Always wear gloves when handling your Urn Plant to prevent injury.

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