How to cultivate the Aechmea

How to cultivate the Aechmea

The Aechmea, is a genus of the Bromeliaceae family with origins in tropical America.
The genus Aechmea is represented by epiphytic plants with rigid leaves, sheathed in a spiral up to form a sort of rosette with a void at the center from where the stem flower is emitted which shows a copious inflorescence at the apex composed of bracts and small flowers with a coloring of various shades of red.
Among the most common species we mention:
– Aechmea fulgens – reaches a height of about 50 cm the leaves are dark green and the flowers are purple with reddish bracts.
– Aechmea discolor – up to 75 cm high with leaves in the upper part gray-green and in the lower part brown-violet, its flowers are violet-blue with scarlet bracts.
– Aechmea mariae-reginae – has blue flowers that turn pink when they are about to fade the bracts are pink.
– Aechmea fasciata – has leaves that can be even 10 cm wide and about 40 cm long, very stiff and thorny gray-green with silver streaks. The inflorescence, which can even reach 40 cm, has small blue flowers of short duration, while the pink-colored bracts take several months to wither. This species is the most widespread on the market.
In this card we will see how to cultivate the Aechmea segunedo the most appropriate agronomic tricks.
Due to its tropical origins, the Aechmea can be cultivated as an ornamental plant for environments with high temperatures and humidity (such as in greenhouses); in the apartment it can be cultivated but it is very difficult to finish the vegetative phase with the production of the flower.
For the cultivation of the Aechmea it is necessary to prepare a fibrous soil that is composed of peat and ground of leaves in equal parts, which will allow a good nutritional support for the whole vegetative period of the plant.
On the bottom of the pot for two to three cm a layer of very large gravel or expanded clay must be prepared to facilitate the drainage of excess water that must never stagnate in order not to create root rot.

In fact, irrigations should be carried out, if possible, with rainwater placed in the center of the plant. In the climatic conditions of an apartment, however, this practice should be performed very sparingly since the temperature is not high enough for the plant to absorb and evaporate it. This can lead to rotting phenomena; the same precaution must be taken during the winter period to adapt the water supplies to the real needs.
The water inside the cockpit must be changed at least once a month to eliminate any salts, plant residues or anything else that could putrefy and then damage the plant.
In the apartment, nebulisations can be carried out with deionized water several times a day to recreate the most suitable humidity conditions.
Regarding the temperatures, there are no problems for the high summer ones but they must never fall below 20 ° C in the winter period; moreover, the plant should not be brought into contact with artificial heat sources (such as radiators) as this leads to conditions of humidity that are not ideal for the plant.
Once the flower is reached the plant dies.
However, due to its propagation, there are no particular problems as before the flowering, lateral shoots will be formed that can be potted individually to form new plants to be cultivated using the same methods.
Among the most common adversities on Aechmea, besides the aforementioned rottennesses, we recall the red spider mite, a small mite barely visible to the naked eye (like small red dots) that can cause dark spots on the younger leaves.
For the elimination of these small mites you can use an acaricide and natural insecticide based on garlic.

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