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Aechmea fasciata is arguably the most impressive and exotic of all ornamental species from the Bromeliaceae family. However, despite its bizarre appearance it has proven itself to be a popular and robust houseplant. Its alien-like appearance does has other advantages, as one particular Aechmea fasciata specimen has managed to make its way on to the Starship Enterprise where it is featured in Captain Jean-Luc Picard's ready room!
Native to the Brazilian rainforest, Aechmea fasciata it is the easiest grown of all Bromeliads and require little attention. As you would expect they will do best in a warm, humid environment that is bright but out of direct sunlight. When grown as a houseplant they will perform best with a temperature range of between from 15-28 degrees Celsius.
Aechmea fasciata are best purchased as side shoots during late spring to early summer. Use sterilized, clean 5 inch pots and plant them firmly into any open textured, lime free compost mixture.
Keep the rosette moist or full of water and water the soil freely over the growing period but do not allow waterlogging. You can apply fertiliser to the foliage using a mist sprayer at a 1/4 of the recommended dose, or directly to the soil using the same dosage rate. A regular dose of fertiliser will only damage the root system. Once the growth slows down in the autumn keep the rosette and the soil. In a dry atmosphere it will be necessary to mist-spray throughout the year to maintain a constantly high humidity.
You may need to periodically rinse entire plant with water as needed to remove any dust that may have built up on leaves. Remove the dead flower rosettes as needed.
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