URN PLANT Aechmea fasciata

The Urn Plant is a large, very showy Bromeliad with grey-green leaves arranged in the shape of a funnel. It produces a single large flower that looks as if it were made out of pink wood shavings. Each plant flowers only once, then continues as a foliage plant and can easily be propagated from the small plantlets that grow from its base. It needs a potting compost consisting of coarse peat, sphagnum moss, sterilized leaf mould and some grit.

Aechmea fasciata2

Temperatures:

Growing season 22-24 °C (72-75 °F)

Minimum winter 15 °C (60 °C)

Soil: A potting compost consisting of coarse peat, sphagnum moss, sterilized leaf mould and some grit.

Where to position: In a light position but protected from direct sunlight, which will scorch the leaves. Keep away from draughts.

Watering requirements: Generous quantities of lukewarm water in summer. After the flower has died, a little water can be poured into the funnel of its leaves. It is a dry air plant and does not need humidity. In very hot weather, however, give a mist spray every two weeks or so.

Feeding and fertilizer: In the active growth period give well-diluted liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Cut off flower after it fades. Guard against leaf damage which can be caused by direct sunlight.

Rest and care: The plant rests after flowering and will not flower again. No special treatment is needed but it does appreciate winter sunlight. The parent plant will probably die. Propagate from the plantlets which will grow at its base.

When it looks sick:

The plant flags : Mist-spray often and ensure high humidity.

The plant leans in its pot : Firm down the soil. Water with soft water in strict moderation. Ensure good drainage or root-rot will swiftly give trouble. Yellowing or pale-looking leaves : Stop feeding at once.

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