Aechmea fasciata
Common Name: urn plant 
Type: Epiphyte
Family: Bromeliaceae
Native Range: Brazil
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Violet to red with pink bracts
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Best grown in bright but filtered sun to part shade in consistently moist but well-drained soils. Best with a small pool of water in the central cup formed by the rosette of leaves. Replace leaf cup water periodically. Rinse entire plant with water as needed to remove dust build up on leaves. Best performance occurs with indoor temperatures ranging from low 60s F. at night to 75-80 F. during the day. Reduce watering in winter. Remove dead rosettes as needed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aechmea fasciata, commonly called urn plant or silver vase plant, is an epiphytic bromeliad that is native to southeastern Brazil. In its native habitat, it will grow in the ground or in trees without taking any nourishment from the tree. This is a stemless plant that typically grows 1-3' tall in a basal rosette of stiff, arching, broad, strap-shaped, elliptic-oval, silvery-green leaves which resemble an urn. Leaf margins have black spines. An urn plant shoot blooms only once and then dies. But the bloom is spectacular. Inflorescence is a dense pyramidal head consisting of small violet flowers (mature to red) which are surrounded by showy pink bracts. Bracts remain showy for several months. Offsets (pups) form at the base of this shoot (mother plant). Offsets can be transplanted as new plants after the original plant dies (wait until they reach 6" tall to transplant). Many cultivars, some featuring variegated leaves, have been developed.

Genus name comes from the Greek word aichme meaning a point in reference to the stiff points on the sepals.

Specific epithet means bound together.

Problems

No significant insect or disease problems. Watch for scale and mealybugs. Leaf spot and crown rot may occur, especially during propagation. Leaf tips will brown up if soils dry out or plants are grown in areas too cold. Root rot may occur if soils are kept too moist. If plant will not bloom, place a ripe apple at the base of the plant and cover the plant with a clear plastic bag for about 1-2 weeks (keep plant from sun to avoid overheating). For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Good flowering houseplant.