Common name: Silver Vase
Aechmea fasciata is an easy plant to grow in subtropical and tropical areas.
There are many different forms of this species, including cultivars with variegated (cream striped), bronze coloured and spineless leaves. The most commonly seen form, and easiest to grow, has green leaves that are heavily covered with silver ‘scurfing’ and are about 10cm wide. The plant stands about 40cm tall and wide, and has an open vase-like shape.
The plant’s ‘crowning glory’ is a bright pink, cone-shaped inflorescence that is about 10cm tall and 15cm wide. Many blue-petalled flowers, which turn pink after a day or so, emerge from this inflorescence over several weeks. The inflorescence is usually at its best between November and March, however much of its colour is retained for several more months.
The Silver Vase can sometimes be bought through florists, garden nurseries, chain stores and at local bromeliad society shows.
Best growing conditions:
- medium shade (such as that produced by 70% shade-cloth) throughout the day
- pot them using a cymbidium potting mixture (or a finer mix) and a 180mm bucket. Add one or two teaspoons of slow release fertiliser
- fill the vase with water, and thoroughly wet the potting mix, twice a week in summer and once a week in winter
- the plant can be brought indoors for several weeks at a time, but it needs good light. After a spell indoors, give it several weeks outside.
Outdoor growing in the landscape
They will grow quite well in a spot that receives medium shade for most of the day.
Plant them into 20cm of composted pine bark and add some slow release fertiliser.
This plant does well when tied to a tree (add some moss around the roots and tie firmly with stocking or similar tie.
written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening - www.stgmagazine.com.au