Echmea. Indoor flower

Ehmeya (Aechmea) is a large perennial herbaceous plant with a short stem and long linear leaves forming a goblet rosette. The echmea flower is very showy, it stays on the stem for a long time, but this plant blooms only once in a lifetime.

Homemade echmeas have become very popular in recent years, mainly due to unusual inflorescences. The name of the genus comes from the Greek aechme – “end, tip” and is explained by the presence of hard ends at the sepals.

The genus includes about 170 epiphytic and terrestrial species of echmea, distributed from Mexico and the West Indies to northern Argentina. Some of them are now successfully grown in greenhouses and sold as “living bouquets”.

Types of home echmea and their photos

Aechmea Weilbachii is an epiphytic plant with long (up to 60 cm), narrow (about 3 cm wide), linear-xiphoid, grooved, bright green leaves with sparse spikes along the edges, tapering to the base and forming a dense goblet rosette.

A straight peduncle (up to 40-60 cm high) with thin bright red imbricate-arranged leaves bears at the top a complex spreading brush up to 15 cm long, formed by loose curved inflorescences-spikelets of 2-6 sessile flowers. As can be seen in the photo, Weilbach’s echmea has rounded bracts and pale lilac sepals. A variety of varleodiensis with bronze leaves is known.

Aechmea nudicaulis is an epiphytic plant with larger tongue-shaped leaves forming a tubular rosette.

Along the edge of the leaf plates of this type of echmea there are hard black spikes, the lower surface is covered with pale scales. The peduncle is thin, with a white bloom, 30-70 cm high. The leaves on it are red, collected at the base of a simple cylindrical inflorescence.

There are varieties of echmea golostalked with yellow petals and sepals:

var. ouspidate,

or red – var. aurea rosea.

Ehmeya Luddemaniana (Aechmea Lueddemaniana) is an epiphytic or terrestrial plant with tongue-shaped leaves forming a goblet rosette. Leaves up to 60 cm long, pointed or rounded at the top and with curved spines along the edges, covered with pale scales.

The direct peduncle of room echmea Luddemann reaches a height of up to 70 cm and is covered with a white bloom. The leaves on it are white, membranous, the lower ones are straight, the upper ones are bent. Inflorescence broadly paniculate, narrow pyramidal or cylindrical with filiform short bracts and deviated flowers. Irregular sepals with wide goblet wing. Petals, initially blue or pink, become crimson over time.

Echmea care at home

The best place to place an echmea is insulated western windows, shaded in the afternoon, or it can be any other well-lit place, protected from direct sunlight.

From October to March, it is desirable to organize additional lighting (approximately 8 hours with 100 W lamps). Ehmeya is very demanding in care, especially when it comes to temperature conditions. So, in winter it is kept during the day at a temperature of +17..+19 °C, at night – +13…+ 15 °C, in summer – about +20…+25 °C. Watering in spring and summer is plentiful, better by immersion. In between waterings, the substrate in the container should dry out. In winter, the frequency of watering is reduced, maintaining only a semi-dry state of the coma. Daily spraying with soft, well-settled water is necessary.

For planting echmea, a very loose substrate is used (with a high content of crushed fern roots and sphagnum moss or a mixture of coarse leafy soil, high-moor peat, sphagnum and sand with the addition of charcoal). Be sure to have drainage of at least 1/3 of the volume of the container.

Top dressing is carried out from the moment the first young leaves appear until the beginning of flowering. It is better to use fertilizers specialized for bromeliads (universal fertilizers should be diluted 2-3 times compared to the norms specified by the manufacturer). If the echmea grows well, but does not bloom, you need to place the pot with the plant for about two weeks in a plastic bag along with two or three ripe apples. Ethylene, which these fruits secrete, stimulates the formation of flowers. The rosette of echmea leaves blooms only once, after which it dies. The resulting daughter outlets can be separated from the mother plant and rooted.

When buying an echmea as a “living bouquet”, choose a specimen with a fully colored peduncle and bracts, otherwise the echmea flowers will not develop after the “move”.

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