The acmea plants (Aechmea fasciata) come from far away, but have long since found space in our homes, where they are grown for the beautiful and prolonged flowering and for the foliage. In nature they grow in the rainforests of South America, where they tend to grow as epiphytic plants, or without sinking the roots in the ground: they develop at the branches of the branches, among the thick fronds of other plants, wherever a little decomposing foliage provides a bit of space for the roots. Even in the apartment it is advisable to imitate nature, therefore we cultivate our acmee in very small containers, where the roots find the right space to slip on, without spreading at will.
Features Acmea fasciata
From this little developed root system, but consisting of large fleshy roots, develops a thick rosette of large leaves arranged in a spiral, rigid and fleshy, arched, up to 40-50 cm long, with a sharp apex; at the point where they come together a small glass is formed, from which a large inflorescence develops, the most decorative part of the plant: the acme flower is made up of stiff, semi-woody bracts, of pink, orange or red color, which they form a species of panicle, from which small red, purple or pink flowers will bloom for a few weeks. The most widespread species in cultivation is the banded acmea, with pink inflorescence, purple flowers, and dark green foliage, marked by dark-colored bands or white-gray pruinose streaks; there are some other species of Aechmea, with different colored flowers, but also with light colored foliage, or with contrasting side bands.
How they are cultivated
The Aechmea fasciata are not very demanding, they need to be positioned in a bright place, not directly exposed to sunlight, with a minimum temperature that never falls below 12-15 ° C, all year round . They prefer a well-humid climate, but do not like having their roots immersed in water: it is therefore advisable to vaporize the plant often, but avoid excessively wetting the soil. The best way to supply water to the acme mimics nature: instead of wetting the soil, we deposit the little water it contains in the glass formed from the leaves; this little water is enough to make the plant vegetate, avoiding the development of root or collar rot, to which the plant is easily subjected. Let's place our plant in a soft and well-drained soil, made up of pieces of bark, peat, leaf mold and sand; it is generally not necessary to repot these plants. It intervenes changing the vase only when the plant grows so as not to allow the container to support it; in these cases the plant is placed in a slightly wider vase than the previous one, placing a layer of gravel on the bottom of the container, in order to make it heavier.
Acmea - Aechmea fasciata: The strange flowers of the bromeliads
All bromeliads produce particular inflorescences, which carry small flowers; the entire flowering takes weeks to develop completely, as each plant produces several flowers, each of which often blossoms solitary, followed by another when the first is withered. At the end of the flowering, over a period of several months, the plant dies: first they dry the bracts of the inflorescence, then they begin to dry up all the leaves. On the sides of the plant, however, we will notice new shoots, which will give rise to new plants; we can remove them from the mother plant and repot them individually, or let them grow in the same pot, giving rise to a colony of plants. The life of a single plant can however last a few years, from the bud to the fading of the bracts of the inflorescence. New plants are not always able to develop flowers in the apartment, where they generally find too little light.