How do you make Aechmea fasciata bloom again

Flower_Ladies(S Connecticut)December 3, 2004

our aechmea fasciatas have made pups, some even have 2 pups. we want to make blooms again. we heard you need to place the plant in a bag with a cut apple for 2 weeks to make it bloom again but do you continue to keep the plant watered? and, what kind of bag...paper (dark) or plastic (dark or clear?)

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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

Empty the water out of the cups. Keep the soil moist. Use a clear plastic bag, and keep the arrangement out of any sun.

Do this only if the pups are full size.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2004 at 4:55PM
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bihai(zone 9)

I hate to interject this, on the feeling that I might get flamed, but I have a tough skin so....

Bromeliads are tropical plants for the most part. There are exceptions, but most of the plants that are mass marketed are tropical in origin. They require a certain care to bloom. They are not the ordinary houseplants people think they are.

Ae. fasciata is a relatively easy bloomer. It likes strong light but no direct burning sun. Unlike bromeliads that are grown for their color, like neoregelias and most guzmanias, you can fertilize many aecmheas (and billbergias, and Vreiseas, and Dyckias, etc etc) very lightly with okay results. They like a uniform warmth (they have been trialed outdoors in several differnet climates, and universally, it was found that specifically Ae Fasciata will usually die or suffer great damage at 32F and lower).

The cut apple thing is based on the principle that ethylene gas prompts a bloom response in bromeliads.

I have found that, like orchids, bromeliads bloom when they feel like it. Because I live in a basically warm, light filled climate, mine bloom readily and easily, no matter what the species. We plant Ae fasciata in the yard here under a canopy of trees and they winter fine and bloom yearly. In your climate, it may be more of a challenge. If they aren't blooming, its because some basic need is not being met...light, heat, humidity, food...usually the culprit for non-blooming broms is light (like orchids)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2004 at 8:18PM
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I'm from the school of thought whereby subjecting your plants to induced flowering by means of 'the apple trick', is akin to the taking of steroids by athletes. A quick fix by artificial means could prove detrimental to the plant's health in the long run. Let nature run it's course. Patience is a quality all collectors should have.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 9:22AM
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ryanmor(z6 PA)

forcing the plant to bloom again might stunt it from growing pups. If you just want a flowering plant then use the apple trick, but if you want a flowering plant that will forever reproduce then wait and let the poor plant produce a flower naturally.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 6:36PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Just when you think they will *never* bloom, they kick out those pretty pink spikes. All by themselves.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 12:22AM
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