Sunday, July 28, 2013

Random plant event: Aechmea fasciata

I bought an Aechmea fasciata in November 2006, after it had bloomed, and it produced two offsets, which I separated and potted up. It's a good species. I've never had any pest problems with it, it grows new leaves regularly, and it accepts a spot that a lot of my other plants won't grow in (near the floor in the living room -- there's light, but it's also near a window and a heat/AC vent, which means that the temperature there fluctuates wildly from hour to hour and month to month).

It's never bloomed for me, which is mildly disappointing. They do need a few years to get old enough to bloom, but not seven. I think the problem here is the care it's gotten: it'd probably like better light and more tropical conditions.

In any case, having had it drummed into me for years that bromeliads flower, then offset as the parent rosette dies back, I had kind of been expecting that the A. fasciatas weren't going to produce any offsets until they'd flowered, and they were never going to flower until I gave them a better spot. But on 7 July, I found this in one of the pots:

And by yesterday, it had grown to this:

So clearly it's not screwing around. I don't know whether to be happy or not: does this mean that it's given up on ever blooming and proceeded directly to rosette replacement? Or is it a good sign, that even though it hasn't bloomed yet, it's feeling happy enough about things to go ahead and offset? Please, someone, tell me how I'm supposed to feel.


Plant Propaganda said...

I understand there are a lot of things that trigger plants to reproduce - temperature, maturity, day length - but often isn't stress a factor, too? Maybe after seven years without conditions right for blooming, it figured it might as well give up and do it the old fashioned, un-fun way.

In any case, a new baby is always a reason to get excited! ;)

Anonymous said...

I've heard that putting it in a bag with a piece of apple is suppose to help make it bloom (I cant remember exactly how you do it but I'm sure its easy to look up) maybe it's time to try it if you really want it to bloom...?? I would be frustrated too after that long with no flowers...