Aechmea calyculata or Vase Plant, a native of Argentina and Brazil, makes a nice specimen plant. The rosettes of leaves reach 12 inches tall and flowers will last for several months.
Blooming Time: Bright yellow flowers emerge from the center of the vase.
Culture: Aechmea calyculata need partial shade or bright indirect light but can also tolerate shade conditions. We use a soil mix consisting of 3 parts peat moss to 2 parts sand to 1 part loam. The soil should be allowed to dry between waterings. The cup should be keep full of water at all times. Fertilize the soil every 1-2 months or fill the cup with fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. Temperatures should not fall below 50°F at night. Although they can tolerate temperatures of 40°F for extended periods will result in little or no growth at these temperatures. Bromeliads flower when they reach maturity, but they can be forced to bloom at any time by enclosing the plant (with its cup empty to prevent excessive humidity buildup) in a plastic bag with a ripe apple. The apple gives off ethylene gas, which stimulates flowering in Bromeliads. Leave the plant and apple in the plastic bag for 7-10 days; the plant will flower in 1-2 months.
Propagation: Aechmea calyculata are propagated by the removal of offsets after flowering.
Aechmea calyculata was featured as Plant of the Week November 9-15, 2001.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.