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Aechmea Fatsiata Bromeliad

Oakbrook, KY

I think this is the name of the plant I have Aechmea Fatsista Bromeliad. I ran across a picture of one and it looks like the one I have, of course I've seen others that look like it. I know nothing about this plant, except to water it in the bowl it makes around the flower and it only blooms once. I really like this plant and would like to be able to start a new one when the bloom dies. I've been told to use the spike that will grow from the mother plant. Where will this spike grow from, the dirt around the bottom of the mother plant or inside around the flower. I have 2 new spikes coming off the bloom, I don't know the the correct name of this green leaves or what ever it's called. Is there some one who can help me with the information I need? I don't want to throw the plant out, I live in a condo and only have 2 windows for a plant. I'm up in age and don't get around to well, my out side days of gardening are over. I need information in plain english on any reply.
Thank you so much, lm43

St Petersburg, FL

Aechmea fatsiata is a lovely plant, and quite easy to care for. First, though, forget all that stuff that tells you to water the cup of the plant - that is only for bromeliads that are outdoors. Indoors, water the soil like you would any plant, and allow the soil to become fairly well dried before you water again; you can dig into the soil with a spoon, several inches into the pot, and squeeze the soil you pull up between your fingers. It should feel soft and cool, stick together a little, but fall apart as soon as you stop squeezing.

Yes, the plant only flowers once, and then the mother plant dies. However, it may take one to several years for it to die, so that's the good news. The flower comes up from the center of the plant. When you say you have 2 spikes coming from the bloom, I'm not quite sure what you mean. However, the plant sends new plants, called pups, from the base of the leaves, where they emerge from the soil.

When the flower dies, reach down inside with some scissors and cut off the flower stalk. Keep the plant in bright indirect light, water as I described above, fertilize lightly once a month, and just let the pups grow. Eventually the mother will begin to die, at which point you can cut the plant apart and repot the pups in their own pots. Good luck.

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