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Aechmea Primera

Question:

A friend of mine bought me this beautiful plant. However, the pink flower has died and there is one (I guess it’s called a PUP) on the one side of the first plant.

My Question: is; will that beautiful flower grow back again or does this plant only bloom once? There’s nothing left but those large stems and it’s been that way for quite awhile. I keep it watered and the directions say to make sure to keep water between the leaves… Should I pull the original plant out since it has no flower or will another flower grow back? I have never seen just a unique plant like this and would love to see the flower bloom again 🙂 Please, let me know if there is anything more I need to do and if the flower will grow back. Thanks

Answer:

Your Aechmea is in the Bromeliad family of plants and grows differently than most potted plants.

Aechmea flowers last longer than most, up to 3-4 months in good conditions. Then, the flower dies naturally. It is best to cut off the entire flower stem once the flower had faded. Each plant flowers only once and then slowly over the course of a year or more the plant itself dies. However, that is not the end of the story!

In the interim, the plant produces pups or offsets or baby plantlets at its base. These pups will grow taller as the “mother” plant gradually dies back. The pups can be severed from the main plant and moved into their own separate small pots. However, they can also be left as is and that is what I recommend because it is easier. Given the right conditions and as much as 3 to 4 years, the pups may mature and produce flowers of their own. Because it takes so long, most folks either discard the plant after the initial bloom or they keep the plant as a foliage plant.

The common instructions about keeping water in the vase formed by the leaves is out-of-date and inappropriate for potted Bromeliads kept indoors. The water may stagnate and cause the leaves to rot. It is best to supply water by watering the soil thoroughly whenever the top half inch of spoil feels very dry.

Bromeliads must be kept potbound, so resist the temptation to repot it. Leave it in that pot as long as you have it.

Finally, 2-4 hours of direct indoor sunlight with very bright indirect sun the rest of the day is best for your Aechmea.