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Growing Together, Issue # 84
January 27, 2014

Aechmea Plant Unique Bromeliad

Welcome to the first newsletter of landscape solutions, Growing Together, 20014, January. I would like to welcome our new members, and as always, each of you returning, I hope all of you had a wonderful beginning to 2014. This month I wanted to share a little insight on a tropical plant, Aechmea.

aechmea plant

The Aechmea plant is part of the bromeliad family. This is one of my favorite plants as it can be grown in a warm climate outdoors in a ground or container garden. In the United States, the Aechmea will grow well in zones 10-12. For all you tropical climate subscribers, this particular bromeliad can be put outside for your enjoyment.In cooler climates, this specie does great as an indoor plant. The photo above is of the Aechmea plant I have indoors. If you are in a tropical climate or even sub-tropical region where this specimen will grow, make sure you plant seeds or plugs in a moist but well drained soil. The bromeliad family does best for germination or propagation between 60 to 70 degrees F. (around 15 to 21 C) Filtered sunlight works best for healthy growth both indoors and outside. One of the unique features of the Aechmea is the long smooth leaves with gray scales. The leaves can be variegated with some species. In the springtime a beautiful flower emerges in the center of the plant. The flower is a rosy pink and creates a nice accent for your outside garden or indoor space. One of the special aspects of the Aechmea blooming is after bloom time, I let the flower dry, and then use it in an artificial arrangement. Great addition another accessory inside.

This plant also has been called, the "living vase" for its hollow center. Outside the plant will grow to around 3 feet tall. Inside it will grow to around 2 feet. If the plant is mature, the flower in spring may reach 1 foot. As far as soil conditions, your goal is to use a porous soil mix so the water will drain. Inside specimens should have soil that contains peat moss, sand, and a rich soil. I recommend a light weight soil. If the soil doesn't contain sand, add sand to the light weight.

In the tropical regions, consider companion planting with a Croton, Oleander, Star Jasmine, and some dwarf palm. Indoors I like to compliment the Aechmea with my variegated Croton, and Caladium plants. The Aechmea is a great addition to a tropical outdoor garden as it is an evergreen. Using this specie as an indoor plant will give you color, texture, and an extra treat of a beautiful flower during the year. I would recommend this plant for outdoor or indoor pleasure.

Tip For The Month

For the US base subscribers, January has consisted of brutal temperatures, snow for the midwest and east. Our temperatures here in the southeastern US have been extremely below average. Many of you are visualizing that first Crocus or bud on a tree. Hang in there, before you know it spring will arrive. Now is a great time to anticipate and plan for your upcoming gardens. If it is cold and wintery in your neck of the woods, start to finalize your thoughts on your planting season. Are you going to have vegetable garden, different annual or perennial areas, a make over, or something totally different? Plan now and you will be all set to prep and plant before too long.

Warm weather subscribers, make sure you are maintaining your gardens with proper watering, checking for insects, and disease as you are in the heat of your warm climate. For any climate, make a check list for the entire year.

Thought For The Month

As mentioned above, the temperatures are mighty darn cold here in the US across much of the country. When people are cooped up within their living and work space, moods change can, and the much needed sun isn't available. I find when this happens, which of course is right now, I like to take some time and be in one area of the house that is warm in color. Our family room is decorated in a beach-Caribbean style, and Tom and I love to go and relax in the evening. Give yourself some fun-down time during the cold months. If you are in the heat time, enjoy the warmth of the sun, and take in all the beauty that surrounds you.

In my last month's newsletter, I mentioned there will be some changes happening with the website landscape solutions. The content you have read will just about all stay. Some new content will be added, and in a month or so the domain name will be change. Everything will be the same, except for changes in the look of the site, and also a few other items. This newsletter will continue as I very much enjoy being with each of you once a month. I will let you know ahead of time the new domain name, and you won't have to do anything, as the newsletter will come to the addresses you originally signed up with. Any changes in address sent to me, I have already changed. Thanks to each of you for allowing me to share a few minutes once a month of your precious time. Have a great February and be with you at the end of next month.

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