Bromeliad - MatchStix - Aechmea gamosepala - $5.00
20cm pup current size
Mature Height: 30cm
An exotic looking plant with a stunning flower spike that lasts as a cut flower. It is amazingly adaptable, tough and easy to grow even in cooler climates, and readily multiplies to create a tropical looking groundcover. Matchstix is a great beginners bromeliad as it is so hardy and lacks the painful spines that many species have.
Very hardy and beautiful, bromeliads handle life differently than other plants. Most are epiphytic, their roots are little more than supports or hold-fasts. Their leaves do most of the work. The leaves form a tank to collect and hold moisture. These tanks also catch the leaves discarded by the trees towering over them. As the detritus decays, the bromeliad leaves absorb the nutrients. Bromeliads are adapted to making do with few resources and they do it very well.
A fauna refuge: create a sanctuary for little frogs in the water-filled well of the Bromeliad. To use as a habitat for frogs, plant in a shady spot around a water feature (or up a tree) and remember to keep the vessel of the plant topped up with water.
Can be in part shade to full sun except in tropical areas where its best in shade. Plant under (or in) trees so the fallen leaves landing in the vase of the bromeliad provide all the necessary nutrients. Prefers an Orchid potting mix or a porous mixture such as equal parts bark chips, humus, peat moss and sand. During the growing season it is advisable to keep water in the funnel at the centre of the rosette most of the time. Keep the soil barely moist - only water when the soil is dry to the touch. If the plant is growing well but does not flower, try wrapping it in a plastic bag with some ripe apples for a few days. The ethylene gas released by the apples should induce flowering.
INDOOR PLANTS:Feed in spring/summer by spraying with a weak seaweed emulsion (half the strength recommended on the label).
Indoor pests to watch for include scale and thrips (take outdoors for a week, remove by hand). Yellow leaves may mean either too much direct sun or too cool temperatures.