While the Urn plant, aechmea fasciata, does look unusual at first glance, look closely and you will recognize it’s beauty.
The Aechmea fasciata is a bromeliad flowering houseplant plant grown outdoors and indoors depending on the climate. Below you will find care tips including lighting, soil, water, and propagation.
The Urn Plant also has the common name of Silver Vase and is the most popular bromeliad from the Aechmea genus for growing and displaying indoors. The common names derive from the center of the plant being shaped like an urn or vase. This vase shape collects water in its natural habitat and the grower fills this frequently as intended by nature. This plant produces a large flower head after a couple of years of growth, and when it does, it can last from mid-summer until early winter.
How it looks: Being a typical bromeliad, the Aechmea genus has wide arching strap type leaves which are leathery. The A.fasciata’s (this species) are kind of powdered looking, are silver and green in color. The foliage can also be variegated. While the foliage has great displaying potential indoors, the flower head stands out even more “with it’s eye catching looks”. The spiky star shaped flower head (pink in color), above the foliage – grows to approximately 6 inches long, with small violet rosette shaped flowers growing from the bracts. The exotic looking Urn plant impresses new viewers.
Once the flower has bloomed: Once the flower has bloomed from summer until winter the unfortunate aspect of growing these (like other bromeliads) is the leaves begin to die. However, they will produce offsets (pups) at the base of the plant which can be propagated, after they have grown five inches, or more.
Poisonous for pets: I’m not aware of reports about this plant being toxic to pets.
Ease-of-growing: The silver vase plant is fairly easy to grow. The main requirement is enough bright light, filling the vase with water, and quite high temperatures. I’d put this on the list of easier houseplants to grow. More about care below…..
|Urn and pink or silver vase plant (common). Aechmea Fasciata (botanical/scientific)
|Max Growth (approx):
|Height 18 in/45.7 cm, diameter 26 in/66 cm.
|Poisonous for pets:
|Non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Urn Plant Care
|When the plant is young and growing you can re-pot in a container slightly bigger which can provide room for new growth. Once it matures you’ll only need to replace the soil once every 2 years, without re-potting.
|Bright light without direct sunlight is preferable. Shade if planted outside.
|Average room temperatures between 65°F (18.3°C) – 75°F (24°C) are suitable and maintain temperatures around the 75°F (24°C) mark to bring flowers into bloom.
|A peat based potting mix, mixed with bark and perlite is a good mix or any other mix; if it drains well.
|The average humidity indoors should be fine.
|Feed from May – September monthly with a diluted liquid fertilizer, which is added to the vase. You can also use foliar feed which is added to a misting bottle to spray on the leaves, but try not to overfeed by using both of these methods.
|The urn plant produces offsets (pups) which can be removed from the parent plant when they’re at least 5 inches long. They must be removed when the parent plants’ foliage is dying down, although there is no rush – because the foliage dies down to provide the pups with the nutrients leaves were previously having from the main plant. These can be re-potted in a small container in moist potting soil.
|The urn plant produces offsets (pups) which can be removed from the parent plant when they’re at least 5 inches long. They must be removed when the parent plants foliage is dying down, although there is no rush – because the foliage dies down to provide the pups with the nutrients leaves were previously having from the main plant. These can be re-potted in a small container in moist potting soil.
Potential Problems – Aechmea fasciata
- Brown leaf tips: Dry air from lack of humidity could be the cause of leaf tips turning brown and dry,w which can be improved with misting or using a humidity tray. Also, check if the vase has been filled with water regularly and enough.
- Brown leaf patches: Brown leaf patches may be caused by too much direct sunlight. Move the plant into a shaded spot from the sun and remove severely damaged leaves.
- Plant dies: If the plant has not bloomed yet and it is not going through the normal cycle of creating offsets and dying then the most likely cause was over-watering.
- Insects: Mealy bug and scale can be a problem.
- Plant tips over easily: These plants tend to be quite top heavy which can make them topple easily. Rather than use a plastic container, it’s best suited to ceramic or other heavier types.
The bloom will take two to three years and will last for a few months.
It can be grown indoors or outdoors.
After the bromeliad blooms, a slow dying process starts that can last a year. Continue to care for the plant as it will send out bromeliad pups.
Yes it can be planted outside. You can even plant it outdoors during the warm season and bring it back in for winter.
The lifespan of a bromeliad is two to five years.
Elyssa Goins is an experienced house plant hobbyist who maintains over a hundred plants. She is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mother of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has a published study in the National Social Science Association, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.