The attributes of a lance rosette make the hobby gardener sit up and take notice. In the natural habitat in the rainforests of Brazil, it functions as an epiphyte, i.e. it sits high up in the trees. In its center there is a water cistern, often populated by small creatures and thus converted into a mini biotope. From May to October there is a breathtaking, pink bloom that attracts everyone’s attention. When it has wilted, the strong, variegated leaves dominate the scene, so that the Aechmea fasciata never spreads boredom. Reading the following instructions on care and propagation is nevertheless not difficult because the level of difficulty is beginners’ level.


  • Plant family of the bromeliad plants (Bromeliaceae).
  • Botanical name Aechmea fasciata.
  • Native to Brazil at altitudes between 700 and 1300 meters.
  • Height of growth 35 cm to 50 cm.
  • Diameter of the funnel up to 50 cm.
  • Elongated leaves have a spike tip at the end.
  • Reinforced inflorescence, initially blue, later pink.
  • Long flowering period from May to October.
  • Evergreen and not hardy.
  • Common names: lance rosette, cistern bromeliad, funnel bromeliad, silver vase.

The lance rosette thrives in the wild on the branches and in the forks of trees, but this does not mean that the proud plant is acting as a parasite. Rather, it is completely self-sufficient by collecting water in its funnel and extracting nutrients from the leaves that accumulate around it.


It is no coincidence that the lance rosette developed into an epiphyte in the course of evolution. Their need for light is so high that they would not have survived in the long term in the twilight of the Brazilian rainforests. The central location requirements are therefore obvious.

  • Bright location with as many hours of sunshine as possible.
  • Shade only in blazing midday sun.
  • All year round temperatures between 18 ° and 20 ° Celsius.

The Aechmea fasciata can of course spend the summer either on the balcony or on the terrace to present the sublime blossom. It should also be protected from direct sunlight during the midday hours at this location.


In relation to the potting soil, the cistern bromeliad shows a pleasing flexibility. It thrives in commercial potted plant soil, the permeability of which is enhanced with perlite or expanded clay. If the hobby gardener would like to offer his exotic ornamental plant a familiar environment, he simply mixes the suitable substrate himself:

  • 60-80% leaf earth
  • 10-20% spaghetti moss
  • Perlite 10-20%

If small pieces of charcoal are available from 5 mm to 10 mm in length, some of them are added to the soil mixture. If it is too time-consuming to mix it yourself, you can get a ready-made special substrate for epiphytes from retailers.

Tie up the lance rosette

The robust elegance of an Aechmea fasciata comes into its own when it is cultivated as it thrives in its home country; namely on trees. As far as the base is concerned, the cistern bromeliad is not picky, as long as it has sufficient hold on it. Spruce, oak, yew, robinia or a grapevine are popular. Providing the base with spaghnum or other mosses before tying it up is nice to look at, but it carries the risk of rot. For the attachment of the plant to the wood, the following method has proven itself best among the experts:

  • Cut a pair of sheer tights in the transverse direction.
  • First wrap the stocking around the wood.
  • Then attach it to the shoot by looping it several times between the leaves.

The nylon tape is breathable, stretchable, very stable and inexpensive to manufacture yourself. Compared to wire, this material also has the advantage that it does not cut into the plant tissue.

Watering and humidity

The lance rosette regulates your water requirement from two sources. First there is the irrigation water and then the cistern as a water reservoir in the heart of the plant.

  • Water moderately when the surface is dry.
  • Ideally, water with collected rainwater.
  • The cistern should be permanently filled with water.

The closer the degree of humidity approaches the conditions of a rainforest, the more comfortable the Aechmea fasciata feels. Therefore, a careful hobby gardener takes the time at temperatures above 18 ° Celsius to spray his exotic houseplant with lime-free water every day. He leaves out the flower because of the risk of rot. Alternatively, he fills the saucer with pebbles and lets the water stand in it constantly.


The nutritional requirements of a cistern bromeliad are hardly worth mentioning, because as an epiphyte the plant has adapted to the poor living conditions. However, fertilizing should not be completely omitted, because the long-lasting flowering certainly takes its toll.

  • Fertilize every 14 days from April to September in a diluted concentration.
  • No fertilizer is required in the year after purchase or repotting.

It is important to note that the fertilizer solution is administered directly into the cistern and not onto the substrate. A tied up Aechmea fasciata receives the fertilizer by mixing the agent into the spray water.


If it becomes too tight for a lance rosette in your pot, it is advisable to repot it between March and August. The new tub is only slightly larger than the previous planter, because the bromeliad grows small roots throughout its life. An opening in the bottom of the pot should not be missing, so that excess water can run off at this point.

  • Clean the potted plants of old soil as much as possible.
  • In the new vessel, create a drainage made of coarse, inorganic materials.
  • Fill in the fresh substrate, plant the funnel bromeliad and water.

If the houseplant has its imposing flower, it tends to be top-heavy. This fact should be taken into account when choosing the flower pot. A heavy clay bucket offers more stability than lightweight plastic pots.

Hibernate the lance rosette

If the cistern bromeliad spent the summer on the balcony, it moves to a warm room when the temperatures drop. If possible, the temperature should not fall below 15 ° Celsius. Throughout the winter, the amount of irrigation water is reduced, as the flower can no longer be supplied. No fertilizer is used at all.

Encourage Aechmea fasciata to flower

If the longed-for super bloom is adorable and simply does not want to appear, there is not necessarily a health problem. If all the framework conditions are right, the following horticultural trick could perhaps lure the lance rosette from its reserve. In the evening the gardener empties the water cistern and puts a ripe apple in it. Packed in a plastic bag, the apple emits the gas ethylene, which stimulates the formation of flowers. Success is not guaranteed here; at least it’s worth a try.

Diseases and pests

Problems with a lance rosette usually arise in connection with incorrect maintenance. If the plant is exposed to the blazing midday sun without protection, the leaves turn brown because they literally burn. Indoor air that is too dry also causes this damage. Mealybugs and scale insects only waited for this weakness to attack the houseplant. The dilemma can be recognized by the numerous small bumps on the leaves or by the white webs and floury topping. Since the use of chemical preparations in living spaces is forbidden by itself, the afflicted gardener takes natural control measures.

  • isolate the infected plant immediately
  • Rinse off pests with a sharp jet of water
  • Alternatively, remove the plague with a cloth soaked in alcohol

In addition, various sprays from the home remedies division have proven themselves. The curd soap solution is composed of 15 ml spirit, 15 ml curd soap and 1 liter of water. Sprayed on regularly, it kills the lice in the long run. Experienced hobby gardeners report good results by spraying preparations based on rapeseed or neem oil. When combating these pests, it is important to note that the undersides of the leaves are always included.

Multiplication by Kindel

The Aechmea fasciata only flowers once and then dies. The withered inflorescence can be cut off with a sharp knife. The plant is by no means disposed of, but rather cultivated until the side shoots have developed strongly enough. Only when these children have been separated does the houseplant move onto the compost.

  • Plant each child in a nursery pot with a nutrient-poor substrate
  • Keep the young plants slightly moist in a warm, bright place at 20 ° Celsius
  • During the first 12 weeks Kindel not in direct sun

After a young lance rosette has rooted its pot, it is repotted in high-quality substrate in order to be cared for like an adult specimen from this point on. Experience has shown that it will bloom after two years.

Note: A child is only mature enough when it has almost reached the size of the mother plant.

Propagation by sowing

In commercial horticulture, propagation takes place through professional sowing. Anyone who wants to face this challenge as a hobby gardener is initially faced with the problem that the seeds can only be discovered in stores with great luck. The cause is the short life of the seeds. As a result, the hobby gardener strives for his lance rosette to produce berries after flowering, in which the seeds are located. While hummingbirds do the pollination in the natural habitat in Brazil, a soft brush performs this task here. When the red berries are ripe, they are harvested and the seeds are cleaned from the pulp. Since they have extremely hard shells, pretreatment is recommended, otherwise germination will take up to a year.

  • Soak seeds in a 0.2% potassium nitrate solution for 24 hours.
  • Meanwhile, fill a seed tray with standard soil or a peat-sand mixture.
  • Sow the seeds immediately and just press them on as a light sprout.

After the seeds are slightly moistened, the gardener puts clear plastic material, such as a clear plastic bag, over them. The ideal germination temperature is 23 ° to 25 ° Celsius. The location should be bright, but not full sun. Thanks to the pretreatment, germination will start within 14 days. The seedlings are pricked out when at least 2 other pairs of leaves have developed in addition to the cotyledons.

Hydrogen peroxide, diluted to 3%, acts as an alternative to potassium nitrate. The liquid is available without a prescription in any pharmacy for a few euros. In it, the seeds are first disinfected for 20 minutes. The solution is then diluted to 50% with water so that the seeds can soak in it for 24 hours.

The lance rosette proudly wears its furious bloom for one season, only to fade away. Admittedly not without first providing for offspring in the form of the Kindel, who make propagation pleasantly uncomplicated. Since the bromeliad is so easy to care for, no hobby gardener should do without this eye-catcher on his flower window. With a plant’s own water cistern, the epiphyte also scores with an attribute that other indoor plants can hardly beat.

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