Aechmea blanchetiana ‘Wally Berg’

Blanchet’s aechmea
Big bromeliad glows with red-orange foliage and branched red flowerstalks like fireworks. Protect from frost and winter damp.
height 2–5ft
width 2–3ft
tolerates Heat, Pots
While looking tropical, bromeliads are surprisingly drought tolerant and we think of watering them as other soft leaved succulents such as echeveria. They evolved their unique shape to funnel rainwater into their centers, and then store it there. If you’re in a hot climate simulate this by watering from above. When indoors, you can water in the center of the crown and allow the water to overflow down into the lower ‘tanks’ and then the roots without getting the area around your plant wet. However, if you are in a cool climate it is best to just water the soil, as lingering water in the crown can lead to rot.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Orchid Bark, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing Acid 1/2 Strength, All Purpose 1/2 Strength
origin Hybrid, Brazil

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Color intensifies with sun, and will have a lime green cast with less light.
Avoid windy locations.
Bromeliads are occasionally terrestrial (grow in the ground) but generally are epiphytic, growing on the trunks and branches of trees. Others are lythophytic, growing in the cracks of rock faces. Either way they don’t need much root space and thrive in pots.
Since they are epiphytic, bromeliads are a great choice for mounting on a plank, tree, fence, totem or rock.
Because they are usually growing in tight spots their nutrients come from decaying litter, making them appreciate a light acidic fertilizer, but all purpose seems to work just fine.
When planting in the ground take extra care to ensure good drainage. Some ways to do this are by mounding the plants, adding pumice or lava rock to the soil, or even planting nursery cans directly into a basin of pumice to keep their roots constrained.
Avoid planting under trees or other plants that shed a lot, as the litter will collect in the rosettes. If this happens you can gently flush the tanks out with a garden hose.
This bromeliad builds energy its entire life to send off one spectacular flower, but afterward will usually die. Don’t worry though, there will usually be a couple pups at the base to replace it. Once the parent plant begins to fade remove it to make room for the next generation.

Special Interest

In nature the tanks of bromeliads are an entire ecosystem all to their own where tree frogs lay their eggs and tiny pollywogs grow into frogs. So cool!