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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens marianae

Impatiens marianae is a rarely-seen species from India with mesmerizing variegation!  Its amazing leaf pattern occurs naturally - this is not a cultivated hybrid.  Those of you in warmer climates will be disappointed to learn that this is a cool-climate species that might not thrive in warm conditions.  If you can provide the right environment, it's a stunning collector's plant.  It is almost never seen for sale.

Variegated Impatiens marianae

Impatiens marianae is a perennial species that trails along the ground for 2 or 3 feet, and grows to about a foot tall.  Its fuzzy stems will root wherever they touch the soil.  The 2-inch leaves have a silvery-white background, and dark green along the main veins.  I suspect that the bold variegation enables pollinators to see the plant in the dark forest understory where it grows.  The inch-long flowers are deep pink with yellow markings inside, and have a curved "tail".  The plant doesn't seem to flower often in cultivation, but it is a real treat when it does!

Impatiens marianae

Impatiens marianae prefers cool, moist conditions.  Preferred temperatures are between 50 and 70 or 75 degrees F (10-23 degrees C).  It can tolerate occasional warm weather, but it's likely that it won't thrive if temperatures regularly get above the low 80s (28 degrees C), particularly if nights are warm.  It has survived winter temperatures near freezing, but it needs protection from frost.  This species needs higher humidity to thrive - above 60% is recommended.  It makes a nice terrarium plant if given some air circulation.  It does best in bright, filtered light, and should be protected from strong sun exposure.  Grow it in well-draining soil that's kept consistently moist.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and vigorous plant.

Impatiens marianae

Photo 2 courtesy of Diego Delso

 

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Turquoise Puya

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