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Turquoise Puya

Fuchsia tillettiana

This is a rare look at the beautiful Fuchsia tillettiana from Venezuela.  This "holy grail" of Fuchsias puts on a spectacular show of bubblegum-pink flowers each winter and spring.  The blooms are unusual in that they lack petals - but that doesn't make them any less attractive!  Their recurved sepals add a graceful flair, and are accented by bright yellow stamens.  This is a choice collector's plant that is easy to grow if given the right conditions.  I don't know any other source for it online.

Fuchsia tillettiana

Fuchsia tillettiana is a deciduous species that is able to form small tubers.  It can grow as an epiphyte in the wild, although it adapts quite well to soil in my experience.  Its attractive, woody branches tend to grow 4 to 6 feet long, but they reportedly can get much larger.  The newer leaves are tinged with a lovely shade of pink.  The plant drops most or all of its leaves when the days shorten in winter, at which point the blooms make their appearance on bare branches.  The 3 inch long flowers emerge along large racemes at the ends of the branches.  This is an extremely decorative plant in full bloom.  After flowering, it makes edible, cherry-red fruits that are mildly sweet.  This is a true species, not a cultivated hybrid.

Fuchsia tillettiana comes from the cool Andes mountains, and like most Fuchsias, it prefers moderate temperatures, with cooler nights.  There isn't a lot of information on this plant, but it might decline if temperatures consistently get above 85 degrees F (29C), particularly if nights are warm (above 65F / 18C).  It probably can survive a few degrees of frost, but i recommend protecting it from frost if you wish to see the winter flowers.  It can be grown indoors in a pot, although it might need cool nights during autumn & winter to promote flowering.  It grows best in a loose, well-draining soil mix, such as half potting soil and half perlite, pumice or fine bark.  Like most Fuchsias, it prefers bright shade or filtered sunlight.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.  Over about 40-50% humidity is recommended.  You may trim back the longer branches each Spring to give the plant a compact, bushy shape.  This is a mite-resistant Fuchsia.

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Turquoise Puya

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