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Turquoise Puya

Monochaetum deppeanum

This is a rare look at the lovely Monochaetum deppeanum.  This large bush becomes covered with pink, four-petaled blooms practically all year.  It comes from the hills of Mexico and Central America, where the climate is mild -- it is untested in warmer climates.  It is extremely rare in cultivation, and probably isn't available anywhere else online.

Monochaetum deppeanum

Monochaetum deppeanum is an evergreen bush that grows about 8 feet tall and wide here in San Francisco, which is pretty large for Monochaetum plants.  It may be pruned to any size that is convenient.  The leaves are small and fuzzy, and have lengthwise veins typical of most plants in the Melastome family.  It flowers most months of the year, with inch-long blooms that have darker pink centers.  The biggest floral show tends to be spring and summer, when the plant is smothered in pink!

Monochaetum deppeanum

The plant usually grows in mountain rain forests, between 1000 and 2000 meter elevation.  Temperatures there are mild all year, and nights can be cool but frost-free.  Little is known about its climate tolerances, but it's possible that it won't thrive if temperatures consistently get above 85F (29C) and nights are warm.  It probably cannot survive below about 28F (-2C).  It grows well in part sun, and like many rain forest plants, it may need protection from strong afternoon sun.  It likes soil that drains well and is kept evenly moist.  Above about 40% humidity is recommended.  In the right conditions, it is easy to grow.

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Germinating the seeds

 

 

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