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Turquoise Puya

Philodendron bonifaziae from Ecuador

This is a rare look at the awesome Philodendron bonifaziae.  This is a recently-named species discovered in the forests of northern Ecuador.  Its unusual, strap-like leaves look quite different from most Philodendrons.  The lush leaves grow 12 to 20 inches long but only 1 inches wide.  A nice picture of it growing in the wild is here.  This is a choice collector's plant that happens to be easy to grow!

The vine can potentially get 10 feet long or more, although it grows at a moderate pace, so it won't become rampant and smother other plants.  You may send it up a wooden post or trellis, or allow it to meander horizontally.  It's tolerant of a wide range of lighting, and even in dimmer light, the leaf nodes stay surprisingly close to each other and don't get lanky.  It hasn't flowered for me yet, but the flower spikes are about 8 inches long and reportedly smell like coconuts!

Philodendron bonifaziae from Lita, Ecuador

It grows well for me indoors between 60 and 80 degrees F (16-27C).  It's a tropical species, so it probably won't enjoy temperatures below 50 F (10C).  Like most Philodendrons, it likes a loose soil mix.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil, 1 part fine orchid bark, and 1 part perlite, pumice, or coarse sand.  Keep the soil evenly moist most of the time.  In the right conditions, it's an easy, low-maintenance plant that's rarely bothered by pests.

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Turquoise Puya

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