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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens phengklaii

This is a close look at the awesome Impatiens phengklaii.  This is a new species that was found in a small section of Thailand, where it is rare.  It's a super-attractive plant, with its orangey-pink blossoms, rock-like caudex, and unusual leaves that can appear almost black!  The plant is extremely rare and almost never seen for sale.

Impatiens phengklaii

Impatiens phengklaii makes a variably-shaped caudex about 5 inches across, which could be mistaken for a rock when it's dormant.  It usually makes 1 to 3 succulent, reddish stems, which grow to about 15 inches tall.  In bright lighting, the leaves take on a variegated appearance, with lime-green veins along a dark background.  They seem to get the darkest from long-day lighting (over 15 hours per day).  It blooms almost constantly for me!  The 1 inch blooms can vary in color from salmon to watermelon, but they are always beautiful.  The plant might be able to cross-breed with some other Impatiens species to create new hybrids.

Impatiens phengklaii

It grows well for me indoors between 62 and 80 degrees F (17-27C).  I haven't grown in cooler conditions, but it probably won't thrive below 55F (13C).  It comes from a rocky environment and needs a fast-draining soil mix.  A typical mix is 2 parts pumice rock, 2 parts perlite or coarse sand, and 1 part coir fiber or sphagnum moss.  Keep the mix evenly moist, but keep it drier during its 4 month dormant period.  Like most Impatiens, it enjoys bright, filtered light.  It will need some protection from afternoon sun.  Over about 40-50% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it's an easy, long-lived plant.

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Germinating the seeds

 

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