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Turquoise Puya

Impatiens phengklaii phengklai

This is a rare look at the awesome Impatiens phengklaii.  This is a new species that was found in a small section of Thailand, where it is rare.  This is an unusual but super-attractive plant, with little resemblance to typical Impatiens.  It makes a large, rock-like base, and has very dark leaves with lighter veins.  And of course the orangey-pink blossoms are simply divine!  The plant is extremely rare, and rarely seen for sale.

Impatiens phengklaii phengklai

Impatiens phengklaii makes a hard caudex about 5 inches across, which could be mistaken for a rock when it's dormant.  Each one takes on a unique shape.  It usually makes 1 to 3 attractive red stems, which grow to about 12 inches tall (30 cm).  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) and can appear almost black!  The plant blooms almost constantly for me!  The 1 inch flowers can vary in color from salmon to watermelon, but they are always beautiful.  You might be able to cross-breed it with some other Impatiens species to create new hybrids.

Impatiens phengklaii

It grows well for me indoors between 70 and 80 degrees F (21-27C) during the day, and above 62 F (17) at night.  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 1 part potting soil to 2 parts perlite or pumice rock.  Keep the mix evenly moist, except during its 4 month dormant period, when it should be drier.  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 and long-lived plant.

 

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Germinating the seeds

 

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Turquoise Puya

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