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"Fiesta" Bomarea

 Speckled "Fiesta" Bomarea

 

Transplanting -- Start it to a pot about 1 quart in size (unless it's currently in a 4 inch pot, in which case move it to a 1 gallon pot.  After about 6 months, you can then move it to a 1 gallon pot for a year, and then to its permanent home - about 5-10 gallons, or into the ground in suitable areas. 

For soil, use a well draining mix.  I use a mix of 1 part coco fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not coarse-grade), with some fertilizer mixed in.  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite.  Don't add lime to the mix.

 Repot gently to avoid breaking apart the soil ball, which can damage the roots.  The first 2 weeks after repotting, shade it from strong sun and give no fertilizer.  Make sure the original soil ball stays moist the first month.

Light -- It likes several hours of sun.  It can take full in cool, coastal areas.  It may need some protection from strong afternoon sun, especially in warmer climates.

 Your plant was grown in filtered light, so please start it in the same and increase the light slowly over 2-4 weeks, to prevent burning. 

Watering -- Keep the soil evenly moist.. but don't keep it constantly saturated either.  If your tap water is very "hard" (high in minerals) you might need to use bottled water or rain water. 

Climate -- Most Bomareas prefer mild temperatures and cooler nights.  It's possible that this one will not perform well if temperatures consistently get above 85 degrees F (30 C), especially if nights are warm (over 65F / 18C).  In warmer conditions, keep the pot shaded, perhaps by placing it inside another pot made of clay.

 The foliage may be killed by frost, but the tubers should be hardy to at least 25 degrees F (-4 C).  Still, i recommend protecting the plant from freezing temperatures. 

Fertilizing --  It has average fertilizer needs.  During periods of active growth, feed about every 2-3 months with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients. 

 It's normal for an older shoot to occasionally turn yellow and die throughout the year, but if it seems excessive, the roots might not have been moist enough.  If you're sure that wasn't the case, the plant may need more fertilizer.

Up and away -- Bomarea likes to climb, so give it something to twine itself around, like a trellis.  It should ideally be under 1 inch thick (3 cm), so the shoots can twine around it.  A 6 foot (2 meter) trellis can work for older plants, although a taller one may eventually be needed - or allow it to grow on a fence or another plant.  If the shoots grow too long, wrap them down and around your trellis.  Don't trim the shoots, since the flowers appear from the growing tips.  

The tubers should not be dug up, as this may damage the plant. 

Pests to watch for -- Snails and slugs can be a problem in prone areas.  Keep an eye out for any pests that can affect your other plants. 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Good luck with it!

- Jeff

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