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Turquoise Puya

 

Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross'

Agapetes serpens x A. rugosa

 

Soil -- Agapetes can adapt to many soils, but it prefers a loose, well-draining soil mix that is slightly acidic.  A typical soil mix is equal parts of potting soil, peat moss, fine-grade orchid bark, and perlite or pumice rock.  An alternative is to use equal parts of coir fiber and perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.  Don't add lime to your mix.

Container growing -- repot your plant to a 1 to 3 gallon container with drainage holes.  That will hold it for at least 6 months, when you can either plant it in the ground if you're in a frost-free area, or into a 5-10 gallon pot. 

 Water the soil before repotting, to keep the soil ball from breaking apart, which can damage the roots.  For the first week after repotting, shade from direct sun, and give no fertilizer.

Light - Agapetes likes part sun, so that it gets about 50% sun, with protection from strong afternoon sun.

 Your plant was grown in filtered light, so please acclimate it to direct sun slowly after transplanting.  Start it in 80% shade, and increase the sun by about 10-20% per week.

Watering --  Aim to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time - but not soggy.  Avoid letting it dry out completely.  Don't let the pot sit in a tray of water.

 If your tap water is very high in minerals ("hard water") it's best to use bottled water or rainwater, or filter the tap water using a distiller or reverse-osmosis filter.  If none of these suggestions are practical for you, use a fertilizer for acid-loving plants, to counteract the alkalinity of the tap water.

Fertilizer - Feed about every 2 months during periods of active growth with a slow release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer.

 It's normal for an older leaf to occasionally turn yellow, but if it seems excessive, it may be from not enough nitrogen fertilizer or the soil may be too dry down in the root zone.  Use a soil moisture meter probe if you're unsure.

Climate -- Agapetes prefers mild temperatures.  In warmer conditions, keep the pot shaded so the roots stay cool.  It can probably survive several degrees of frost, but it's happiest with temperatures above 40F (4C).  I recommend protecting it from frost.  Indoors, over about 40-50% humidity is best.

If you have any questions or problems, please email me.

Enjoy your plant!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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