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Turquoise Puya

 

 "Magic Dogwood"

Cornus florida subsp. urbiniana

 

Germinating the seeds

 

  Plant them when you receive them for best results

The seeds sprout best by placing them in the refrigerator for 10 weeks after being kept at room temperature for 6 weeks. The tips below explain the process.

 Fill a small, plastic sandwich container with pre-moistened coir fiber or peat moss.  Don't oversaturate the material.  Place the seeds inside and cover them with more material.

 Place the container at room temperature (60-75F / 15-24C), with the lid slightly open for ventilation.  A dim location will help minimize the formation of algae, but this isn't necessary.  Keep the container there for 6 weeks, watering whenever necessary to keep the most moist.  Don't let water collect on the bottom of the container.

 After 6 weeks, close the container, label it, and put it in the refrigerator.  Ensure that the seeds don't freeze (inside the door is usually the warmest place). 

 After 8 weeks (mark your calendar), remove the seeds from the container and plant them 3/8 inch deep (1 cm) in individual pots (or cups with drainage holes) that are at least 3 inches tall (7 cm).  Use a well-draining soil mix.  I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite.  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand.  Don't add lime to your mix.

 Water the soil until evenly moist, and place in a bright spot that is about 65-77 degrees F (18-25C), with good air circulation.  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get warmer than 80 degrees F (27C).  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds will sprout at different times.  A few might sprout immediately after removing them from the refrigerator, while some may take 2 or 3 months, and few might take longer.  Usually by 3 months, at least 75% will sprout.  If any don't sprout after 5 months, try repeating the refrigerator treatment for 10 weeks, checking up on them every 2-3 weeks to see if any have sprouted.

 Once they sprout, give them bright, filtered light.  Shade them from strong sun.  Give them good air circulation to prevent stem rot. 

Fertilizing -- Once they are 7 days old, feed every 2 weeks with a very dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for this, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients.  I use General Hydroponics Flora fertilizer, using 1 teaspoon/gallon (5 mL per 4 liters).  After 3 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.  Or continue feeding with liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength each week.

 When your seedlings are as tall as their pot, gently replant them gently into larger pots.  Avoid disturbing the roots when repotting (watering the soil first helps keep it together).  A tall pot is best to allow a deep root system.

 Avoid sudden, large changes in temperature or sun while they are young.  Protect them from freezing temperatures the first 2-3 years.

 Tips on growing older plants are here.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

 
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Turquoise Puya

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