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Turquoise Puya

 

Griffinia liboniana

 Griffinia liboniana - the "mini Worsleya"

Planting your bulb

 

Getting started -- You may start your bulb in a small pot about 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) wide, and at least 4 inches tall (10 cm), with drainage holes. 

 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 the mix.

 Bury it so the top of the bulb is about 1 to 1.5 inches (3-4 cm) deep.  Add enough water until the soil is evenly moist, but not fully saturated.

 Until the bulb sprouts, i recommend keeping it between 65 and 82 degrees F (18-28C) both day and night.  Ensure that the soil doesn't dry out, but also don't keep it soggy.  The bulb can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months to sprout.

 If the bulb you received has leaves -- To keep the leaves from wilting after repotting, keep it above 80% humidity for a week, perhaps by placing a clear bag over the pot.  Punch a small hole in the bag every day to gradually lower the humidity.  After 10 days of doing this, you should be able to remove the bag.

Light -- Give it bright light, but no strong sun.  In the wild, it grows under dense forest cover, so it is happiest in bright shade.

Temperature -- Optimal temperatures are between about 65 and 90 degrees F (15-33 degrees C).  It can tolerate cooler conditions but it may go dormant if it is very cool.  It needs protection from frost.  

 Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  If your plants seem to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier.

Fertilizer -- It has low to average fertilizer needs.  Feed about every 3 months with a general-purpose fertilizer or bulb fertilizer.  Choose one that contains micronutrients (I use this).

 It's normal for an old leaf to occasionally turn yellow and then brown, but if it seems excessive, check that the soil is moist enough down in the root zone (a moisture meter may be used for this).  If you're sure the roots are moist enough, the plant may need more fertilizer.

 Keep the soil evenly moist at all times, except when the bulb goes dormant. 

 It may occasionally go dormant or semi-dormant, and if it does, reduce the watering and keep the soil lightly moist for 2-3 months.  Avoid letting it dry out completely.

Pests to watch for -- Mealybugs may attack the bulbs (look for cottony growth where the leaves emerge from the ground).  To control mealybugs, try using an insecticidal soap soil drench.

 Feel free to separate any baby bulbs that form, but keep in mind that disturbing the mother bulb's roots may delay flowering.

General info about this plant

 Have fun growing it!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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