Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya



Impatiens campanulata

Impatiens campanulata

Planting the tubers


When to plant --
Plant them the day they arrive.

Getting started -- You may plant in individual, small containers at least 2 inches (5 cm) tall and wide.  Use pots with drainage holes

 For soil, use a well draining mix high in organic matter.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse sand.  An alternate mix is 1 part perlite to 1 part coir fiber, with some all-purpose fertilizer mixed in.

 Fill the pots with soil, place the tuber on the surface, and bury it so the top of the tuber is level with the soil surface.  Add water until the soil is evenly moist (but not fully saturated).  It's ok if the top of the tuber is visible.

 Until they sprout, ensure that the surface soil stays moist.  A plastic dome or bag is good for maintaining moisture, but leave it open a slightly to allow some fresh air in. 

 Keep the pots between 65 to 78 degrees F (18-26C).  Avoid letting them get warmer than this, but a little cooler at night is ok.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 A fluorescent or LED bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light.  Protect from direct sun. 

 They should sprout within about 4-6 weeks, but allow up to 8 weeks.  Increase air ventilation after they sprout.

Growing onward...

Lighting -- This Impatiens prefers bright shade, or filtered sunlight.  Avoid prolonged direct sun, unless it's early-morning sun.

Watering -- Aim to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Never let it dry out completely.  You may use a moisture meter probe to monitor the moisture levels down in the root zone.

Fertilizing -- Feed a week after they sprout, and then about every 2 months with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.

Transplanting -- When your plants are 2 months old, you may gently transfer them to a larger pot.  Avoid letting the soil ball break apart, which can damage the roots.  After transplanting, give no sun or liquid fertilizer the first week.

Climate -- Impatiens campanulata comes from the mountains of southern India, where temperatures are mild year-round and nights are cool.  I don't know its climate tolerances, but i suspect it might not thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 degrees F (30 degrees C) and nights are warm (above 65 F / 18 C).  Outdoors, protect it from freezing temperatures.

 Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  If it seems to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.

 Pests to watch for -- aphids, scale (dark disks on the stems), mealy bugs.  Start with insecticidal soap spray before using stronger remedies.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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