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Turquoise Puya

 

Dendroseris litoralis

Dendroseris litoralis

 Cabbage Tree

Germinating the seeds

 Getting started -- Soak the seeds for 8 to 12 hours in a cup of water.

Getting started -- You may plant each seed in individual, small containers, such as seedling starter trays.  Or you plant them all in a single, larger container, but it may be difficult to separate the roots later.  Either way, use containers with drainage holes

 For soil, use a well draining mix.  I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not coarse-grade).  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite.

 After soaking the seeds, place them on the soil surface and cover lightly with a 1/8 inch (3 mm) layer of vermiculite, or ground sphagnum moss.  This will keep the seeds moist but allow some light to enter, which improves germination.  If you don't have vermiculite or sphagnum moss, use your soil mix instead. Then add water until everything is evenly moist (but not fully saturated).

 Aim to keep them between 65-77 degrees F (18-25C), although a little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get above 80 F (26C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 Until the seeds sprout, do not allow the soil surface to dry out.  If you enclose the pots in a plastic bag or dome to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly to allow fresh air to enter. 

 Place in bright light out of direct sun.  An LED or fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").

 They should begin sprouting within 2 to 4 weeks and continue for a month.  Some sunlight is ok after 1 week, but avoid strong sun exposure for 3 months. 

Fertilizing -- Feed weekly with a small amount of 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 1/2 teaspoon/gallon (3 mL per 4 liters).  After 8 weeks, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.  Or continue feeding weekly with small amounts of liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength.

Pests -- Watch for any pests that can affect your other plants.  Slugs & snails like young plants.  Powdery mildew might grow on the leaves in some climates.

 Tips on growing older plants are here.

 If you have any questions, feel free to email me. 

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 
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