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Bomarea acutifolia

 Bomarea acutifolia

 

Plant your seeds immediately for the best germination rate

Seed pre-treatment -- Soak your seeds in room-temperature water for about 6-10 hours (not more than 18 hours).

Put each seed in a separate pot about 2-3 inches tall (5-7 cm). Fill each pot with a mix of 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite, and water it until evenly moist.  Put the seed on top and cover with about 1/4 inch (6 mm) of soil. Water the top soil until moist.

Keep the pots in an area that will stay about 60-75 degrees F (15-24C) during the day, and 50-65 (10-18C) at night.  Avoid letting the seeds overheat.  Keep the soil surface moist.  If you place the pots in a plastic dome or bag to maintain moisture, keep it open slightly to allow fresh air to enter. 

After 8 weeks, if any seeds don't sprout, move the pots into the refrigerator for 6 weeks, to trick them into thinking winter has passed.  Place them a sealed plastic bag, and mark your calendar to check on them every 2 weeks, to see if any seeds have sprouted.

After the 6 weeks in the refrigerator, move them back into room temperature. They should start sprouting after 4-6 weeks, but allow up to 12 weeks for any slow ones. 

Transplanting -- Wait until the 2nd or 3rd shoot appears before transplanting.  A 6 inch (15 cm) tall pot will hold it for several months.  Work your way up to larger pots as it grows, until it is eventually in a 5 or 10 gallon (20-40 liter) pot.

Bomarea is sensitive to having its roots disturbed, so transplant carefully and avoid letting the soil ball break apart.  Water the soil before transplanting, to keep the soil ball together.  

Soil -- Bomarea likes humus-rich, well-draining soil.  A good mix is about 2 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite.  Don't add lime, since Bomarea likes slightly acid soil.

Watering -- Bomarea likes evenly moist soil.  Avoid letting the soil dry out, but don't keep it perpetually soggy either.

Light -- Bomarea comes from the forests, where it gets tree-filtered sun most of the time.  Give it some protection from strong afternoon sun.

Climate -- Bomarea grows best above 40 degrees F (5C)  The roots can survive at least several degrees of frost, but this will kill the leaves.

Fertilizing --  During periods of active growth, feed about every 6 weeks with all-purpose fertilizer, at half the recommended dosage on the package.  Most potting soils contain fertilizer, so if yours does, don't feed your seedlings the first month.

Up and away -- Bomarea likes to climb, so give it something to play on, like a trellis, fence, or another plant.  It should ideally be under 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, so the plant can twine it's way around easier.  Don't prune your plant (unless a branch dies back), but you can wrap any long strands around your trellis. The flowers appear from the growing tips.   

Dormancy -- This variety may go dormant for a few months in the winter.  If the plant should die back then, stop watering until the spring.

Pests to watch for -- Snails and slugs can be a problem in prone areas.  Watch for other bugs too, including aphids. 

Good growing!

Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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Turquoise Puya

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