Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

 

Dermatobotrys saundersii

Dermatobotrys saundersii

Germinating the seeds

 

Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination

 

Getting started -- I recommend planting the seeds in individual, small containers that have drainage holes.

 This plant prefers a loose, well-draining soil that is high in organic matter.  A typical mix is 1 part potting soil to 1 part perlite.  Instead of perlite, you may use pumice rock or fine-grade orchid bark.  An alternate mix is 2 part coir fiber or peat moss to 3 parts perlite or pumice.

 Fill the pots with the soil mix, and add water until uniformly moist, but not soggy. Place 1-2 seeds on top of each pot, and cover with a very thin layer of soil - just enough to barely cover them.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil doesn't dry out.  The best way to do this is usually to enclose the pots in a plastic dome or bag.  Leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air in.  You may need to drip a few drops of water on the surface each day.

 The ideal temperature for germination is between about 64 and 74 degrees F (18-23C).  Avoid letting the seeds get above 77 F (25C).  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots, because the temperature can vary in different parts of a room.  Keep the pots in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.

 They should start germinating in 3 to 5 weeks, but allow up to 8 weeks for any slow ones to sprout.  Cooler temperatures may slow germination.

Lighting -- Once the seeds sprout, give bright shade, or filtered sunlight.  Avoid prolonged, direct sunlight until the plants are 2-3 months old.

Watering -- Continue keeping the soil surface moist the first 3 weeks, but increase air circulation a bit more, to avoid stem rot. 

 After the first 3 weeks, aim to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time.  Don't let it dry out completely, but don't keep it perpetually soggy either.  You may use a moisture meter probe to monitor the moisture levels down in the root zone.

Climate -- The plant comes from a mild climate, without extremes in temperatures. It reportedly has handled temperatures up to 100 degrees F, but it is happiest below 90 degrees F (32C). It can probably survive a few degrees of frost, but i recommend protecting it from all frost, especially the first year.

 The humidity should be above about 40%.  Indoors, if the humidity is too low, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, which you can buy at home-improvement stores and thrift shops.

Fertilizing --  This species has average fertilizer needs.  Feed about every 2 months with a slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer.  If your soil contains nutrients (check the package), your seedling shouldn't need feeding the first 3 weeks.

 It's normal for older leaves to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it seems excessive, the soil may be too dry down in the root zone.  Or plant may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen.  Keep in mind the plant normally drops its leaves each winter when exposed to cool temperatures.

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

Pests to watch for -- aphids, scale (dark disks on the stems), mealy bugs, spider mites.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2017 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted