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Turquoise Puya

 

Colletia paradoxa

Colletia paradoxa

"Anchor Plant"

 

Germinating the seeds

 

When to plant -- Plant your seeds when you receive them for best results

Getting started -- Scrape each seed a few times over coarse sandpaper or a nail file.  Then soak them in a cup of water for 1 to 2 days (not more than 2 days).

Soil -- Use well-draining soil.  I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use small- or medium-grade perlite, not large chunks).  An alternate mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 parts perlite or coarse horticultural sand. 

 Use small pots or cups that have drainage holes.  Fill them with soil, place a seed on top, and cover with 1/4 inch (7 mm) of soil.  Add water until the soil is evenly moist (but not soggy). 

 Keep the pots between 64-78 degrees F (18-26 Celsius) during the day, and a little cooler at night.  I haven't tried them outside this temperature range.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds tend to sprout at different times, ranging from 4 weeks to 4 months.  Once they sprout, give them bright light, such as morning sun, filtered sun, or bright LED or fluorescent lights (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").  Protect them from strong afternoon sun the first few months.

 If any seeds don't sprout after 4 months, expose them to cool nights (below 55F / 13C, but above freezing) to simulate the passing of winter.  An easy way to do this is to seal the pots in a plastic container and put them in the refrigerator.  Mark your calendar to remove them after 8 weeks.

Watering -- Aim to keep the soil evenly moist (but not constantly saturated).  After the first year, they can tolerate drier soil.

Climate -- The plant comes from low- to mid-elevations in Chile, where summers are warm and nights are cool.  It's possible that hot days with warm nights could stress it, but i suspect it can adapt.  It can handle a few degrees of frost (-4C), but it's best to protect it from prolonged frost, especially when young.  I would protect them from very high or low temperatures the first 6-12 months.

Fertilizing -- When they are 7 days old, feed weekly with a small amount of liquid fertilizer using a very dilute dose (1/8 strength).  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and complete.  After 2 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer if you prefer.  Choose one with micronutrients, and follow the dosage on the package.

Repotting -- When the seedlings are 2 inches (5 cm) tall, they may gently transferred to bigger pots.  Avoid disturbing the roots when repotting.  Repot into a fast draining soil.  If you live in a high rainfall area, or you tend to overwater your plants, use ample perlite or coarse sand in your mix.

Bugs to watch for -- Not usually bothered by pests.  Indoors, watch for spider mites or mealy bugs.

If any questions or problems come up, feel free to email me.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 
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Turquoise Puya

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