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Turquoise Puya

 

Brunsvigia grandiflora

Brunsvigia grandiflora

 

Planting the bulb

 

Pot size -- The first 2 years, keep it in a pot about 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) wide and about 4-6 inches (10-14 cm) tall. 

Soil -- Use a very fast draining mix.  A typical mix is about 3 parts perlite, pumice rock, or coarse horticultural sand to 1 part coco fiber, compost, or potting soil.

 Plant the neck of the bulb above soil level.  Add water until the mix is evenly moist, but not fully saturated.

 If your bulb has leaves: Start it in bright, filtered light with protection from strong afternoon sun.  Increase the sun a little each week to avoid burning.

 If your bulb doesn't have leaves:  It will sprout some time between a few weeks and a few months, depending on when it went dormant.  Continue keeping the soil moist but not soggy until it sprouts.

Growing onward...

 During the growing season of autumn & winter, it does best between 40 degrees F. and the low-80s (5-28 degrees C).  The leaves can probably tolerate a light frost, at least on older plants, but it will grow best when protected from freezing temperatures. Keep the roots evenly moist during the growing season.

 Give it ample sun during the winter growing period.  In hotter climates, some afternoon shade might be needed in Spring, and also keep the pot shaded in hot weather.

Fertilizing --  Use a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.  Avoid feeding after March (September in the southern hemisphere).

Dormancy -- The leaves will begin to die back around late Spring as the bulb prepares for its summer dormancy.  When this happens, reduce the watering.  Once the leaves have died, keep the soil almost dry until autumn.  Avoid letting the soil get bone dry during dormancy, but don't let it get too wet or the bulb could rot. 

 In autumn, keep the soil slightly moist to encourage the bulb to come out of dormancy.  Once growth has commenced, keep the soil evenly moist (but not fully saturated).

 If you grow your bulb indoors under artificial lighting, it might not go dormant the first summer or two. 

 It's best to do any repotting during dormancy.  It does not need a large pot - only about 3-4 inches wider than the bulb.  When it nears maturity, avoid repotting it or disturbing the roots, as this could delay flowering for a few years. 

 If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

Have fun growing it!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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