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Turquoise Puya

 

Scadoxus nutans

Scadoxus nutans

Planting the rhizome

 

Plant your rhizome immediately when received.

Getting started -- You can start it in a pot about 4-5 inches (10-12 cm) wide.

 For soil, use a well draining mix.  I use a mix of 2 parts coir fiber to 3 parts perlite.  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand.  Don't add lime to your mix, but you may add in some slow-release fertilizer.

 Bury the rhizome so it is slightly under the soil (about 0.5 inch / 2 cm).  Add water until it is evenly moist, but not fully saturated.

 Until it sprouts, keep it about 65-80 F (18-27C) during the day, and above 60F (16C) at night. I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pot.

 An LED or fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").  Protect from direct sun.  It should sprout in about 1 to 3 months, depending on when it went dormant. 

 Once it sprouts --

Lighting -- This forest plant prefers filtered sunlight or bright shade.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.

Fertilizing -- It has average fertilizer needs.  During periods of active growth, feed about every 2 months with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.

Climate -- It comes from 1000-2000 meter elevation, where temperatures are mild all year, and nights are cool.  It is reported to grow well in temperatures in the 90s (36C).  Its roots probably can handle down to the mid-20s (-4C) but it's best to protect it from frost.  Indoors, the plant can stay evergreen unless exposed to very cool temperatures, which may cause dormancy.

Watering -- The roots like to be kept moist, but not constantly saturated.  So aim to keep the soil evenly moistened.  Outdoors, if heavy rainfall/watering is unavoidable, use extra perlite in your soil mix. 

Dormancy -- The leaves will drop when the rhizome prepares for dormancy.  Reduce the watering when this happens, and keep the soil lightly moist (not fully dry) until it sprouts in a few months.

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

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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