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Turquoise Puya

 

Scadoxus nutans

Scadoxus nutans

Germinating the seeds

 

Your seeds should be planted immediately when received.

The seeds might sprout during shipment, so be careful when opening the packet, to avoid damaging the root.

Getting started -- You may either plant them in individual pots, or together in a communal pot.  Either way, the pots should be at least 3 inches tall (8 cm) and have drainage holes.  Fill with a loose soil mix that is high in organic matter.  A good mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or pumice.  An alternate mix is equal parts of perlite and coir fiber or peat moss.  Do not add lime, but you may mix in some slow-release fertilizer.

 Rinse the seeds in water to clean them.  Push them into the soil, sideways, until just a small part of the seed is exposed.  Plant them at least 1.5 inches (4 cm) from each other.  Water the soil until evenly moist (but not soggy).

 They germinate well at about 65-75 F (18-24C) during the day.  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get above 80 F (27C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pot. 

 Keep the pots in bright light out of direct sun.  A fluorescent or LED bulb placed 4-5 inches (11 cm) away provides the right amount of light.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the seeds always stay moist.  If you enclose the pot in a bag or clear plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for fresh air to enter.  You may need to drip water a few drops of water on the seeds daily to keep them moist.

 They should begin sprouting within 3-6 weeks.  Occasionally they can take up to 3 months, so as long as the seeds look healthy, don't give up on them!  Once they sprout, continue giving bright light, with no direct sun for the first 6 weeks.

Fertilizing -- For the first 6 weeks, it's best to feed a liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer works well for this, since it is complete and easily absorbed.  Give a light dose (1/8 strength) about once a week.  After 6-8 weeks, you may switch to a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.

Re-potting --  You may repot to a bigger pot any time after they are 3 months old.  Plants under 2 years old may be kept in a 1 gallon (4 liter) pot.  Older plants may be kept in a 3-5 gallon (12-20 liter) pot, depending on whether you remove the offsets that will develop.

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.

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

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

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

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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