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Turquoise Puya

 

Cryptostephanus vansonii

Cryptostephanus vansonii

 

Germinating the seeds

 

When to plant -- Plant your seeds right away for the best results.

Getting started -- Start by soaking them overnight in a cup of water.

Soil -- Use a soil high in organic matter but that also drains well.  A typical mix for germinating them is 2 parts potting soil to 3 parts perlite or coarse horticultural sand.  An alternate mix is 2 parts of coir fiber to 3 parts perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.  Do not add lime to the mix.

Pot size - You may use small pots about 3 or 4 inches tall (7-10 cm) and 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm) wide.  The pots need drainage holes.

 Fill the pots with the soil mix and add water until evenly moist (but not soggy).  Place a seed on top in each pot, and cover with about 1/4 inch (7 mm) of soil.  Moisten the top soil layer.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil doesn't dry out.  If you place the pots in a plastic container or bag to maintain moisture, leave it open a crack to allow fresh air to enter.

Temperature -- Aim to keep them between 68 and 78 F (20-26C) during the day, and a little cooler at night (60-74F = 16-23C).  Avoid letting them get above 82 F (28C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 Keep them in a bright spot out of direct sun.  They can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to sprout.

Lighting the seedlings -- Once your seeds sprout, keep them in a bright spot, with protection from afternoon sun.  You may use a fluorescent light kept a few inches (10 cm) away.

Watering:  Once the seedlings are 3 weeks old, you may allow the surface soil to dry out between waterings, but aim to keep the rest of the soil evenly moist most of the time.  Never let it dry out completely, but also don't keep it constantly soggy. 

 If your water supply is very high in minerals (= "hard water"), you may need to use bottled water or rainwater.

 If your seedlings happens to rise out of the soil and the root becomes exposed, simply pile a little soil around the root.

Growing on...

Climate -- It has similar cultural requirements as Clivia, growing best in mild temperatures with cool nights.  I don't have information on how much heat it can take, but it's possible that it won't thrive if temperatures consistently get above 85 degrees F (29 degrees C) with nights above 65 degrees F (18 C). Over about 40-45% humidity is best.

Lighting -- It likes filtered sun or morning sun.  Protect it from strong afternoon sun.

Feeding -- The plant has average fertilizer requirements.  For the first 2 months, give a light dose (1/8 strength) of liquid fertilizer every 10-14 days.  After 2 months, you may switch to a slow-release (pelleted) fertilizer and feed every 2-3 months.

 Repotting -- Once your seedlings are 2 months old, you may repot them to larger containers about 1 quart (1 liter) in size.  For soil, use a loose growing medium, similar to what is used for growing Clivia.  A typical mix is 1 part fine bark, 1 part potting soil or compost, and 1 part perlite, pumice, or coarse sand.  Mix in some slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer).  For the first week after repotting, shade from sun, and give no fertilizer.

 After 2 years, repot them to a 1-2 gallon (4-8 liter container), which can hold them indefinitely.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact me.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

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Turquoise Puya

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