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Turquoise Puya

 

Dombeya macrantha

 Dombeya macrantha / Andringitra macrantha

Growing the seeds

 

Plant your seeds promptly for best germination

 

 Getting started -- Start by scraping the sides the seeds a few times over sandpaper or a nail file.  Then soak them in a cup of water for 24 hours (not more than 2 days).

 Use small containers or cups that have drainage holes.  For soil, use a well draining soil mix, such as 3 parts potting soil to 2 parts perlite or coarse sand.  An alternate mix is equal parts of perlite and coir fiber, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.

 Fill each container with soil, but don't pack it down - just water it until evenly moist.  Place a seed on top, cover with 1/4 inch (5 mm) of soil, and water the top soil layer.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface stays moist (but not soggy).  If you enclose the pots in a plastic dome or bag to maintain moisture, leave it open a crack to allow fresh air in.  You may need to drip some water on the soil every 2 or 3 days to keep it moist.

 Keep the pots between about 65-75 degrees F (18-24C), and a few degrees lower at night.  Avoid letting them get above 80F (27C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer right next to the pots to ensure they stay at the right temperature.

 The seeds should begin sprouting within 8 weeks, but allow up to 16 weeks for any slow ones to sprout, especially at cooler temperatures.  Give your seedlings bright light, but avoid direct sunlight the first month.  A fluorescent or LED bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) from the plants provides the right amount of light the first month.  After that, give some morning sun, and increase the sun gradually each week.  I recommend growing them indoors the first few months. 

Watering - Keep the soil evenly moist most of the time - but not soggy.  Don't let the pots dry out. 

 If your tap water is very high in minerals ("hard" water) i recommend using bottled spring water or rain water.

Repotting - When the plants are 2-3 months old, transplant them to a larger container.  Transplant carefully to avoid letting the soil ball break apart, which can damage the roots.  Watering the soil before repotting will help avoid this.  For the first week after repotting, give no direct sun.

Feeding - The plant has average fertilizing needs.  Feed about every 2 months while actively growing with a slow-release fertilizer, like pelleted or organic fertilizer.

 Climate - The plant grows at about 1600 meter elevation in Madagascar, where temperatures are mild all year and nights are cool.  In cultivation it has handled 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) with cool nights (below 65 F / 19 C).  It's possible that it won't thrive with the combination of hot days and warm nights.  My guess is that it is cold hardy to about 28 degrees F (-2 C).  I recommend protecting it from frost.  Over about 40% humidity is recommended.

 In hotter conditions, give the plants afternoon shade, and don't place them near a wall where heat can collect.  Keep the pot shaded to avoid overheating the roots in hot climates, or use a light-colored, oversized ceramic pot.

 Pests to watch for - Look for any insects that affect your other plants.  Be careful when choosing chemical remedies, as some may harm the plant.

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

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

 

 

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Turquoise Puya

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