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Turquoise Puya

 

Scadoxus cyrtanthiflorus

Scadoxus cyrtanthiflorus

Germinating the seeds

 

Your seeds should be planted immediately when received. 

The seeds may send out a root during shipping, so be gentle when unpacking them to avoid breaking the root.

Getting started --  Use pots about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) tall that have drainage holes.  Fill with a loose soil mix.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil to 3 parts perlite.  An alternate mix is 1 part coir fiber or sphagnum moss to 2 parts perlite.  Do not add lime to the mix.

 Rinse the seeds under water, then push them into the surface so that the top of the seed is even with the surface, and you can see just the tip of the seed.  If the seed has a dark spot or a pointed end, plant that end sideways.  If a root has already emerged, point the root sideways and slightly downward.  If possible, expose a small part of the root to light (although this is not necessary).  Then water the soil until moist (but not fully saturated).

 Try to keep them between 62-77 F (17-25C), day & night.  Avoid letting them get above 79 F (26C).  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots. 

 Give them 12+ hours a day of bright light out of direct sun.  A fluorescent bulb placed 4-5 inches (11 cm) away provides the right amount of light.  If you enclose the pots in a plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for fresh air to enter.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil always stays moist.   You may need to drip water a few drops of water on the seeds daily to keep them moist.  Don't keep the soil soggy, however.

 They should begin sending a root downward within 3 to 5 weeks, followed by their first leaf about a month later.  Occasionally they can take 2-3 months, so as long as the seed looks healthy, don't give up on it!  Once your seeds sprout, continue giving bright light, with no direct sun the first 6 weeks.  Also continue keeping the surface soil moist, since the root is small at first.

Fertilizing -- For the first 2 months after the first leaf appears, it's best to use a liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, since it is easily absorbed and complete.  Give a light dose (1/8 to 1/4 strength) every 10-14 days.  After 2 months, you may switch to a granular, general-purpose fertilizer, following the directions on the package.

Re-potting --  You may repot to a bigger pot any time after they are 4 months old.  When you repot, use some small wood pieces in the mix, such as fine-grade orchid bark.  A typical mix is 1 part potting soil, 1 part fine-grade orchid bark, and 1 part perlite. 

 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.  Tall pots are preferred over wider ones.

Climate -- The plant comes from about 2600 to 3000 meter elevation, where temperatures are mild or cool all year.  I have no information on how it will do in warm conditions, so consider it experimental if temperatures regularly get above 85 degrees F (29 degrees C), especially if nights are warm.  Its roots probably can handle down to the mid-20s (-4 degrees C) but it's best to protect it from freezing temperatures.  Over about 50% humidity is preferred.  Indoors, the plant may stay evergreen unless exposed to very cool temperatures, which may cause dormancy. 

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

Watering -- The roots like to be kept moist, but not soggy.  So aim to keep the soil evenly moistened.  Don't let it dry out, even when the plant is dormant.

 If your tap water is very "hard", meaning high in minerals, use bottled water or rain water.

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

- Jeff

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