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Turquoise Puya

 

Ceratostema rauhii

 

 Getting started -- I recommend leaving your plant for 3 weeks to recover from shipping.  Don't feed it until a week after repotting.  Instructions on transplanting it are down below.

Watering -- Keep the soil evenly moist.  Never let it dry out completely (but avoid keeping constantly soggy).  After repotting, ensure that the original soil ball stays moist, since it is prone to drying out quicker than the surrounding soil.

 If your tap water is very high in minerals ("hard" water), you might need to use bottled water or rain water. 

Lighting -- It likes bright, filtered light.  Shade it from strong afternoon sun.  It doesn't need any direct sun to be happy, just bright light.

Climate -- It comes from a mild climate that has cool nights, so it prefers conditions enjoyed by cool- to intermediate-temperature Orchids.  Daytime temperatures below 85 degrees F (29 C) are best, with nights below 65 F (18 C).  It reportedly can tolerate cooler conditions, but it need protection from frost.

  Over about 50-60% humidity is best.  If it seems to suffer in low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.

 It seems to dislike stagnant air, so if necessary, provide some air flow in the room with a small fan, but don't keep it aimed directly at it.

 Soil -- Use an airy, "chunky" mix.  A typical mix is equal parts of fine orchid bark, small or medium perlite, and sphagnum moss or coco fiber.  You can mix in some slow-release fertilizer, but don't add lime, since it likes slightly-acid conditions.

 Transplanting -- Avoid breaking apart the soil ball, which can damage the roots.  Soaking the pot in a container of water for 10 minutes will help keep the root ball together, and make it easier to remove it from the pot. 

 If the plant doesn't slide out of the pot easily, you might need to cut the pot away.  To do this, carefully score down the side of the pot with a box cutter blade (you don't need to cut all the way through), then use pointy-tipped scissors to cut through.

Fertilizing --  While granular fertilizer can work fine, i prefer liquid Hydroponic fertilizer, since it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients.  You can either feed very light doses with each watering, or stronger doses at longer intervals.  It grows at a moderate pace, so it doesn't need lots of fertilizer.  Again, don't feed your plant until a week after repotting.

Pests to watch for -- Watch for any pests that can affect your other plants.

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

Enjoy your plant!

- Jeff

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