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Turquoise Puya

 

Impatiens cf. adenioides

Impatiens cf. adenioides

Growing the seeds

 

When to plant -- Plant your seeds when you receive them for best germination

 Use a very well-draining soil.  I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 2 parts perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not coarse-grade).  An alternate mix is 1 part quality potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand.  If you create your own mix using peat moss, add a small amount of agricultural lime (=dolomite lime, not hydrated or quick lime).  Add only teaspoon of lime per gallon of soil (3 cc per 4 liters. 

Fill the pots, without packing down the soil, and place a seed or 2 on top.  If you have long-fibered sphagnum moss, sprinkle a small amount over the surface.  This helps retain moisture around the seeds while allowing light to reach them, which aids germination.  The amount of moss to use is shown in this photo.  If you don't have the moss, sprinkle a small amount of your soil mix around the seeds.  Then add water until everything is evenly moist (but not soggy).

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil always stays moist.  A plastic dome may be used to maintain moisture, but leave it open slightly to allow some fresh air in.  You may need to drip a few drops of water over the seeds every day to keep the seeds moist.

 They sprout well between 68 and 80 degrees F (20-27C).  I have no experience germinating them outside that temperature range.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds should begin sprouting within 3 to 6 weeks, but allow up to 10 weeks.  Continue keeping the soil surface moist for 3 weeks after they sprout, and then remove them from any plastic dome.

Fertilizing -- Feed weekly with a very dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for this, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients.  I use General Hydroponics Flora fertilizer, using 1 teaspoon/gallon (5 mL per 4 liters).  After 6-8 weeks, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.  Or continue feeding weekly with liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength.

Lighting -- It grows well in bright shade, dappled sunlight, or morning sun.  But avoid strong sunlight until the plants are a few months old.  It will probably need some protection from strong afternoon sun.

Transplanting -- When your plants are about 2 inches tall (5 cm), gently transfer them to pots about 3 inches tall (8 cm).  Avoid letting the soil ball break apart when repotting, which can damage the roots.  Watering the soil first helps.

Watering -- Try to keep the soil moist most of the time.  Avoid letting it dry out completely, but don't keep it constantly soggy. 

Climate -- This is a tropical species that does best above 60 degrees F (15C).  It tolerates heat fine, but it seems happiest between about 65 and 85 degrees F (18-30C).  The tuber can probably survive a light frost, but i recommend keeping the plant above 50 degrees F (10C).

Pests to watch for -- Watch for any pests that can 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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