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Turquoise Puya

 

Cyrtanthus falcatus

Planting the bulb

 

 Start your bulb in a pot about 4-5 inches (10-12 cm) wide.

 Use a fast-draining soil mix, such as 1 part potting soil to 1 part perlite.  If you tend to overwater your plants, use extra perlite.  Plant the neck of the bulb at soil level or slightly below.

 If your bulb has leaves - keep the soil evenly moist (but not fully saturated).  The first month, protect it from extreme temperatures.

 If your bulb is dormant and has no leaves - keep the soil lightly moist throughout (not fully saturated) until it sprouts, which should be 1 to 4 months, depending on when it went dormant.  Cool temps are fine, but protect it from frost.

Growing onward --

 It prefers filtered sun or morning sun, with protection from strong afternoon sun.  It doesn't need lots of sun to be happy, just bright light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").

 During the growing season of spring through autumn, it grows best in mild to warm temperatures, and cool nights.  It can tolerate hotter conditions provided that nights are cool (below 65F/18C).  During winter, the dormant bulb should be protected from frost and left in its pot.  Keep it relatively dry (but not completely dry) during dormancy.

Watering:  Aim to the keep soil evenly moist throughout the growing season.  Avoid letting it dry out completely, but also avoid keeping it soggy.

 As the bulb grows, it's ok if the top 1/3 of it is exposed. 

 Fertilizing -- It has moderate to average fertilizer needs.  Feed about every 3 months with a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.

 Transplanting -- After about a year, move it to a pot about 1 gallon (4 liters) in size, where it can stay until it flowers.  Avoid repotting again before it flowers, or it may delay flowering.

 Encouraging flowering -- I believe that cool nights encourage flowering, so when the bulb nears flowering size (2 inch / 5 cm wide), around October expose it to cool temperatures for at least 8 hours a day, for 2 months.  Preferred temperatures are between 35-58 F (2-14C).  Warmer day temperatures are fine.  Make sure the bulb isn't allowed to freeze.  It's normal for the bulb to drop its leaves during this cool period, which encourages dormancy.  It should sprout around February or March.

More info about this plant

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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