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Turquoise Puya

 

Cyrtanthus falcatus

Germinating the seeds

 

When to plant -- Plant your seeds immediately for the best germination.

Getting started -- This method involves germinating the seeds in a cup of water.  Place the seeds in a cup of water, and keep it in a spot that will stay between about 65-77F (18-25C) during the day, and 60-75 F (16-25C) at night.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the cup.  Keep it in a bright spot out of direct sun.

 Replace the water with fresh water every day.  The seeds can sprout at various times, beginning as early as 1 week and continuing for up to 6 weeks.  Most seeds that appear healthy should sprout eventually.

 Once a root appears, gently repot the seed into a fast-draining soil mix.  A typical mix is 2 parts perlite to 1 part coir fiber or peat moss.  Most cactus mixes can also work.  Use small containers or cups with drainage holes.  Plant the seed with root tip down, and completely cover the root with soil. 

 For the first month, keep the humidity high around the seeds.  An easy way to do this is to enclose the pots in a plastic dome.  Leave it open slightly for fresh air to enter, to prevent rot.  Keep the pots at the same temperature as described above.  Drip water over the seeds daily to keep the root moist.  The first leaf will appear after about a month.  A fluorescent or LED bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light.

 Fertilizing - Once a week, give a very light dose of liquid fertilizer (about 1/8 strength).  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, since it is easily absorbed and complete.  Once the seedlings are 4 months old, you may switch to a granular fertilizer containing micronutrients (I use this).

 Keep the plants above 45 degrees F (7C) the first 2 years.

Tips on growing older plants

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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