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Turquoise Puya

 

Siphonochilus kirkii

Siphonochilus kirkii

 

Planting your rhizome

 

  Getting started -- Plant it when you receive it. 

 Use a pot at least 5 inches wide and tall (13 cm), with drainage holes. 

 Use a well-draining soil.  I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not large chunks).  An alternate mix is 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand.

 Bury it so the top is about 1/2 to 1 inch (2 cm) deep.  Add just enough water so the soil is slightly moist, and keep it this moist until it sprouts.  Don't fully saturate the soil, but also don't let it dry out completely.

 Until it sprouts, i recommend keeping it between about 65 and 85 degrees F (18-29C) during the day (slightly cooler at night is ok).

 It may take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to sprout, depending on when it went dormant.  Once it sprouts, increase the watering, and give it bright light, but shade it from strong afternoon sun. 

 Growing onward --

  During the growing season it prefers warmer temperatures, with days above 65 degrees F (21 degrees C) and nights above 50F (10C). 

 It grows well in bright shade, dappled sunlight, or morning sun.  Shade from strong afternoon sun.

 Over about 40% humidity is best.  If it seems to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.

Watering -- Try to keep the soil evenly moist, but not constantly saturated.  Avoid letting it dry out completely.

 It enjoys ample feeding while it's actively growing.  Feed when it sprouts and again 2 and 4 months later with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.

Dormancy -- During dormancy (usually winter) water just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely, so the roots don't die. 

Pests to watch for -- Watch for any pests that can affect your other plants.  Try using insecticidal soap spray before using stronger remedies, since some may harm the plant.

General tips about this plant

Have fun growing it!

- Jeff

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