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Turquoise Puya

 

Gladiolus cruentus

Gladiolus cruentus

Tips on planting the bulbs

 

Your bulbs (technically corms) should be planted in Spring, around March (September in the southern hemisphere).  Until then, store them in a paper bag in cool spot.

Pot size -- Use a pot at least 4 inches (10 cm) tall, and wide enough so that each bulb is 2 inches (5 cm) from each other and the side of the pot.

Soil -- Use well draining soil.  A typical mix is 2 parts potting soil mixed with 1 part perlite or pumice.  An alternate mix is 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand, with some granular fertilizer mixed in.

Planting the bulbs -- In Spring, plant them about 1.5 inches (4 cm) deep.  Don't compress the soil after planting.

 Water the soil lightly, so it is slightly moist throughout (not saturated), and keep it this moist until they sprout.  Keep the pot out of direct sun, and preferably around room temperature until they sprout.  Once they sprout, start increasing the water and move the pot into bright light, with protection from strong afternoon sun.

Watering:  During the growing season, this Gladiolus likes moist soil and shouldn't be allowed to dry out.  It shouldn't be kept constantly soggy though.  

Sunlight -- It doesn't require lots of sun, just bright light.  It may be grown in full sun though, at least in cooler conditions.  In hotter climates, it might be necessary to give some afternoon shade, and also keep the pot shaded, perhaps by placing it inside a larger clay pot.

Fertilizer - Feed about a week after they sprout, and then again 2 months later.  Use a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.  Avoid feeding after July.

Dormancy care --  When the leaves start to die back in autumn, withhold all water, since the bulb is preparing for dormancy.  Once the leaves are brown, you may either pull the bulbs and store them in a paper bag until spring, or leave them in their soil.  Keep the soil relatively dry until spring or the bulbs may rot.   A small amount of moisture is okay, especially to keep the soil from becoming bone-dry.  Store the pot in a cool area (50-70F / 10-21C) until spring.

 General tips about this plant

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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