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Turquoise Puya

 

Parrot's Beak

Clianthus puniceus  

(Legume family)

 

Please take your time removing your plant from it's packaging.

Your plant was grown in filtered sun, so it may be shocked if given full sun or too much heat right away. For this reason, i recommend starting your plant with either filtered sun, or a few hours of morning or late afternoon sun. This will acclimate it to the sun slowly. The easiest method is to transplant it into a small container (1-3 gallons), so you can move the plant around. Start with about 3-4 hours of A.M. sun, and increase by about an hour every 4-5 days. If midday temperatures get over about 90 degrees, try to give it some midday shade for the first month. After about 4-6 weeks, simply repot in the ground, or into a larger container (5+ gallons).

Before sliding your plant from it's pot, please water it thoroughly so the soil mass doesn't break apart, which can damage the roots.  If the plant is hard to slide out, stick a pen or a stick into the holes at the bottom to help push it out.  Try to disturb the roots as little as possible.  

Parrot's Beak prefers well-draining soil, but it also likes organic matter (compost). You can use regular potting soil, although it helps to mix in some extra perlite, for drainage. Please make sure that the original soil cube stays moist (but not soggy) for the first month.

Parrot's Beak has average fertilizing needs - give monthly feedings during periods of active growth using ordinary vegetable fertilizer, switching to a "bloom" formula that has nitrogen when they start flowering. It's normal for some of the older leaves to turn yellow and drop. If the dropping is excessive, it could mean the plant needs more fertilizer (nitrogen). It could also mean you are over- or under-watering them. Try to keep the soil lightly moist most of the time. I recommend using a moisture meter probe, which you can get for about $4 from hardware and garden stores.

Parrot's Beak is supposed to withstand frosts down to 15 degrees F, however i don't have any experience with them in freezing weather, since it doesn't freeze here. I would protect the plants with a tarp if freezing weather is expected. Or just bring them indoors, if you're growing them in a pot. It very hot climates, they should probably have some mid-day shade.

To get the best display of flowers, tie the branches to a fence or trellis, to grow the plant in a long T-shape. When the plant blooms, the flowers will dangle all along the T, and the effect is spectacular. You can prune out any branches that will block the "view".

Bugs to watch out for - spider mites (tiny "dots" under the leaves), mealy bugs, caterpillars, and slugs/snails.

By the way, you may notice a light film on the leaves when your plant arrives. This is anti-transpirant spray, to help retain moisture while in the mail. It's harmless and should flake off within a few weeks.

Enjoy your plant!

Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things

 

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Turquoise Puya

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