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Turquoise Puya

Luculia pinceana

I wish you could smell these through your screen!  Luculia pinceana is a rare shrub from southern Asia with a deliciously sweet scent.  Throughout fall and winter, when most plants lack color, it bursts forth with a stunning display of pink blossoms.  The flowers appear in large trusses that resemble Hydrangeas.  This is a cool-climate plant and might not thrive in hot climates.  It is extremely rare in cultivation, and rarely seen for sale.

Luculia pinceana

Luculia pinceana is an evergreen bush in the Gardenia family (Rubiaceae).  It grows about 8 to 12 feet tall, although you can prune it to any size you wish.  The plant is attractive even without blooms, with lush, thick leaves about 6 to 9 inches long.  The flower clusters get around 8 inches across and can appear any time of year, but mostly in autumn and winter.  The inch-wide blooms start out as bright pink buds and open to a light pink or almost white.  Its jasmine-like perfume can be smelled from across the garden!

Luculia pinceana

Luculia pinceana is happiest in mild conditions, with daytime temperatures below 80-85F, and nights that are cool.  It might not thrive if temperatures are consistently above the mid 80s and nights are warm.  The plant needs protection from frost.  It's possible that it won't survive below about 28F.  It prefers part-sun, with some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It grows fine in a large pot in a slightly-acid soil mix that is well draining.  Keep the soil evenly moist for best results.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  In autumn, give it night temperatures below about 55F in order to stimulate flowering.  In the right conditions, it is easy to grow.

Luculia pinceana

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