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Turquoise Puya

Turquoise Puya berteroniana

Unreal...  Sublime...  Other-worldly...

Just a few of the words that describe the Turquoise Puya.  Each spring, this Pineapple relative sends up a massive flower stalk 6 feet tall and over a foot wide, covered with the most amazing flowers.  The 2-inch blossoms are emerald-turquoise, and have bright orange anthers that contrast beautifully with the petals.  Turquoise is an extremely rare color in the plant world, and it's even rarer to be combined with orange.  The large stature and riveting coloration of the Puya gives it a presence that is truly awe-inspiring.

Turquoise Puya berteroniana

The Turquoise Puya (P. berteroniana) is a terrestrial Bromeliad from the mountains of Chile.  It forms a rosette of silvery-green leaves about 3-4 feet tall and wide.  Over the years, it forms a large colony of pups.  The leaves are spiny, so move carefully around them.  The flower stalks themselves are soft, and the blossoms are silky-smooth.  Birds love to sit on the outward-pointing tips and drink the nectar out of the blooms!

Turquoise Puya berteroniana

Unlike the tree-dwelling Bromeliads, the Puya grows in soil, and can be treated much like a cactus or succulent.  It is hardy in zones 8b-11.  Mature plants are said to survive temperatures down to 18-20 degrees F (-7 degrees C) if kept relatively dry.  Protect young plants from frost the first couple of years.  You may grow it in a large pot and move it to a protected spot over the winter.  Full sun is preferred, but some afternoon shade might be needed in hotter climates.  It can handle frequent watering if grown in fast-draining soil.  Be patient with it, as it will reach flowering size at 6-8 years old.  Your patience will pay off when you witness these magical flowers in person!

Turquoise Puya berteroniana

 This turquoise form is very rare, and if you can find it, it is usually the bluer form of this species, or sometimes a different species called Puya alpestrisAlpestris is smaller and has darker, less-brilliant flowers.  I offer the genuine turquoise Puya.

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Detailed growing tips about this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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