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Turquoise Puya

Blue Puya 

From outer space - I mean Chile - comes the amazing, rare Bromeliad, the Blue Puya.  With its massive, 7 foot flower cluster, this is one of most outrageous plants anywhere.  The turquoise-blue color is very rare in the plant world, and it's even rarer to be combined with orange.  If you like shockingly beautiful plants, you'll want to add this stunner to your collection!

Blue Puya

The Blue Puya (P. berteroniana) is a terrestrial Bromeliad related to Pineapple.  The plant forms a rosette of silvery-green leaves about 3 feet long.  The leaves are spiny, so move carefully around the plant.  The flower stalks themselves are soft, and the flowers are silky-smooth.  These other-worldly blooms appear around May or June.  It is an unforgettable experience to stand next to one of these massive, blue stalks.  The blooms are pollinated by birds, which love to sit on the outward-pointing tips and drink the nectar inside!

Blue Puya

The Blue Puya has bluer flowers than my Turquoise Puya (below), which has more of an emerald tint.  They are both the same species, but they come from different provinces in Chile.  The outward tips of the blue variety are thicker and whiter, which makes the flowers look even bluer!

Turquoise Puya

The turquoise form of this species

Unlike the tree-dwelling Bromeliads, Puya has fully-functional roots and grows in soil, much like a cactus or succulent.  Eventually it will form a large stand of offshoots.  Puya is hardy to zone 8b-11.  Mature plants can survive temperatures down to about 20 degrees F (-7C) if kept relatively dry.  You can grow it in a large pot and move it to a protected spot over the winter.  Protect it from frost the first couple of years.  It enjoys sun, but in hotter areas it might appreciate a little afternoon shade.  Be patient with Puya, as it can take 6-8 years to reach flowering size.  Your patience will pay off when you witness the mind-blowing colors of this incredible plant!

Blue Puya

This species is rare, and if you can find it, it's sometimes a similar species, Puya alpestris, mislabeled as Puya berteronianaAlpestris is a smaller plant, with shorter, less impressive clusters.  This is the genuine Puya berteroniana.

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Detailed growing tips for this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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