Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya


Canarina canariensis

Dermatobotrys saundersii

Germinating the seeds


Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination


Getting started -- You may plant the seeds in a single container and transplant them a year later, or plant them in individual, small containers.  Either way, use pots with drainage holes.

 This plant prefers a loose, well-draining soil.  A typical mix is 1 part potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand.  An alternate mix is equal parts of coir fiber or peat moss and perlite or coarse sand, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.

 Fill the pots with the soil mix, and add water until uniformly moist, but not soggy.  Place a seeds on top of each pot, and cover with a very thin layer of soil - just enough to barely cover them.  If you place multiple seeds in each pot, plant them 3 inches (8 cm) apart.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the surface soil always stays moist  The best way to do this is usually to enclose the pots in a plastic dome or bag.  Leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air in.  You may need to drip a few drops of water on the surface each day.

 The ideal temperature for germination is between about 64 and 74 degrees F (18-23C).  Avoid letting the seeds get above 77 F (25C).  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots, especially if using a heating mat. 

 Keep the pots in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.  A fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light.

 They should start germinating in 4 or 5 weeks, but allow up to 8 weeks for any slow ones to sprout.  Cooler temperatures may slow germination.

Lighting -- Once the seeds sprout, increase air circulation slightly, and give bright shade, or filtered sunlight.  Avoid prolonged, direct sunlight until the plants are 2-3 months old.

Watering -- Continue keeping the soil surface moist the first 3 weeks. After that, aim to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time.  Don't let it dry out completely, but don't keep it perpetually soggy either.  You may use a moisture meter probe to monitor the moisture levels down in the root zone.

Climate -- The plant comes from a cool climate and is happiest between 45 and 75F (7-24C) during the growing season of October through March (in the Southern hemisphere, April to September).  The plant needs protection from all frost, since freezing temperatures may kill the foliage.

 The humidity should be above about 40%.  Indoors, if the humidity is too low, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, which you can buy at home-improvement stores and thrift shops.

Fertilizing --  This species has average fertilizer needs.  Feed about every 2 months with a slow-release (pelleted or organic) fertilizer.

 It's normal for older leaves to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it seems excessive, the soil may be too dry down in the root zone.  Or plant may need more fertilizer, particularly nitrogen.  Keep in mind the plant normally drops its leaves each winter when exposed to cool temperatures.

Transplanting -- When your plants are over 8 months old, you may gently transfer them to a larger pot.  Avoid damaging the roots when you repot.

Pests to watch for -- aphids, scale (dark disks on the stems), mealy bugs, spider mites.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things




Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

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