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Turquoise Puya

 

Isoplexis canariensis

Germinating the seeds

 

Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination

   Getting started -- Use any small containers or cups that have drainage holes.  Use a well draining soil mix, such as 2 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite.  Any alternate mix is equal parts of coir fiber and perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.

 Fill each container and sprinkle 3 or 4 seeds on top, then sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top - just enough to barely cover the seeds.  Water the soil so it's evenly moist.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface always stays moist.  An easy way maintain moisture is 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 seeds every day keep them moist.

 Keep the pots at about 65-74 degrees F (18-23C).  A little cooler at night is ok, but avoid letting them get above 78F (26C).  I recommend keeping a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds should begin sprouting in 4 to 6 weeks, but allow up to 10 weeks for any slow ones to sprout, especially at cooler temperatures. Give your seedlings bright light, but avoid direct sunlight when they are small.  I recommend growing them indoors for at least 2-3 months.  If you have more than one seedling in each container, either snip off the weaker one(s) after 4 weeks or gently transplant them.

Growing onward...

Climate -- The climate on the Canary Islands is mild with cooler nights, so the plant is happiest in moderate temperatures.  It has handled temperatures in the mid-80s (30 degrees C), but it should be considered experimental in warmer conditions, especially if nights are warm.  If you can grow Fuchsias, you should be able to grow Isoplexis.  It is reportedly hardy to 25 degrees F (-4 C), but it does best when kept from freezing.  

 Over about 40% humidity is recommended.  If the humidity drops too low indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, which you can get at home improvement stores or thrift shops.

Watering - Aim to keep the soil evenly moist always, but not perpetually soggy.  Never let the pots dry out, but don't let them sit in a tray of water either. 

Feeding -- This plant has average fertilizing needs.  Feed about every 2-3 months with a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients.

 It's normal for an older leaf to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it seems excessive, the soil may be too dry down in the root zone, or your plant may need more nitrogen fertilizer. 

 Pruning -- You may prune the tops after flowering to encourage new shoots.

Pests to watch for - whitefly, aphids, scale (little lumps on the stems or leaves), mealybugs.  Watch for any bugs that typically affect your other plants.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. 

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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