Getting started -- You can start your plant in a 2 quart pot.
Soil -- Use a well draining mix. A typical mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand. Don't add lime to the mix.
Transplanting -- Transplant gently to avoid disturbing the soil ball. For the first 2 weeks after repotting, give it shade, and no liquid fertilizer. Increase the sun slowly over 2-3 months.
Watering -- Aim to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time. Don't let the soil dry out completely, but avoid keeping it constantly saturated.
Light -- Cantua prefers mostly sunny conditions. Give it protection from strong afternoon sun in warmer conditions.
Climate -- The plant comes from the Andes mountains, where temperatures are mild all year and nights are cool. It's possible that it won't thrive if temperatures consistently get above 85 degrees F (28 degrees C) and nights are warm. It might be able to handle warmer days if nights are cool. I don't think it can survive much frost, so i recommend keeping it from freezing.
If growing in a warmer climate, keep the roots cool by placing the pot inside a second pot made of clay.
Fertilizing -- During periods of active growth, feed about every 2-3 months with a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.
Pruning & training -- Cantua branches tend to grow long and arching. To keep the plant looking tidy, you can cut back the branches halfway. Or you can tie the branches to stakes to them upright. Do any pruning after flowering, in autumn or winter.
Pests to watch for -- Watch for any bugs that typically affect your other plants. Try using insecticidal soap before using stronger remedies, since some may harm the plant.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Enjoy your plant!
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