Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya


Boophone haemanthoides

Boophone haemanthoides


Planting the bulb


Pot size -- The first 2 or 3 years, keep it in a pot about 1-2 quarts (1-2 liters) in volume.  Use a tall pot about 6 inches (15 cm) tall or more, because it has a deep root system.

Soil -- Use a very fast draining mix.  A typical mix is about 3 parts perlite, pumice rock, or coarse horticultural sand to 1 part coco fiber, compost, or potting soil. 

 Plant the neck of the bulb above soil level.  Add water until the mix is evenly moist, but not fully saturated.

 If your bulb has leaves, start it in bright, filtered light with protection from strong afternoon sun, and increase the sun a little each week to avoid burning.

 If your bulb doesn't have leaves, it will sprout some time between a few weeks and a few months, depending on when it went dormant.  Continue keeping the soil moist but not soggy until it sprouts.

Growing onward...

 It comes from a climate where temperatures are mild during the winter growing period (October to April in the northern hemisphere).  During this time it can take warm conditions if nights are cool (below 65F / 18C).  It's possible that the combination of hot days with warm nights might stress it.  In hotter conditions, keep the pot shaded, perhaps by placing it inside a second pot made of clay.

 I believe it can take a few degrees of frost, but it's best to protect it from freezing temperatures, especially the first few years.

 Give it ample sun during the winter growing period.  In hotter climates, some afternoon shade might be needed in Spring.

Fertilizing --  Use a general-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.  Avoid feeding after March (September in the southern hemisphere).

Dormancy -- The leaves will begin to die back around late Spring as the bulb prepares for its summer dormancy.  When this happens, reduce the watering.  Once the leaves have died, keep the soil almost dry until autumn.  Avoid letting the soil get bone dry during dormancy, but don't let it get too wet or the bulb could rot. 

 In autumn, keep the soil slightly moist to encourage the bulb to come out of dormancy.  Once growth has commenced, keep the soil evenly moist (but not fully saturated).

 If you grow your bulb indoors under artificial lighting, it might not go dormant the first summer. 

 It's best to do any repotting during dormancy.  When the bulb nears maturity, avoid repotting it or disturbing the roots, as this could delay flowering for a few years. 

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

Have fun growing it!

- Jeff

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Turquoise Puya

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