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Turquoise Puya

 

Salvia dombeyi

Salvia dombeyi

Germinating the seeds

 

Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination

Getting started --  Use pots or cups at least 2 inches tall (5 cm) with drainage holes.  For soil, use a well draining mix.  I use a mix of 1 part coir fiber to 1 part perlite (use small- or medium-size perlite, not large chunks).  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite.  Don't add lime, but you may mix in some slow-release fertilizer if your mix doesn't have any.

 Plant them about 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep.  Water the soil until evenly moist (but not soggy).

 They germinate well between about 65-78 F (18-26C) during the day.  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get above 80 F (27C) for prolonged periods.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pot. 

 Keep the pots in bright light out of direct sun.  If you enclose the pot in a bag or clear plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly for fresh air to enter, to prevent stem rot later. 

 They can sprout at various times.  Most should sprout the first month.  Occasionally they can take up to 3 months, so don't give up on them!  Once they sprout, give bright light, with no direct sun for the first 6 weeks.  A bright LED lamp kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").

Fertilizing -- Once they are 7 days old, feed every 14 days with a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, since it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients.  After 8 weeks, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.

Climate -- This Salvia does best between 40 and 80 degrees F (4-26C), with nights that are cool.  I don't think it will do well in areas that regularly get over 85 F (29C), especially if nights are warm (over 64F / 18C).  It must be protected from frost, since it may perish from freezing temperatures.  Above about 40% humidity is best.

Lighting -- It likes dappled sun or some morning sun.  Protect it from strong sun exposure, and keep the pot shaded so the roots stay cool.

 As it gets bigger, give it some support with a trellis, arbor, or another plant.  Prune it each Spring to give it a bushier, tidy look.

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

- Jeff

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