Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya


Cestrum buxifolium

Cestrum guatemalensis

Germinating the seeds


When to plant -- Plant your seeds when you receive them for best results.

Getting started -- You may plant each seed in individual, small containers, such as seedling starter trays.  Or you plant them all in a single, larger container, but it may be difficult to separate the roots later.  Either way, use containers with drainage holes

 For soil, use a well draining mix.  I use a mix of 1 part coco fiber to 1 part perlite (use fine- or medium-grade perlite, not coarse-grade).  An alternate mix is 2 parts quality potting soil to 1 part perlite.

 Fill the pots with the soil mix and water it until it is evenly moist (but not soggy).  Place a seed on top in each pot, and sprinkle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) of soil over it.  Carefully moisten the top soil layer.

 Until the seeds sprout, keep the surface soil from drying out.  If you place the pots in a plastic container or bag to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly to allow fresh air to enter.

 They sprout well between 65 to 78 F (18-26C).  I have no information about how they will germinate outside that temperature range.  I recommend placing a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 Keep them in a bright spot out of direct sun.  They should begin sprouting within 4 weeks, but allow up to 12 weeks for any slow ones, especially at cooler temperatures.

Lighting -- Once your seeds sprout, move them to a bright spot, with protection from afternoon sun.  You may use a fluorescent or LED light kept a few inches (10 cm) away while your plants are young.

Watering:  Once the seedlings are 3 weeks old, you may allow the surface soil to dry out, but aim to keep the rest of the soil evenly moist most of the time.  Never let it dry out completely, but also don't keep it perpetually soggy. .

Fertilizing -- The first 2 months, feed weekly with a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for small seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients.  After 2 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients, following the dosage on the package.  Or continue feeding weekly with liquid fertilizer at 1/8 strength.

Climate -- This species comes from mountain forests, where the climate is mild all year, and nights are cooler.  I have no information on how much heat it can take, so consider it experimental in areas that regularly get above 85 degrees F (29C) and nights are warm. I don't know its frost tolerance.  It might only be hardy to 25-30 F (-3C).  Protect plants from frost the first 2 years.  Over about 40% humidity is best.

 Adult plants flower the strongest in mostly-sunny conditions, but younger plants should be acclimated to afternoon sun slowly. 

Repotting -- Once your seedlings are at least 3 inches tall (7 cm), you may repot them to larger containers about 1 quart (1 liter) in size.  Repot gently and avoid letting the soil ball break apart. 

 If you have any questions or problems, please contact me.

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things




Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

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