Strange Wonderful Things

 Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya


Fuchsia arborescens

Germinating the seeds


   If you have germinated other Fuchsia seeds before, you may use the same technique that worked for you.

 When to plant - 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 (use small- or medium-size perlite, not large chunks).  Any alternate mix is equal parts of coir fiber and perlite, with some slow-release fertilizer mixed in.  Don't add lime to the mix, since the plant likes slightly-acid soil.

 Fill each container without compressing the soil.  Place a seed or 2 on top, and sprinkle a very thin layer of soil on top - just enough to barely cover the seeds, because light helps the seeds germinate.  Add water until evenly moist (but not soggy).

 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 65-77 degrees F (18-25C).  A little cooler at night is ok, but avoid letting them get above 80F (27C).  I recommend keeping a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

Keep them in a bright spot out of direct sun.  An LED or fluorescent bulb kept 4 inches (10 cm) away provides the right amount of lighting (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").

 The seeds should begin sprouting in about 4 to 6 weeks, but may take longer 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...

Watering - This Fuchsia likes evenly moist soil, but it shouldn't be perpetually soggy either.  Never let the pots dry out, but don't let them sit in a tray of water either. 

 If your tap water is very high in minerals (or "hard") i recommend using bottled spring water or rain water.

Climate -- It thrives when temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night.  The plant might not thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 F (29C), and nights are above 65 degrees F (18 C).  In warmer conditions, give the plants afternoon shade, and keep the pot shaded.  The plant can probably only survive a light frost (26F/-3C).  It's best to protect it from freezing temperatures.

 Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  If your plants seem to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.

Fertilizing -- When they are 7 days old, feed weekly with a small amount of liquid fertilizer using a very dilute dose (1/8 strength).  Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for young seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and complete.  After 2 months, you may switch to a granular fertilizer if you prefer.  Choose one with micronutrients, and follow the dosage on the package.

 Pruning -- Feel free to shape it as you wish by removing undesirable branches when it gets older.

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.  Try using insecticidal soap before using stronger remedies, since some may harm the plant.

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

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

Strange Wonderful Things



Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

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