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 Puya care 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:10 am
Posts: 436
Location: Madeira Island
Post Puya care
Hi all!
Wonder if anyone has any experience with Puya care and can pass it on.
I've just repotted several species into new 22cm clay pots....and am still
confused as to their optimum conditions, light levels, water etc.
Thanks in advance,
Rick Madeira


Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:52 am
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Bright to sunny position, freely draining soil mix, water when you remember and keep your distance from those teeth.


Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:13 pm
Post Re: Puya care
RickMadeira wrote:
Hi all!
Wonder if anyone has any experience with Puya care and can pass it on.
I've just repotted several species into new 22cm clay pots....and am still
confused as to their optimum conditions, light levels, water etc.
Thanks in advance,
Rick Madeira


Caring for me is as follows:

Lots of warmth
light
Bacardi or Bundy
deliceous food
fantastic scenery
great music
and away from crowds

:D


Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:10 am
Posts: 436
Location: Madeira Island
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Thanks for the tips! Was worried about higher heat and light levels we get here in Madeira.
Rick


Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:53 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
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Location: south of Hy Brazil
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Rick, perhaps it's worth mentioning that most Puyas seem to grow much better in the ground than they do in pots- they have bigger roots than other broms. They can live in a pot indefinitely, but they will be bonsai plants, and may not flower. They are more like agaves than broms in their growing requirements. Puya mirabilis, P. tuberosa and other small species would be fine in pots of course.


Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:26 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:54 am
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Location: Berkeley, California
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It also depends on which Puya species you are growing. P. mirabilis likes a lot of water and feeding to grow and bloom for me here in California, others such as P. venusta, P. coerulea, P. chilensis, P. laxa. P. berteroniana seem to need less water and fertilizer, but still respond well to care that simulate more normal container plant care rather than for drought tolerant plants. I would agree that they grow much bigger/faster if planted in the ground, but they also do well in black plastic nursery containers here, and I usually bump them up into large 15 gallon sized containers for easiest care. The wholesale growers here in California usually grow these in an artificial mix that is more like what they use for rhododendrons rather than cactus, with a much higher bark content. Again, the P. mirabilis seems to prefer some shade rather than full hot sun in my conditions, the others, especially those with silvery, stiffer leaves prefer full sun. I think most Puya species would be more adapted for best growth in areas that get more temperature variation between day and night than Madeira, but I don't have any experience with seeing them grown in more subtropical areas. They don't do well in places like south Florida, where the summer heat and humidity tend to rot them out, they are very rare there, and only grown commercially in greenhouses which are kept cooler than the ambient temperatures outdoors in summer.


Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:31 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:48 pm
Posts: 584
Location: Herzogenrath Germany
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How has Puya berteroniana been fairing for those here that have it. Is it a bone hardy thing, or wishful thinking? At the moment I've got one in a large pot, I'm not sure it's ever going to see freedom, but I'm open for convincing....

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AinG


Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:42 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
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Andrew where have you been Paul S has got a biggun you know. :lol:

Puya bert


Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:18 pm
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Location: Herzogenrath Germany
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yes I know. I've been reading it with great delight. But as many have already figured out, what goes on in Paul's garden can't be repeated anywhere else!
Especially in Holland.
I was hoping for someone in a little more of a challenged area to pipe up and say, no problems Andrew, bone hardy.

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AinG


Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:23 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
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I should imagine once the snow and cold rain get inside those nice funnel shaped leaves they will mark up quite rapidly so perhaps a planting on the angle to get the run off away from the centre of the plant would be the order of the day.

I only have a couple of Puya here which are dry from October to April and they are fine and dandy.

Ask Nick at PGP with the Puya's flat on the ground ........ :? though I don't think he had Puya bert there.


Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:30 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Tucson Arizona USA
Post Re: Puya care
Good Morning. I am new to this group and am following your posts avidly, as I am a lover of wierd and unusual plants. As I read them, I realize that I am geographically differentiated from most of you. I live in Tucson, Arizona, land of the HOT, HOT, HOT. I have a moderately-sized greenhouse, but I'm new at greenhouse gardening and have much to learn about how to manage the wierd plants I want to grow in it. My latest purchases are a lovely, but tiny, P. berteroniana and a Colletia (Anchor Plant). From the posts, it seems as if the Puya would do best in a black plastic pot that gives it some root space and bark-based soil. Any more good advice for me on the Puya or the Colletia? Keep in mind that it is currently getting to 105 degrees F here, with nights in the 70s. Your new AZ friend (I hope), Linda


Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:10 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:15 pm
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Location: Brookings, OR, USA
Post Re: Puya care
lindafrew wrote:
Good Morning. I am new to this group and am following your posts avidly, as I am a lover of wierd and unusual plants. As I read them, I realize that I am geographically differentiated from most of you. I live in Tucson, Arizona, land of the HOT, HOT, HOT. I have a moderately-sized greenhouse, but I'm new at greenhouse gardening and have much to learn about how to manage the wierd plants I want to grow in it. My latest purchases are a lovely, but tiny, P. berteroniana and a Colletia (Anchor Plant). From the posts, it seems as if the Puya would do best in a black plastic pot that gives it some root space and bark-based soil. Any more good advice for me on the Puya or the Colletia? Keep in mind that it is currently getting to 105 degrees F here, with nights in the 70s. Your new AZ friend (I hope), Linda


Welcome, Linda, I am a former Tucsonan myself. I never had good luck with black plastic pots in southern Arizona -- the sun tends to cook the roots. Terra cotta offers the possibility of evaporative cooling and always worked better for me (though the pores in clay tend to get clogged with precipitates from the horrible water quality there). You'll have to brush the pots with vinegar from time to time. I would think P. berteroniana would do alright planted in the ground in a semi-shaded spot, though I would wait until fall to plant it. Since it's such a huge plant, you'll really have no choice after a few years.

Colletia cruciata should be no problem planted out. You might want to check the Arizona forum on Gardenweb to see if fellow Arizonans have any words of wisdom.


Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:06 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:56 pm
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Location: Tucson Arizona USA
Post Re: Puya care
To Steve in Oregon: Thanks for your post. You, obviously, know what I am up against here in AZ, the land of the HOT, HOT, HOT. I was a little suspect of the black plastic pot for the Puya too. It could fry the roots here. It's currently 105 during the day and 70s at night. I will use a large clay pot instead and hope for the best. As to the Colletia, I have no doubt that it would do well in the ground, except for the Javelina (the native piggies), who will eat anything or, at the least, will pull up a plant and leave it to die (such a waste). I will put the Colletia in the greenhouse in the brightest light I have and will try not to overwater. Have you ever heard of anyone keeping a Dendroseris litoralis alive here in AZ? They are so cool and so rare. I bought one, but it arrived more dead than alive and I'm not hopeful that it will survive despite my fussing over it, keeping it as cool as I can here and humidifying it as much as I can. Great to hear from someone who knows what challenges we have here in AZ. Regards, Linda

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Linda Frew


Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:53 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Puya care
Hi Linda,
Welcome to the forum I hope you manage to keep your Dendroseris litoralis alive mine seem fine here allbeit the temps in the middle of the UK are a little cooler than yours 20 C/ 70 F day and 10 C/50 F night and even here they seem to like to be kept wet.
How big a plant do you get for your money these days. :D


Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:31 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:56 pm
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Location: Tucson Arizona USA
Post Re: Puya care
Hi, Kevin. My D. litoralis is (or maybe was) about 12" tall, 2 smallish leaves. I got it on ebay for $28 US dollars. It seemed like a good deal, but I believe it had already been damaged by the heat in shipping before I ever received it. I germinated one from seed (the seeds were about $2 each US). It looks healthy and green, but at 4 weeks, it's only about 2 inches tall. I guess it should be a foot tall by now. Oh well. Linda in Tucson

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Linda Frew


Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:04 am
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