Common name: Alpine puya, blue sheep-eater plant
Origin: South America
Height at maturity: 2.5 meters
Plant type: flowering plant
Flower color: blue green
Type of soil: draining, clayey, sandy, stony, humus
Use: in the garden, isolated, pot, veranda, greenhouse
Diseases and Pests:-
Storage of seeds: 2 years in a dry place away from light at 3/4°C (refrigerator)
A plant with spiny leaves, this puya grows to a height of 2.5 meters in its native range. It is composed of a form of herbaceous rosette which produces, in summer, a floral stem with spectacular flowering of a multitude of blue-green flowers.
This plant likes draining and poor soils. Its roots only serve to keep it in the ground. Indeed, the puya does not only water itself via the ground like other plants but it draws a large part of the water it needs from the atmosphere via its leaves.
Its nickname of sheep-eating plant comes from the fact that its thorny leaves trap sheep that cannot get out of it and die of hunger and thirst.
The puya can grow in the ground in warm regions such as those in the south of France. In regions such as the north of France, it is preferable to grow it in a pot to be brought in in winter.
In order to obtain an ideal germination, it is imperative to sow the seeds on a substrate composed of 50% sandy compost and 50% cactus substrate. Place the seeds on this mixture and cover them with a pinch of the substrate.
Then water them with a sprayer so as not to bring out or push the seeds in with too ”violent” watering. Germination is erratic and can take between 15 days and several weeks for the same batch of seeds.