Puia Is An Exotic Bromeliad Giant. Photo

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Puia Is An Exotic Bromeliad Giant. Photo
Puia Is An Exotic Bromeliad Giant. Photo

The palette of colors of puja inflorescences evokes associations with peacock feathers: the play of light green and shining blue looks very attractive. This plant is very rare in our area. Puia, with its gigantic size, special appearance, but not so specific requirements for conditions of detention, is a real indoor "wild". A more exotic plant in the Bromeliad family is not to be found. For experienced florists to grow such a miracle is a real success and a reward. Although the cultivation of puja is within the power of beginners. After all, the most important thing in this matter is a supply of patience for decades in anticipation of its flowering.

Even under ideal conditions, the puia does not bloom until the age of ten
Even under ideal conditions, the puia does not bloom until the age of ten


  • Puia - a bromeliad giant with a unique bloom
  • Puja species suitable for growing in rooms
  • Conditions for growing indoor puj
  • Caring for puja at home
  • Diseases, pests and problems in growing
  • Reproduction of room puja

Puia - a bromeliad giant with a unique bloom

Puia is one of the most original plants on our planet. The non-standard appearance of the giant exotic allowed it to become one of the most desirable collectible plants and a true rarity. Since the discovery of this plant, or rather, its description in 1782, puja has not changed the status of a legend. But if a century ago it was possible only to read about it in encyclopedias and see only in botanical gardens, today puja has expanded the range of crops available for cultivation in indoor format. Valuable, exclusive and still rare, the puja has the potential to become the star of any plant collection.

Representatives of the genus Puya belong to the Chilean exotic species of the Bromeliaceae family, although individual plant species are found along the entire length of the Andes and even in Costa Rica. This is a unique rare plant from among the relics, which is on the verge of extinction in nature and claims to be a living fossil.

The most famous pujis, which attracted attention to these plants, unlike the species that have become widespread in culture, are found only in the inaccessible valleys of Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Climate change has become disastrous for the giant plant, which lives only on mountains of five thousand meters.

Even the name of this plant came to us from its homeland, in the local dialect it denotes a point or a pointer. Puyi are especially common in the highlands of Chile, in particular, some local towns are named after the plant (for example, Puyuuapi).

According to another version, it was in honor of the place where this plant can be admired in special abundance that the pujis received a botanical name. This is one of the plants, which is known in its homeland, and in scientific catalogs, and in everyday life around the globe under one single name. Puya has many nicknames - from the peacock ball to the house of the hummingbird and the Queen of the Andes. But the specific name of this plant can never be confused with anything.

Puia Raymonda is the largest bromeliad plant

Pouilly, primarily associated with a legend - a giant puyey Raymond (Puya raimondii), a plant with which a lot of myths and legends. This is the largest bromeliad, capable of producing inflorescences up to 10 m high.

The appearance of this relict puja is so amazing that it is difficult to compare it with any other bromeliad plant. The shortened trunks are invisible, hiding under a dense rosette of typical, elongated linear leaves, which look quite strict and form, together with thorns, almost perfect balls. They are home to hummingbirds and hundreds of unique species of animals and birds that protect their homes using the natural mechanisms of the puja.

Only, at least for 80-100 years of development, giant spikelets-cobs, consisting of hundreds of thousands of individual flowers, rise from the ball. After flowering, the plant dies off and is replaced by daughter crops, which also grow a rosette ball, which blooms only at maturity. Puja thickets look impressive and even frightening.

Puya raimondii
Puya raimondii

Features of indoor pui

Indoor puja - plants are much more modest in size, liking, and showiness. But they still remain one of the most original and largest representatives of the Bromeliad family.

In indoor culture, medium-sized herbaceous perennial pui species are used. They are super hardy and large bromeliads compared to competitors. They develop in the form of a typical rosette of leaves and an inflorescence towering above it. Rhizomes are powerful, densely branching, they grow mainly horizontally.

Unlike the legendary giant puja, indoor ones do not create a ball-shaped rosette. The leaves of the plant are very narrow, lanceolate, needle-shaped elongated at the ends, often folded. In the outlet, they sit asymmetrically, fancifully scattered in a "bundle". On the edges of the leaves, there are multidirectional thorns and thorns. Outwardly, young pujis are easy to confuse with pineapples. True, the tough texture, light green color, scaly surface and thorns noticeably distinguish them from the fruit relative.

The flowering of puja is worth waiting for, although the plants bloom only at a respectable age. But even in the Chilean Puja, it occurs after 8-10, not 100 years. It usually starts in mid-autumn and lasts from October to November, but the flowering time may shift, depending on the conditions of detention.

In brushes, panicles or spikelets of a most often complex structure, creating the effect of a branched panicle, graceful flowers of a bright blue color bloom, although yellow or red flowers are found among some species. The combination of light green with azure, sky blue and turquoise from afar reminds of the play of colors of peacock feathers and garden forget-me-nots. Separate branches of the inflorescence are crowned with sterile flowers and a sharp awn, which look almost like a thorn or spire, and they support the “prickly” image of the plant.

Bracts are broadly oval and membranous. The structure of the puja flower is unusual, somewhat reminiscent of tulips or gladioli, only in a three-petal version. The flower consists of three triangular petals, free, with a blunt ending, and three triangular sepals half as small in size. Six stamens with bright anthers are clearly visible in the pharynx.

The abundance of nectar is one of the reasons why puyas attract so many insects, and in nature, birds and animals. After flowering, the perianth fancifully twists in a spiral. In place of the flowers, capsule-like fruit-boxes with winged seeds are formed, which also look very impressive on the peduncle.

Puya amazing (Puya mirabilis)
Puya amazing (Puya mirabilis)

Puja species suitable for growing in rooms

Of almost a hundred natural species of puja, only six plants are used in indoor culture. All of them are durable perennials, medium in size, with a maximum height of one and a half meters. The average height of indoor pui ranges from 30 to 90 cm, the plant gradually increases the size and number of leaves in the outlet.

Puia amazing (Puya mirabilis) - beautiful view, starting with 30 cm outlet and growing up gradually in height. Dense, spreading, but not austere rosettes consist of fairly light long leaves decorated with yellowish thorns. Peduncles up to 1 m high and above are covered with oval straight leaves and are crowned with a small-flowered fancy cluster of inflorescences with a tuft at the top and pointed bracts, emphasizing the beauty of large, up to 10 cm, flowers with narrow petals and light green color, somewhat reminiscent of a lily.

Puia Berterona (Puya berteroniana) - very popular in our view, which is also grown as a hothouse or kadochnoe garden plant for cutting. This is a very spectacular perennial with a rosette of narrow, almost one meter long leaves with a prickly edge and amazing ears of inflorescences with bluish-emerald flowers, reminiscent of sea foam or turquoise in color, which create luxurious candles.

Alpine Puya (Puya alpestris) - similar to the previous species with bluish-green flowers, on the petals of which an emerald strip is visible. The leaves are long, tough, with thorns, brightly colored. Straight peduncles are crowned with a pyramidal-paniculate inflorescence with filmy oval bracts and amazingly beautiful five-centimeter flowers with three blunt, free petals.

Chilean Puya (Puya chilensis) is one of the largest indoor bromeliads, reaching a height of 1 m at the peak of flowering. Large, in nature one meter long, and in rooms twice as small, narrow-linear leaves less than 1 cm wide are rolled along the edges, very tough, decorated with gray thorns. Puyi outlets are rarely simple, often branching like candelabra into multi-level structures. The rusty edge emphasizes the beauty of the rigid peduncle and the massiveness of the stunningly dense spikelets of inflorescences with flowers up to 5 cm in diameter. The bright yellow color distinguishes this puyu from other species.

Puya adorable (Puya venusta) is a plant with narrow, spiny, strongly pointed leaves up to 30 cm long, forming a spreading original rosette. This plant blooms, releasing spectacular and large multi-flowered ears that seem too massive for such a culture. In an inflorescence up to 40 cm long, sky-blue flowers up to 3.5 cm long are collected.

Puia pokryvalovidnaya (Puya spathacea) - acaulescent bromeliads with tremendous inaccurate outlet of large, up to 40 cm long, narrow linear leaf (lamina width does not exceed 2 cm). The small-studded edge enhances the exoticism, although the appearance of curved, asymmetrically scattered leaves in a bunch is also quite unusual. Panicle inflorescences flaunt with bright blue flowers up to 7 cm in diameter.

Puya berteroniana
Puya berteroniana

Conditions for growing indoor puj

The status of an exceptional legend among exotic plants does not prevent the puye from being an easy-to-care plant. To get it to bloom, you just have to wait - from 10 years, at best, up to 20 years in not ideal conditions. Growing puja can be done even by novice growers. She needs a cool wintering and bright lighting, but there should be no other difficulties with the selection of conditions.

The exotic queen of the Andes, Puia, is rightly ranked among the plants that can become a highlight in the collection of original rarities. It can be used in the design of winter gardens and flower showcases or greenhouses, large indoor rockeries or florariums, in ordinary potting culture.

In winter gardens, in addition to other plants with similar requirements for conditions, in particular, with cereals and cacti that are similar to it in their natural habitat, puja fully reveals its special beauty. But even in the interior, especially when it comes to modern styles or the desire for unusual solutions, she can become a true star.

Lighting and placement of puja in the interior

The alpine origin of these plants also requires maintaining bright lighting in the rooms. Puyas are not afraid of direct sunlight, but in summer the leaves may look poorly decorative in a too bright place, starting to dry out at the tips. Diffused light for this exotic can be considered ideal.

Pouilly is placed either on the windowsill or in the immediate vicinity of the window. Partially south-facing or south-facing windows are ideal for them. Artificial supplementary lighting for this culture is usually not used. Puyi require a lot of space due to their long leaves. If they are not planted in complex compositions with other plants, then it will not work to place containers with crops in a group close to them.

Puya alpine (Puya alpestris)
Puya alpine (Puya alpestris)

Temperature regime and ventilation

When grown both in a winter garden and in a room culture for puja, it is necessary to simulate the natural temperature difference between the stages of active development and dormancy. Plants should overwinter in a cool place, and this is the most difficult thing in selecting conditions for this culture. The minimum air temperature is 5 degrees Celsius. The temperature in winter should not rise above 12 degrees.

From spring to summer, pujis will adapt to any conditions. They feel good in cool rooms, at temperatures of about 18-21 degrees, and at ordinary room temperatures from 22 to 25 degrees, and in the heat, without losing their decorative effect, even if the air temperature exceeds 30 degrees.

Puia loves fresh air. Even in winter, the plant needs periodic, but very neat airing. From spring to autumn, if the temperature does not drop below 15 degrees at night, the plant can be placed on an open balcony, veranda, terrace, or taken out into the garden.

Caring for puja at home

Hardy by nature, stable, non-capricious Puya in room culture almost does not change. It tolerates drought well, but is very sensitive to dampness. Rare feeding, careful transplanting and periodic cleaning - that's all this plant will need.

All pujis, without exception, fully justify the reputation of a dangerous plant. And although we are not talking about wild thickets of puja, when handling this crop at home, you should remember to be careful. Hook-shaped spines, turned in different directions on different parts of the leaf, complicate both routine care and transplantation. It is possible to work with puya only with tight gloves and as carefully as possible. This plant is strictly forbidden to grow by those who have small children or pets.

Puya chilean (Puya chilensis)
Puya chilean (Puya chilensis)

Watering and air humidity

Puia is not afraid of droughts, and this is her main feature - tolerance for almost any care. The plant will endure both underwatering and a long absence of watering. But on the other hand, pujis do not tolerate waterlogging of the upper soil layer in containers. In spring and summer, the plant is watered quite abundantly. When watering a plant, the easiest way is to use a combined method - combine the usual watering with the typical bromeliad procedures for filling the outlet with water, keeping the humidity level stable.

Puyu is often grown by saturating the soil with water by immersion, and then waiting until the substrate is almost completely dry, but it is better to carry out regular "medium" watering only with drying. Care should be taken in watering for this plant only during cold wintering. Watering at this time is rarely carried out, carefully, only slightly soaking the substrate and maintaining the viability of the roots.

For puja, they choose settled, soft water. It is advisable to use water for irrigation at the same temperature as the air in the room.

Puya reacts favorably to high air humidity, but it will also accept dry conditions. During the operation of heating devices, it is easiest to install the plant on a pallet with wet expanded clay or gravel. But you can also carry out periodic spraying, install special humidifiers, or do without regular measures, including them in care only when the plant shows signs of depression and drying out of the leaf tips.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

Subcrustations for the plant are regularly applied only during the period of the most active growth - from May to October. For puja, not the classical frequency of feeding is suitable, but an interval of 3-4 weeks between these procedures. Conventional feeding can be replaced with foliar feeding.

This plant can be fed with both universal fertilizers and organic preparations. An optimal balance of macro- and microelements is characteristic of special fertilizers for bromeliads or orchids.

Puya venusta
Puya venusta

Trimming and shaping

For indoor pouis, cleaning and pruning procedures are reduced to removing damaged and dry leaves, which stand out very strongly in the rosette of adult plants.

Transplant and substrate

Puyu is transplanted only when the plant literally has nowhere to develop. Young plants grow quickly, strong roots require annual replacement of containers. But older puyas are transferred into new pots only when the roots have nowhere to grow.

The selection of substrate for puja does not require any tricks. The plant loves light, infertile, loose soils with a high sand content. You can purchase a special soil for succulents and large bromeliads, or mix equal parts universal soil with sand. Before transplanting, it is advisable to improve the substrate by adding brick chips or fine expanded clay.

For this plant, it is advisable to select flat, shallow and sufficiently wide containers. The hard rosette of the puja becomes unstable at an advanced age, therefore heavy natural ceramic vessels are preferred for it.

When transplanting, the plant must be handled very carefully, protecting hands from injuries on hard thorns. Puyu is carefully rolled over. A high drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the tanks.

Puya spathacea
Puya spathacea

Diseases, pests and problems in growing

Puyis are resistant plants. The only thing that threatens them in room and greenhouse culture is decay as a result of waterlogging. Rot spreads quickly enough with too much watering without drying out the soil between these procedures.

Reproduction of room puja

The main method of breeding puja in rooms, a culture that almost does not form daughter plants until the mother bush dies off, is growing from seeds. Of course, if, after flowering, the mother outlet releases more than one baby, then each of them is used as a separate plant.

Sowing seeds is carried out in disinfected soil consisting of a universal substrate or in equal parts of deciduous soil and sand. Seeds are scattered over the surface, carefully moistened and kept under glass or film at a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, if possible, creating a difference of 5-6 degrees between night and daytime air temperatures. Stable light humidity and several months of waiting will allow you to get fragile seedlings. The dive is carried out only after the formation of at least a miniature outlet.

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