Puya alpestris, Pitcairnia alpestris, Sapphire Tower

Puya alpestris, Pitcairnia alpestris

Sapphire Tower
Family: Bromeliaceae
Subfamily: Pitcairnioideae
Origin: Chile
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterOrnamental foliageBlue, lavender, purple flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

Puya alpestris (Sapphire Tower) is a small shrub native to Chile that grows to heights of 2-5 feet. It is best grown in USDA Zone: 9-11 and can withstand mild frost when mature. It requires full sun or semi-shade and moderate water. Its electric-blue, lavender, and purple flowers are a true sight to behold. The ornamental foliage is sure to add interest to any garden and is a favorite among butterflies and hummingbirds alike.

When planting Puya alpestris, it is important to keep in mind that these plants require excellent drainage in order to prevent root rot. It is suggested to plant in sandy or gravelly soils for this reason. If planting in colder regions, consider planting in a container and bring it inside during the winter months. Once established, the mature plants can endure cold temperatures of up to 30°F for short periods of time. However, if the temperature drops significantly lower, the plant may suffer frost damage. After the last frost of the season it's recommended to cover the plant when temperatures drop below 40°F at night.

For optimum growth and health, keep the soil of your Puya alpestris lightly moist throughout the summer. Once established, it has very low water requirements. If allowed to dry out, it may take some time for it to recover. As far as feeding is concerned, applying slow release fertilizer in the spring will help your Puya alpestris thrive.

Taking these simple steps will ensure that your Puya alpestris stays healthy, happy, and in bloom throughout the summer. With its astonishingly vibrant blooms and its easy maintenance, Puya alpestris is an ideal choice for any garden.

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