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Herbaceous Perennial

Puya chilensis

Chilean puya

P. chilensis is an evergreen, clumping, perennial, with dense rosettes of lance-shaped, stiff, leathery mid-green leaves with coarse, marginal spines pointing in to the rosette. A mature rosette produces a stout flower stem, to 1.5m high, with yellow-green, bell-shaped flowers interspersed with bird perches, before it dies (monocarpic). Flowers are followed by green fruit containing winged seeds

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Bromeliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Puya are evergreen, terrestrial, perennial herbs with leathery, typically spiny, leaves forming dense rosettes. Native to Central and South America

Name status

Correct

Plant range
C Chile

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How to grow

Cultivation

Under glass grow in terrestrial bromeliad compost in full light. Water moderately when in active growth in mid-spring to late summer and apply a low nitrogen fertiliser every 6-8 weeks. Plants will tolerate temperatures below 0°C for brief periods if acclimatised to cool winter conditions. In warm, sheltered gardens grow plants outdoors in a sunny spot in sharply draining soil and protect from winter wet

Propagation

Propagate by seed at 19-24°C as soon as ripe

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Gravel garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Sub-tropical
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Low Maintenance
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

New growth is susceptible to scale insects

Diseases

Susceptible to root rots in wet soils

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