This small, clustering bromeliad forms a dense cluster of rosettes with narrow leaves that are grayish below and green above. The club-shaped inflorescences produce many blueish-green flowers. Puya alpestris is native to dry, hilly sites in central and southern Chile. It is robust, quick, and easy to grow and likes a warm temperate climate in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Plants in cultivation begin flowering after 7 to 8 years.
Seeds should be started indoors and sown directly onto the surface of a sandy/cactus compost growing medium, another popular choice is a 50 / 50 mix of seed starting compost and fine grit which can be used when potting on also. (Another popular alternative is to germinate the seeds in between 2 pieces of damp paper towels that have been placed and sealed in a clear plastic food baggie and popped in a propagator or on a heat mat under the light. If you choose this method it is important to open and reseal the bag once a day to allow in clean air and to stop the paper towels from becoming too dry. Very lightly cover the seeds with a fine sprinkle of the medium so that light can still penetrate the surface as these seeds need lots of light to germinate. To encourage germination it would be ideal to use bottom heat to maintain a soil temperature of 65 – 75F which in our experience is the optimum temperature range to kick start the little seed into life. Once your seeds have germinated and have several true leaves you can pot them on into individual planters or seedling pots.