DATE : May 30, 2020 By : pr-plants
Many of you have either ordered or received a boophone distiche from Puerto Rico Plants. But now what? We were all attracted to the pictures and the description from online and definitely need to learn how to take care of it while understanding a few precautions you may not have already known.
The boophones sold by Puerto Rico Plants were originally kept in an 8-inch pot. The plants are approximately 10-13inches around. And, in many cases, probably rootbound. You’ll see from the thick hose-like (or noodle-like) roots the plant is extremely healthy. The roots range from approximately 8inches to 16 inches in length. You should have received your boophone in a USPS Priority Box.
You will also notice that your boophone may have arrived with a small piece of tap around it. If it does have tape the tape is there to secure the ‘shell’ while traveling. The shell, if pulled off, will peel in layers like an onion. You have two options:
For my amazing plants like the boophone, I tend to find hand-made pottery. But that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case for you. You will need to search for a pot that can fit such a large plant that is about 10-13 inches around. You don’t want the plant to hug the pot too close because it needs space for watering; Nor do you want the pot to be too big (ie, definitely not a 3 gallon pot)–also you should look for a pot that is at least 6 inches deep as the roots have a deep system.
Find fast-draining soil mix. Some suggestions can be an easy mix of perlite and potting soil; Or, a good mixture of perlite pumice rock, sand and soil.
Make sure your boophone (and other plants) receive enough sun. It’s okay to leave it outside, but avoid frost. During the winter, ensure it still receives sun; whereas in the summer (depending on where you live) you may need to allow it to have only afternoon sun. Mine is on a patio shelf receiving direct eastern sun.
It is important that you find one place for it to live and grow without moving it, preferably outside or in a well ventilated area indoors.
DEAD OR DORMANT?
After a while you will notice the leaves will die off. You’ll also see remnants of dead leaves on the plant already. Feel free to trim them down nicely, but don’t pull them off. Pulling them off could force the bulb to unravel. Remember, it’s in layers like an onion.
When your leaves have died off, keep the soil dry as well. The plant has gone dormant. Dormancy is important in the lifespan of a plant.
If your bulb is starting to grow new green, keep the soil moist. Only repot during dormancy. Repotting your boophone and disturbing the roots could delay flowers for a year or so. For this, it is important to find the correct sized pot in advance.
Please note that the base of the plant can either be extremely stiff or soft. Simply because it’s soft if gently squeezed, does not mean it is dead or in bad shape. Simply plant it and keep it well maintained–as long as the roots are healthy and you see the green flourishing, you should be okay.
Boophones are NOT pet friendly plants. The plant is very toxic and may cause death if ingested. Some individuals refer to this plant as the “sore eyes” plant–as if you don’t have proper ventilation the blooms may cause eye irritation.
Despite the toxicity, with property care this plant can outlive all of us and and easily be left for future generations to envy.