If you get a chance, go to a Cactus and Succulent Society of America show. That Agave potatorum is beautiful, what a lovely shot. Here in the Southwest, even savvy gardeners tend to think agaves are century plants (big, hulking Agave americana) and don’t realize the marvelous array of miniatures that are available. Debra. Hi, Lisa — I hope I eventually harvest some babies, but the bloom stalk just keeps getting taller and has yet to branch. I would like to share some photos but I am unable to load here. Patricia. I guess it can happen anywhere. Yours is an incredible garden… are these plants from your collection minus the one by the ocean? Will the stalk carry baby plants? Do you think that I could safely grow Agave attenuata (my favorite) without sun damage? Thanks for your informative website. It is good that the Agave plants live so long before blooming … sad that they give their life giving birth… wow ….really so many offspring? It is also best to handle your Agave as little as possible since they do not like to be disturbed. When the spike emerges from the center of the agave rosette, it resembles an asparagus spear. Some agaves bloom at a height up to 9 m (30 ft) so that they are far out of reach to animals that might attack them. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Can I plant the spikes that are coming out of the dead flowers? When it comes to Agave americana, when it blooms, it’s not only bittersweet, it’s a calamity—like having a big tree in your yard suddenly die. I plan to plant them all. Do we need to cut this stalk before all those seed pods open and make new plants? I’m often asked if you can stop an agave from blooming by severing the stalk. Also do you know where I can purchase a blue whale agave, I’m having a hard time finding one down here in Miami. However, gr… I have noticed many agaves are sending up flower stalks now. It is mid-October and still in the ’90s here, so don’t think the cold [probably in January/February] weather will affect the blooms at all. I’m sure it will be many years before I have the experience, but I can quite imagine the bittersweet in the advent of an agave bloom. Thank you for all your informative and beautiful articles! My Agave is blooming, when do I harvest the pods. Flowers are yellow or greenish-yellow, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and bloom in panicles at the … Six of 10 agave attenuata groups on the property flowered with 10 to 12 foot stalks (incredible!!) Agave plants are perhaps best known for tequila, which is made from the steamed, mashed, fermented and distilled hearts of the blue agave. It helps me to remember the species name by imagining little potatoes skewered on the tips. sheesh. wow! We have s blooming century plant right now. My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. How amazing this plant is when you water once a month and ignore it. All rights reserved. They go out with a bang! I have photos that I can send. Once the agave blooms, the mother plant … Alas, Agave attenuata is the most frost-tender agave that I know of. It already has 2 stalks and i thunk a 3rd coming up. – century plant Subordinate Taxa. Can and how can I send you a picture It was kept in the porch. When an Agave does bloom, it sends up a large flower stalk out of the center of the plant that grows very quickly. Debra, These are absolutely magnificent, Debra. See more at How to Grow and Care for Agave. Genus: Agave. Hi, Les — It was probably Agave parryi, which resembles a large (4-feet diameter) gray artichoke. Hi, Dave. At its base grow pups of the mother plant. A century plant (Agave americana) bloom grows through the Desert Room's roof at the Oak Park Conservatory in the suburb just west of Chicago. trunks from the base of the plant with yellow flowers. I live in Mangalore,. Also as the trunks are 4-5 inches in diameter is there any need to put a treatment on the sawn part? I’d love to know if that’s the case. Most of the species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and take a long time to outgrow their pot. We wait until several flowers have opened before cutting the stem as low as possible. i’ve seen impressive agave flower spikes in my neighborhood, and finally got one, but alas… turns out it’s bad news! Well, much to my joy, today, 10/9/09, I discovered an asparagus-like stem in the middle starting to emerge! I always admire them when I see them in warmer climates–living sculpture in the garden. Debra. Each branch cluster holds dozens. Debra. Now all these blooms are falling into the garden. My agave plant just started blooming a stalk out of the center and I didn’t know what was happening so I started researching and found out it does this only once in its life time and will die after. I just went to a talk about cultivated agaves the other day. We inherited two of these plants in large pots when we bought the house. I wish that more of my clients would open their eyes to the beauty of Agaves. or do the babies just sprout where she was? I will enjoy the show but will be sorry to lose her. Years after maturity, the plant develops a ten- to sixteen-foot high flower stalk in late winter through the summer, with greenish-yellow flowers. Rich I am hoping you can tell me what I have. Agave americana‘s stalk is about the diameter of a telephone pole and nearly as tall. It’s Sad that there’s nothing to do to save, guess we’ll have to another one. Do I have to dig out the original “mother” plant after the stalk dies off? I recently was given an agave americana that looks to be a pup from a larger plant, and it is very tiny! Very cool plants, visually and historically. Hi, Lisa—In inland San Diego gardens, Agave attenuata does best with some light shade to protect it from extreme sun in summer, especially in the afternoon. Now I have two of those magnificent plants about to commit suicide and I am distraught. we noticed that there are at least 100 tiny seedpods falling everywhere. We admired the architectural symmetry of this plant. They are just amazing. It’s similar to honey but dissolves more readily in cold liquid and is not as strongly flavored. Thanks. Bill’s Best: A Top Designer’s Favorite Aloes. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views. However, leaf color and variegation differs from plant to plant. We pulled apart the mature outside ones and were are to upright them. And I just want to be sure what you are telling me. Do I wait until they dry out and shrivel up? The … Botanical Name: Agave angustifolia The leaves of the Carribean agave are pale green in color with a creamy margin and grow up to 2 feet long. The agave stalk can be harvested and then placed in a heavy pot to by displayed as a piece of yard art. Debra–Thank you for such an informative and beautiful post. Hardy in Phoenix, this agave grows to 3 ft. in diameter. A friend has a party whenever one of his big agaves blooms. Thanks! When an agave flowers, it is not a happy event, unless you’ve been waiting forever to collect its offspring. But your entire agave will die once it has finished flowering whether you cut off the stalk or not. Narrowleaf agave is a long-lived evergreen perennial native from Sonora, Mexico southward to Costa Rica. Loved the agave lesson, Debra. How very nice of you to tell me this and also everyone who reads the post and who may want more info about gardening with agaves. We live in Malaysia. Like other century plants, it only blooms … Trying to identify what I believe is an agave plant in my yard…. Debra. Notice the size of the bloom stalk of Agave angustifolia ‘Variegata’ relative to that of the mother plant. The attenuata spike is lovely, but they are all striking. It’s like a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy. The drooping, lifeless leaves of this bloomed-out specimen have been trimmed to a pineapple-like trunk. Agave angustifolia is native to Mexico and Central America. Actually, it’s 15 to 20 years…sooner, if you pamper it with rich soil and ample water. There are very few that I can grow in NJ gardens so the ones that I have or plant for clients live in pots for a season and that’s it–unless there’s some greenhouse space availalbe. Any help or advice that you have as to what to do with the crown would be greatly appreciated. Agave nectar and pollen are major food sources on the northernmost and southward legs of the bats' migratory routes. The same chemical changes that cause it to flower also kill the plant. I think it is sad, but none-the-less wonderful when these plants bloom. We have done this 4 times with 100% success rate. The stalk has already grown about three feet in just a week! thank you for an informative post – I’m going to take the water off of the other agaves in the yard. Debra. My agave sisalinia is sending out a bloomstalk now-its about 30 feet and the flower buds aren’t open yet! I know it will not last forever. Can Landscaping Protect a Home from Wildfire? If this lets me send photos I’ll put some great agaves. It’s hard to imagine a world without honey, cane sugar, syrup or other sweeteners, which are so prevalent in what we eat today. There are so many varieties. Our agave Plant is about to blossom after approximately 9-10 years, the stalk is approximately 12 feet tall. Most Agaves are monocarpic: they flower once and die … A pale yellow flower stalk produces tiny bulbils for replanting, blooming at its end of life, sometime after the … They are slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. I think that is worthy of a party too! There isn’t much shade. Uhhhhh why would you want to sever the magnificent foxtail? It is your trophy! I have an agave plant had no idea thats what it was till i googled it it grew all last winter and the winter before last and now it blooming. When the spike emerges from the center of the agave rosette, it resembles an asparagus spear. Agaves don’t like a lot of rainfall—they’re dry-climate plants. Hi, Debra, I saw Pam’s review of your book on her blog, and I immediately ordered it from Amazon. There is one leaf that has not yet unfurled and another “leafy spike” that will be the central rosette of the plant. However, be careful not to pot the Agave too deep as that will encourage stem rot during the growing season. Agave Angustifolia var. Many will tolerate some frost (down to the mid-20s) and some go much lower. Isn’t nature amazing? The Agave most commonly referred to as “the Century Plant” is Agave americana, which has been used in the landscapes throughout California for over 75 years. I will be leaving to go back to NY in a few days. Elsewhere, check with your local Cactus & Succulent Society of America chapter. This year the crown part was bent over on it’s side. Agave angustifolia (Caribbean Agave) Now this is an unusual Agave! Can I pull them off safely and propagate them in pots? Thank you! Yes, your attenuatas will die after blooming. Debra. And people do, Misti. When they have the right conditions and finally decide to bloom, many varieties make a very tall stalk that typically has an abundance of flowers. Several years ago one of the hardier species was flowering at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and it became a media event, luring non-gardeners into a world they would not have otherwised experienced. Debra. Thanks for anyone with any kind of thoughts. And the photographs are also good and goodly informative. Agave … Flowers are greenish-yellow to white and appear on a stem that grows up to 16.5 feet (5 m) tall. Btw, the largest CSSA show is this month, August 15-16, 9 am to 5 pm at the Los Angeles Arboretum, 301 N Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA. None of these agaves are (or were) in my garden except for the small one in the first and last photos. the spikes are slightly separated. I’ll be there on Saturday, taking photos, and would love to connect with any GGWers! Do I just put them in potting soil and cover or is there something else I should do? We don’t have many agave here in Virginia so this was very interesting to see all the different flower stalks. I thought since I grow most of my agaves in pots that I would never face the bloom spike. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. Also have a large clump of regular agave attenuata nearby that has never bloomed; planted early 1980’s. Thanks for the great article! Hi, Susan — Plant breeders (like Euro-American Propagators, who have the Proven Winners line) are introducing wonderful small agaves and aloes that are ideally suited for pot culture. Agave nectar, now sold in many supermarkets, is a popular natural sweetener. If youve ever had a run in with an agave plants sharp terminal spike or ragged, toothy leaf margin, you probably remember it all too well. Debra. I had to research this plant. the one in my grandparents front yard is now forming a stalk the sad thing is that when it falls it will land in the paved road ); im thinking of tying a rope around stalk Furcraeas, aeoniums and sempervivums come to mind. In my own garden, I haven’t had any long enough to bloom yet. We just moved to Southern New Mexico a few years ago and promptly planted several agave in our yard–just love them! We take pictures of it everyday and are amazed at the growth which seems to be daily. My agave is approx. The crown part with the small soft spikes is still on it’ s side. Thanks. A glass panel … The one in my yard is about 30-35 feet tall. I have this plant purchased in ’98 when very young. This branches and produces masses of nectar-rich flowers that attract hummingbirds and bees. How can I get them to grow. We will never replace this plant, since it takes constant attending to new pups, falling bottom leaves and then the major bloom. They are so unique structurally with great colors and I’ve found them to be pretty resilient. I saw this beautiful blooming Agave on my morning walk and decided to Google some information. Obviously they aren’t a plant for outdoors here in Nova Scotia, but I can vicariously enjoy them through photo-posts like this. Fortunately by the time agave flower spikes are ready to fall over, they’ve dried out and don’t weigh much. To our shock we saw the spike enrage and grew about 3-4 feet in just 2 weeks. Also, I’m looking for a way to add color so what about Kanchoe blossifeldiana? I don’t have any here although they probably would grow fine in TN. Is my beautiful plant going to die after this bloom process? Can I use the agave blooms for cooking i.e. My century plant just pushed out its stem 2 weeks ago. Debra. Hi, Susie — I like the wickedly long and tapered tips of Agave potatorum. A blooming Agave is a sight to behold when it is topped with a magnificent flowering spike that can reach 15 ft. (5m), and bears colorful flower clusters. I’ve got a half dozen Volkswagen-sized Agave americana that are key elements in my garden. Any advice on what to expect would be appreciated. Any suggestions you may have for my project would be greatly appreciated. Hi, Janet — Thanks! I got a pup from hers and it has been growing happily for the last ten years, including the winters ’13-15 when it got t a few degrees below zero (killed my windmill palm which was even older). I love the potatorum, I just bought one in California. Leave them on as long as you can. Blossoms open from the bottom up. Those are amazing plants! On Mar 31, 2018, DMichael from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote: Agave angustifolia var. I would hate to harm the mother plant in any way. Agave angustifolia 'Marginata' (Caribbean Agave) A medium sized Agave to 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide with a dense rosette, rounded in outline, atop a short trunk 1 to 2 feet tall that is usually hidden until plants get some age (about when they bloom!). All the spikes were stuck together. They’re unbranched and lined with blossoms, which makes them look fuzzy from a distance. I have pictures if you want to see them. So interesting architecturally and different from what goes here in New England… though I do have Yucca growing … out of character I know for our landscape… and this member of the Agave family does not seem to die after blooming. They are collapsing everywhere in the neighborhood, and I’d like to do something creative with the bloom. Subfamily: Agavoideae Debra. From tropical to xeriscape, this Caribbean Agave is the right choice for any landscape! It has a powerful leaf rosette with gray-green or gray-blue leaves that can in tropical areas grow up to 1.75 meters long … Pacifica”, is a succulent, evergreen cactus plant, native to Mexico and Central America. My dad planted it about 20 years ago and now it has grown an asparagus sprout at least 8 feet, it is amazing how fast it has grown. Thanks Debra! The century plant (Agave americana) is one of the most notorious landscape agaves. i AM CURIOUS TO KNOW IF THERE IS AN AVERAGE LENGTH OF TIME FOR THE TREE THAT BLOOMS TO STAY UPRIGHT? The bloom spikes of most species of Agave are treelike, but those of Agave attenuata are unbranched. Apparently some cultures in AZ/NM grew them as crop plants but the tradition was lost about 500 years ago. I have 3 blue silver surfer agaves. It was planted around 1994 or just prior. I have a huge century plant in my backyard that finally toppled over…and all the green pods look with the yellow flowers look to be something I should be doing something with…can someone advise what I should do with this marvelous looking huge stalk of pods and things…I hate to just toss it…. It depends. Wish i could figure out how to post a photo. I am in Roanoke, VA, by the way, zone 6/7. When you do repot, refresh the spent soil with a new potting mix and make sure the plant is firmly anchored in its pot. Agave … When the stalk can no longer nourish them, they’re good to go! It is about 11’ tall now with white tree like blooms toward the top. 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Time to outgrow their pot all these blooms are gone and the top general, agaves are up! There on Saturday, taking photos, and Succulents Simplified americana that looks to be less 10...