Sunday, 4 September 2016

Agave Potatorum update

 For those who don't know I grew this Agave from seed  from the British Cactus Society , on my bedroom windowsill 15 years ago .
  Well it began to put up its inflorescence or flower spire  about a year and a half ago .

 Agaves often throw out runners with babies (or pups ) to some distance away from the mother plant , but the strange thing here was that , this one began to flower too !

The bees just loved the flowers and I had hoped they would then produce more babies up in those branches .....but it seems that they don't  ...instead they become seedpods .

So I saved a few , hoping to let them dry out and get the seeds ...but  it was around this time that I got seriously ill with cancer and everything became a blur .
 I cant remember what I did with those seed pods !     Sigh ....

Anyway  , now it had finished flowering and the green seed pods were beginning to drop off ....and  then usually  , they die  :(         I began to wonder if I could save the mother plant , by chopping down the inflorescence /flowering spire , also known as a "mast " it wouldn't put all it's energy into it .
 Winter was fast approaching , we'd already had one terrific storm , which brought down some of my favourite pittasporums.
 I put a large cloche over the Agave and threw the branches over the top to hold it down .   Every night I would cover it and every morning I uncovered it . Also keeping it totally covered if and when we had really bad weather .

 The garden was such a mess and recovering from my op  , I couldn't do as much as I would  have liked .

 This old cloche is like an umbrella. I bought it about ten years ago and at the time my husband was away and I couldn't get the spokes into the pockets of the cloche properly that is why it looks so wonky . I really need to get another one if anyone knows where I can get one or one that is similar ?

 Here it is with all the branches holding it down against the winter gales  !

 So here we are today  , over the winter it did begin to get a bit yellowy  but it certainly picked up again through this Spring and Summer .
 By the way , the Agave behind is Agave Americana , a much hardier one  and in fact probably the toughest one , I don't usually cover it unless it is really cold and wet .
 It is usually the wet that kills Agaves rather than the cold , hence all the flat slabs of slate tucked in under it's leaves and all around ...and it is also in a bed of sharp gravel , which helps drain away rain water from it's roots and also keeps the slugs off .
 The gravel bed is a complete mess now and needs serious weeding and even  totally replace the weed membrane underneath the gravel and another fresh load of gravel .
 It was so lovely when I first created I look around and feel sad .

                                             ....but what is this ? !      Look !

                          It has begun to push up more babies / pups all around !
I am so happy ! I will be taking these up and potting them on . You know ,  Agave potatorum is such a lovely bluey Agave !
   Well , we are once again heading into Autumn and I am wondering if I can get the mother Agave through a second winter  ?  
 Cheerio for now .. Daisy Debs is off to dig out the big umbrella cloche again  .... somewhere in the shed I think ........


  1. Wonderful, I had a lovely prickly pear that I brought a bit home from Malta I grew and grew and every winter I protected it then one winter I was recovering from an op winter of 2010 and I lost a lot of plants including my prickly pear, fantastic you have babies well done.

    1. My greenhouse is full of succulents and cacti's dangerous in there ! :) I,ll see if I can find you a cutting if you like ?