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 " ...so 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 ...so 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 it......now 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 ........