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General care guide for Agave

4 min read

General care guide for Agave, Tips for growing Agave Succulents, How to care for Agave Succulents

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Introduction

Agave plant is a group of succulents with long leaves that naturally forms a rosette shape and produces a flower spire of attractive cup-shaped blooms. They are drought-tolerant and perennial, making them an ideal plant for any beginner gardener. Plus, there are over hundreds of Agave varieties to choose from, and one of which is the  Variegated Butterfly Agave.


Not only that! With this plant's texture and subtle color, it will definitely bring out drama and structure to just any garden. If you are not yet convinced that Agave plant is the perfect succulent for you, read on to discover how easy it is to own one!

 



Light

VARIEGATED BUTTERFLY AGAVE

Agaves are remarkable houseplants, especially when provided a warm setting with lots of good sunlight. They are sun worshipers, so make sure to place them in your garden where they can get at least 6 hours of very bright sunlight per day to keep them happy and healthy throughout the year. Agaves can also endure a light shade exposure for a couple of hours, especially in the hottest part of the day.


When grown indoors, make sure to place it in a spot where it can get bright, direct light daily, like a west-facing window. In case you don't have any space to provide enough light for your Agave plant, they may start to stretch and distort. So consider getting an artificial light to supplement it with enough sunlight.



Water

How to care for agave

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With its ability to store moisture through their leaves and stems, Agaves have become fire retardant, making them very drought tolerant and perfect succulent to own, especially for gardeners who live in areas at risk from wildfires. However, since Agave is considered a succulent, it doesn't like sitting in wet for too long, or else, you might risk it getting root rot. So be mindful of the wetness of its soil whenever you water it.

In general, the soil of the Agave plant should always be allowed to dry out in between watering. But to be more specific, during the resting period of Agave plants, which happens in Fall and Winter, always let the top 75% of the soil to completely dry out before irrigation. In Spring and Summer, on the other hand, where this plant is actively growing, give it a drink whenever the top 2 to 3-inches of the soil has dried out.



Fertilizer

How to care for agave

Fertilizer isn't really necessary for agave plants as this would encourage flowering, which some do not want to right away as most Agave plants die after blooming.


However, if you still want to feed them to provide their nutrient needs, do this monthly during the plant's active season, which is in Spring and Summer. You may use a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength or with a compost tea, and never fertilize while it's in the resting period, which is in Fall and Winter.



Temperature

How to care for agave

 

Like what was mentioned earlier, Agave plants love it when they are provided with warm settings. Ideally, they need a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during Spring and Summer to thrive. 


In cooler conditions, especially during Fall and Winter, maintain the surrounding temperature of your Agave plant between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In case the temperature in your area tends to drop below 50 degrees, it is best to grow this plant in a pot or container, where it can easily be carried indoors for protection.



Also, don't be alarmed when your Agave's leaves suddenly start to produce a thick waxy coating. This helps the plant seal moisture, allowing it to protect itself from evaporation, and helps it reflects up to 75% of the incoming heat.



Pot and Soil

How to care for agave

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Just like with other succulents, Agave plants also hates sitting in wet for too long, and using soil with poor drainage will only lead to root rot, which will most likely kill it. Instead, use a quick draining succulent or cactus soil. You may add some small rocks or pebbles to increase the soil's drainage capability.



You can also blend your own soil by mixing two parts sand and one part compost, or equal parts of pumice or perlite, potting soil, and sand. Additionally, since Agaves have shallow roots, make sure to grow them in a shallow container that can anchor its weight.



Propagation

How to care for agave

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Although there are different ways to expand your Agave plant collection without spending a single penny, the easiest and fastest way to do this is by propagating it through its offsets or what we call pups, which will usually develop around the mother plant’s base. Furthermore, offset propagation will not only create new plants but would also make the mother plant look better as a single specimen.


To do this, simply insert a knife into the soil between the offset and the parent plant, and cut through the roots connecting them, leaving at least 1-inch of the stem behind.


Carefully ease out the pup out of the soil, and gently shake any excess soil from the roots, allowing it to dry out for about 2 days to help lessen the risk of root rot problem.



While waiting for the offset to dry, prepare a 1-gallon pot with a potting soil formulated for cactus plants and water it until it’s a bit moist. Remember to use a pot with good drainage holes in the bottom.


Once the pup has dried out, push it into the soil until the roots are buried and have the same depth it was growing in previously. Make sure to place your offset in a warm, frost-free setting away from direct sunlight all day.


In about 4 to 6 weeks, your Agave pups should root. Just don’t forget to give it some drink whenever you feel that the soil ha almost completely dry.


Also, for a higher chance of success, it is best to carry out the propagation process in late Spring, when the plant is actively growing.

SEE MORE ABOUT TIPS ON SUCCULENT PROPAGATION FROM LEAVES AND CUTTINGS

TIPS ON SUCCULENT PROPAGATION FROM LEAVES AND CUTTINGS

 

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