Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meet. . . Agave!

Also known as century plants, the agaves are wonderfully sculptural succulents that can be used as accent plants or in small groupings. I love the large, slightly sculpted leaves and their cool blue color. These plants are few and far between in the Denver area, although there are at least two cold hardy species grown here that I’m aware of. These photos are of a neighbor’s Agave parryi, Parry’s century plant, which gets about 18”x18” in size and suckers readily (these suckers are called “pups," though they're not soft and cuddly!).


It’s now blooming, and the stalk is about 12’tall! The plants are located in a dry, south facing exposure that gets plenty of heat. These plants are rated for zones 4-10.



Another species that is sold locally is Agave havardiana, Harvard’s century plant (sorry, no photo). It is not as hardy, only to zone 5, so it should definitely be planted near boulders, walls, or other heat absorbing and radiating hardscape features. Well drained soil is a must. This agave is very similar in appearance to the Parry’s, but twice as big! This 3’x3’ monster would be a fantastic specimen and focal point for a warm, protected courtyard garden.

So, if you’re feeling adventuresome, check out Agave.


3 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Those are beauties. I am a huge agave fan and would be sad if I lived where they weren't cold-hardy. But you're right that even cold climates can often grow at least one or two varieties.

mosaicqueen said...

You will find many of them here in the desert :-)

Michelle

Aiyana said...

The Agave parryi is a beautiful specimen. Now that it has bloomed it will die. Did it have plenty of offsets around it?
Aiyana