Agave Plant Care Guide
Agave is a succulent or water-retaining plant, originally from Mexico, which is also found in some parts of the United States and South America. These plants are easy to maintain, and are beautiful and ornamental. They require little maintenance, and can add an exotic touch to your landscaping. As a result, different forms of the Agave family are becoming popular in many more arid places. You can also grow these plants in greenhouses if you provide plenty of light and warmth.
Agave plants bear a resemblance to cacti, but do not belong to the cactus family. Agave plants are actually related to the lily family. These plants develop rosettes that are very striking, and can be the perfect decoration for a rocky outdoor garden. Agave plants are very slow to grow, and can therefore be quite pricey. Many of these plants attain full growth in 10 years, at which time they bloom. Most agave plants die after reaching full bloom.
Agave plants are very hardy, and can grow well in most surroundings, with little water. You can maintain your agave plants by ensuring that the temperature does not drop too low, humidity is adequate, and by restricting water supply to the minimum.
Maintaining Adequate Temperatures
Agave plants thrive in strong light and high temperatures. The ideal temperature range is between 5º C and 35º C. Under these conditions, the agave plants will grow well and produce beautiful foliage. During the winter, try to provide the plant with artificial light to prevent dormancy in the growth.
You can reduce the risk of infection by providing as much light as possible, and reducing the humidity in the surroundings. Heat and high humidity levels can promote many infections. Similarly, low temperatures can also cause slow growth and subsequent rotting.
Preventing Snout Weevil Infestation
One of the most dangerous threats to agave plants are insects called snout weevils. These insects infest plants by hatching their eggs between the leaves. Most often, it is too late to save the plant. However, you can prevent infection by quarantining new plants before introducing them to your collection. Avoid planting a new agave plant in the same spot as a plant that was lost to snout weevil infestation.
Restricting Water Supply
Under-potting, or planting the agave in small pots is beneficial to its growth. This way, the roots of the plant do not get too much water. Regular watering is not recommended. In fact, you must wait for the plant to dry a little before you water it. Also, the roots of agave plants need plenty of air circulation for maximum growth. Too much water can prevent air circulation among the roots, and prevent growth.
Maintaining Aerated Potting Medium
It is advisable to use a potting medium that consists of one-half gravel, and the other half regular potting mixture. This speedens the drainage of water, and increases aeration among the roots. If you do not use gravel in the pot, be very watchful about watering the plant, only watering it when the plant is drying.