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Sunday, March 13, 2016

After Agave Blooms It Will Die

Q. I bought this plant 4 years ago and was told it is an Octopus agave. I was advised it might take 40 to 50 years to bloom and afterwards the plant will die. The stalk coming from the center of the plant grew to about 12 feet in 2 weeks. I really do not know what I am looking at or what to do.

A. This is not Octopus agave. Compare it to pictures of Octopus agave on the Internet. Yes, that is a bloom spike. The plant will die after it flowers.
The mother plant should have small offsets or pups at the base of the plant prior to blooming. You may not see them until after the mother plant dies and is removed. These pups can be replanted in new locations or given away to friends.
Pups growing at the base of American agave.

When planting agaves and cacti, amend the soil with compost at the time of planting and mixed with the backfill around the roots. They will grow better.
Be careful how frequently the plant is watered. Do not water them more often than every three weeks but give them 5 to 10 gallons when you do.

Agaves look better when they are either planted in groupings of three or five with enough distance between them so they can spread out or planted singularly as a focal point in the landscape.

When planting in groups, use odd numbers of plants and plant them at different distances apart to make them more appealing to the eye.

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