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How to Plant Agave

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How to Plant Agave

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Overview

Agave is a succulent plant that grows well in arid unfriendly environments, such as found in parts of Mexico and southern Florida. It has also been termed the century plant by the Native Americans. As other succulents, it has the ability to store water in its tissues, and forms thick leaves full of carbohydrates that can be roasted and eaten, or fermented into tequila. The plant used for the production of tequila is the agave tequilana, or Weber's blue. The agave is a striking landscape plant with its spiky leaves and the tall flower stem, reaching from just a few inches in height to several feet. There are two ways to you can grow them: from a rooted cutting, called a pup, or with seeds.

Pups

Step 1

Dig and turn over the top 6 inches of soil in the area where you plan to grow the agave. Loosen it up with a rake or hoe until it has a fine texture and then rake it smooth. If the soil seems heavy and full of clay, you should add some sand to improve the drainage. You can also remedy an area by building up a mound on which to plant the agave.

Step 2

Place the agave pups and their roots into a slight depression in the soil and then mound the soil up against the bottom of the plant.

Step 3

Water the plant with enough water to moisten the top inch of soil. You should expect the pup to continue to grow and show signs of new growth in about two weeks.

Seeds

Step 1

Dig and turn over the top 6 inches of soil in the area where you plan to grow the agave. Loosen it up with a rake or hoe until it has a fine texture and then rake it smooth. Continue to prepare the soil the same way as if you were planting pups, as described in Step 1 of the first section.

Step 2

Dig narrow rows in the soil about 1/4 inch deep with a stick. Sprinkle the seeds about every 2 inches apart in the rows and then cover them with soil.

Step 3

Sprinkle the area with enough water to dampen the first inch of soil. Water the seeds at least once a day to keep the soil damp until you see the sprout in about two weeks.

Step 4

Thin the seedlings to 6 inches apart when they are about 2 inches tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Agave plant/seeds
  • Hand shovel

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Agave and Yucca
  • Arizona Cooperative Extension: How to Propagate Agave and Cacti
Keywords: planting agave pups, agave seeds, growing agave plants

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.