Propagation, Growing and Planting of Agave

Overview

The agave is a succulent that is usually found as low as 1,500 feet in elevation in the Southwest, but grows best between 2,800 and 6,000 feet. It is a popular succulent in Arizona and New Mexico; also grows in Chihuahua and Sonora, two states in Mexico. Other cultivars (different kinds of agave) are also seen in other southern states with desert-like climates.

Propagation

Some agave are propagated by seed, but most are propagated by the offsets ("babies" that grow up from the roots of the parent plant). Carefully dig up and separate the offsets. Transplant them in another area of the landscaping or in pots.

Planting Agave

Plant the seeds of an agave about an inch deep. Lightly cover the seeds with soil, water gently with enough water to moisten the soil, then mulch with an inch of compost. If you are planting offsets, dig a planting hole that is the depth of the roots on the offset and twice as wide as the spread-out roots. Center the agave in the planting hole and backfill with soil. Water with an inch of water, then mulch with an inch of compost or pulverized bark. If the offset is larger, mulch with more than an inch---up to 3 inches---of compost or pulverized bark.

Watering Agave

The agave is a succulent and does not need extensive watering. Water the agave deeply when you do water it. In some areas, the agave might need water once per month, while other areas might require watering every couple of weeks, depending on the dryness of the soil and the weather in your area. If you live in a hot, arid area, you might need to water every couple of weeks.

Fertilizing Agave

Fertilizer the agave with a good, all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer if needed. Fertilize with the water-soluble fertilizer every time you water, but no more than every 12 to 14 days (if you water more frequently).

General Growing Care of Agave

Some cultivars require partial shade in particularly hot and sunny climates, else the leaves will start to turn yellow. Choose an agave cultivar carefully for your area. Some cultivars also require extra water during the summer. Check with your local nursery for cultivars that do well in your area.

Keywords: agave, agave offset, watering agave

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.