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Care of Agave Plants

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Care of Agave Plants

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Overview

Agave plants, also called Century plants, grow as perennial succulents. Varieties thrive in almost every planting zone, and range from small, container-size plants to large accent landscaping plants. Most Agaves feature sharp, thorn-like spikes on their leaves, making them hard to care for or transplant. The plant flowers on a long stalk, and can sometimes take seven years between blooming. Its ability to resist drought makes the Agave a popular landscaping plant in areas with water restrictions. Care for Agave plants by preparing the soil and applying a regular fertilizer.

Step 1

Choose a location that receives full sun to partial afternoon shade. If the plant is very young it will need more shade; mature plants can take full sun. The area must drain well. Ensure your variety of agave plant it will thrive in your climate, or plant in a container.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times the diameter and the same depth as the plant container. Remove all weeds and grass from the area.

Step 3

Amend the soil with 1 part sharp sand and 1 part leaf mold or shredded bark to create a well-draining soil. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the amended soil, following the manufacturer's directions.

Step 4

Remove the plant from the container and carefully place it in the planting hole. Keep the plant at the same level it was in the container. Adjust the soil to move the plant up or down.

Step 5

Fill in around the root ball with the amended soil and hand-tamp it down firmly. Water the soil well to settle it around the roots and add more soil if needed due to settling.

Step 6

Water the agave plant when the top inch of the soil dries out. Drying time depends on the heat, hours of sun per day and wind. Long, deep watering once a week is better than a little water every day.

Step 7

Fertilize with a 20-20-20 fertilizer in the fall after planting and each spring and fall thereafter. Follow manufacturer's directions on amount to apply.

Things You'll Need

  • Agave plant
  • Shovel
  • Sharp sand
  • Leaf mold or shredded bark
  • Thick gloves
  • Slow release fertilizer
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida Extension: Warm Climate Production Guidelines for Agave
  • Desert Botanical Garden: Care of Agaves
  • Back Yard Gardener: Agave attenuata ( Century Plant )
Keywords: agave care, growing succulents, Century plant

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.

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