Agave lover’s Foliage Follow-Up


Thanks for joining me for Foliage Follow-Up, a celebration of leafy goodness (or any non-blooming plant part) on the day after Bloom Day. It’s all about agaves for me today because I’ve added a couple of new ones to my collection. Pictured above is a beautiful little Agave colorata, which I’ve coveted since seeing one in Jeff Pavlat’s garden, looking for all the world like a living satellite dish. That blue-gray color is just amazing, isn’t it?


And here’s my new Agave weberi ‘Arizona Star,’ a smooth-leaved agave with beautiful green-and-yellow stripes. I am hopeful that both will do well in our newly cold winters, perhaps with a little protection while they’re small. Time will tell.


Agave stricta is looking especially good too right now. This porcupine of a plant does require winter protection, so I moved it—with careful handling!—inside whenever a hard freeze threatened. Luckily it’s small and easy to move. If I’m not careful though my agave addiction is going to get out of hand one day, and I’ll need a greenhouse and a crew of guys to move them each fall and spring.


To end my foliage post, here’s something different: our gum bumelia tree (Bumelia lanuginosa) budding out with new leaves.

So what foliage is memorable in your garden this week? Post about it (please include a link to this post, if you would), and leave your link here in the comments so I can find you. I look forward to reading your Foliage Follow-Up leaf love.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

28 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Love the new agave additions. Here’s a link to my Foliage Follow-Up post: http://bit.ly/fpMrIs

  2. Greggo says:

    I have a few foliage slides in my GBBD post. Stipa and festuca. Have a great spring Pam. http://greggosgarden.blogspot.com/2011/03/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-kansas.html

  3. Darla says:

    I love that you love agaves…I would also love to see you have a greenhouse and a crew! Man, what a dream…my post is up. http://morefamilyandflowers-darla.blogspot.com/2011/03/foliage-follow-up-silver-sage-salvia.html

  4. Greggo says:

    Posted a comment an hour ago, not sure what happened. How did your outdoor agave do? I wish I could locate some DG here in Kansas. It is a great mulch and pathway material. I remember when all it was used for was road base when I lived in san antonio. My gbbd post has a few slides of fescue and stipa foilage. Have a blessed day.

    Your comment was caught by my spam filter for some reason, Greggo. So sorry about that! I’ve restored it, above. Thanks for trying again. Many of my agaves are cold-hardy and came through the cold with no problems. But I lost a couple of variegated American agaves, and my ‘Macho Mocha’ mangaves sustained damage. It was a good test of their hardiness. —Pam

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    There isn’t much foliage happening in my garden right now. Lots of stems and buds. I enjoy seeing your agaves. I really like the ghostly pring on the leaves of the first one.

    I know, aren’t those leaf imprints wonderful? I really hope this one turns out to be hardy. I want to have it in the ground so it can get big and do its thing. —Pam

  6. Beautiful agave varieties! The one that I planted in a container came through the winter in great condition! I’m going to plant more this year. My other succulent container of sempervivums hatched lots of “chicks” for me to use!

    You always make beautiful succulent containers, Cameron. I’m glad your agave came through the winter. You’ll be a convert in no time! —Pam

  7. Cheryl says:

    What beautiful subtle colors…lovely as always!

    Thanks, Cheryl. —Pam

  8. commonweeder says:

    All my foliage is in the house and it is not very exotic, but it is growing! New energy is flowing even as the snow is falling – again – outside. http://www.commonweeder.com/2011/03/16/foliage-follow-up-2/

  9. Love that Agave colorata! The color is so vibrant that I thought it was a trick – until I saw the color of the soil beneath it. In my garden today it’s all about emerging foliage.
    Thanks for hosting this fun monthly feature, Pam! http://jocelynsgarden.blogspot.com/2011/03/foliage-follow-up-3162011.html

  10. Diana says:

    Very nice. Did you get that Arizona Star at TGO? I think I got one last week. It was almost the only nice looking sizeable agave there. An Agave search of more unusual nurseries is on my list for next week when school’s back in!

    Yep, that’s where I found it. It looks to be a big pup producer. Good luck with your agave hunt! —Pam

  11. David C says:

    At least you aren’t letting a little cold dampen your spirit. Best of luck w/ those!

    “After all, tomorrow IS another day.” Eternally optimistic, David. —Pam

  12. Cindy Boney says:

    Who knew there was such a variety of Agaves out there! Thanks for sharing your journey! Here is my most recent “bloom” post: http://southwestgardens.blogspot.com/2011/03/spring-blooms-butterflies.html Thanks for the opportunity to share!

    There are SO many different agaves, and I tend to want them all. But that would make for a very poke-y garden. Thanks for commenting and leaving your Bloom Day link, but I think you meant to leave it at May Dreams Gardens, where Carol hosts Bloom Day every month on the 15th. I host Foliage Follow-Up on the 16th. Got any cool leaves to share? —Pam

  13. RBell says:

    Can see why you coveted that Agave colorata – quite nice. Here’s my foliage follow-up contribution http://thelazyshadygardener.blogspot.com/2011/03/foliage-follow-up-march-2011.html

  14. Not much foliage to speak of at my house these days, unless you count pansies. ;) But your agaves are gorgeous. I love that little porcupine one – it looks so cute but scary at the same time!

    It is exactly that, Kate—cute AND scary. I adore it. —Pam

  15. peter schaar says:

    Beautiful photos, as usual. I hope your A. stricta proves cold hardy, let me know. I have A. striata, which gives much the same effect and is hardy; it came through 101 hours below freezing last winter in a large pot with no ill effects. My A. weberi was killed at least to the crown, perhaps totally, and my Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ also suffered damage.
    My palms all did fine, although my ‘mystery’ Sabal has some new unintentional variegation! LOL.

    The right palms can be really cold-hardy, as you know. But there are numerous species around town that look bedraggled and brown right now. I don’t think I’ll be testing the cold hardiness of my Agave stricta, but I’m glad to know A. striata is tough enough for Dallas winters. —Pam

  16. Nicole says:

    Oh you know how I just love agaves-I will try to do a post on agaves on foliage follow up next month. I think I have a colorata ( it was not labelled).

    I know you do love agaves, Nicole. Have you filled your new garden with some good specimens yet? —Pam

  17. Hi Pam, Here’s my foliage follow-up post:

    http://signaturegardens.blogspot.com/2011/03/fabulous-foliage-of-spring-march-2011.html

    Thanks for hosting this again — makes us all take note of our foliage instead of just paying attention to the blooms. Your agaves are beautiful, but I prefer to appreciate them from afar — OUCH!

    Happy Spring! Toni :-)

  18. Denise says:

    I always get A. stricta confused with geminiflora, They look identical to me. Thank goodness an agave reference is on its way in the mail! No mistaking that colorata though. What a beaut. And another beautiful, harmless agave in that weberi. Great choices, Pam. http://agrowingobsession.com/?p=14667

  19. Hi Pam! Loving your theme…and all of your Agaves are gorgeous but that Agave colorata is especially wonderful. Here’s my foliage follow-up post: http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-foliage-follow-updedicated-to.html

  20. Jim-Phoenix says:

    fascinating, and amazingly coincidental… the Agave-weberi-Arizona Star you have pictured looks identical to some I have. I found a broken pot with a cluster of them in it a couple years ago… in a median, while stopped for a traffic light. It appeared that someone had just thrown them out in the median. I got out, grabbed the pot, threw it in my truck, and went home and planted half a dozen from the pot. They grew very fast and I’ve moved them all over my yard here in Phoenix. I’ve been looking at online pictures, and searching every nursery I go to, to find out what variety they are… but yours is the first I’ve seen that looked exactly the same… and had a name… and ironically had “Arizona” in the variety name even.

    They were all looking beautiful… BUT, this year we had a hard frost (27 degrees or so), and they all got frozen BADLY. They looked so ugly, the other day I just dug them all up, stripped all the frozen leaves off, and replanted them under my Palo Verde tree, which oddly enough seemed to protect several other plants from that frost. If they freeze again, I guess I’ll either have to plant them in pots and bring them in to protect them… or contribute them to the compost bin :-)

    I love your rescue tale but not your freeze story! If it gets damaged at 27 F it’ll get zapped here from time to time. Well, time will tell. Thanks for the heads-up. —Pam

  21. Donna says:

    Thank you Pam for hosting Foliage Follow Up. Snow just left yesterday with temps at 45. Still some piles around, but hopefully next month I don’t have to go into the farm greenhouse for a little green. Your Agave is always so nice growing where it belongs. Here, they live in the greenhouse. My post is: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2011/03/13/niagara-falls-garden-magazine-special-4-day-edition/

  22. ricki says:

    Ooow…the dark points on your porcupine plant are dangerously attractive. I wouldn’t move it often. Here’s my Pacific NW selection for this month:
    http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/1435

  23. Pam, you KNOW that I have agave envy already… so I adored this post. :) And, having at least one huge agave of my own, I appreciate the caution and danger that go with moving them indoors in inclement weather, for sure! lol.

    Here’s my foliage follow-up post for March:
    http://blackswampgirl.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-reveal-this-months-foliage-follow.html

  24. Meredith says:

    You’re the only other person I know with Gum Bumelia trees. I had two right up against the back of the house, either appearing there naturally or planted by a previous owner. We had to cut them down because the 2-inch thorns were dangerous to anyone trying to garden, do house repair, or work on the AC. But I’ve got more growing in the back of the yard.

    It took me forever to get an ID on that tree, Meredith. It’s quite large, growing out of limestone slabs in the lower garden, planted, I’m sure, by Mother Nature. I asked everyone who came over if they could ID it, and then finally we hired an arborist for tree trimming, and he knew what it was immediately. I’d never even heard of this native tree before. It’s not the most beautiful tree in the world, but I kind of like having something unusual. —Pam

  25. You’ll laugh, but I just finished my bloom day post today. I’m terrible. However, not much in the way of foliage at the moment. In a few weeks, it will be busting out all over though.~~Dee

    I’m not laughing at all, Dee. Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up are as much a state of mind as a particular date. Feel free to post later if you want. This post isn’t going anywhere, and I’d love to see your leaf love. —Pam

  26. David says:

    Hi Pam,
    That’s a beautiful set of agaves! I was out of town yesterday and could not post a foliage follow-up. DRATS! I was going to do one on ferns. I’ll post my fern foliage follow-up next time.
    P.S. I had an Agave colorata here in Houston but it died from the high humidity. I think you’ll be ok over in Austin. It LOVES well-drained gravel, but you probably already know such things since I see gravel all around it. :-) David/ Tropical Texana
    BTW: Texas is home to the national champion gum bumelias: one in Tarrant County and one in Henderson County. One of these is 91 inches in circumference at 4.5 feet from ground level. According to the Native Plant Society, Gum bumelias naturally attract birds, but I’m not sure why. Maybe its thorns are protection against predators.

    Interesting about the gum bumelias, David. The thorns must be way up in the branches? I see none on the trunk, and ours is limbed up pretty high. See you and your ferns next month. —Pam

  27. Well, better late than never! Here is my Foliage post: http://floradoragardens.blogspot.com/2011/03/dont-forget-your-foliage-follow-up.html

    I’m jealous of your ‘Arizona Star’!

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