More agave love


Squid agave (Agave bracteosa )

For those who ooh and aah over spiky drama in the garden, as I do, check out Ivette Soler’s agave love-fest at The Germinatrix. Man, she’s inspired me to try to squeeze a few more agaves into my tiny garden. I particularly love the sharkskin agave, though it’s gigantic, and ‘Blue Flame.’

If I didn’t have so much shade in the back yard, I could plant a few more. Hmm, do I really need that shade tree?

8 Responses

  1. Oohs and aahs all over the place! I want them all too! (I think you absolutely need ‘Blue Flame’) We have to keep them in container jail and I get so worried about visitors poking their eyes out that I have further insulted them by putting blue tape on some of the tips (they’re at eye level on the greenhouse benches and it might just be me that gets too close…). But I adore them and just today I took before-n-after repotting shots of one poor baby. I hope to post the pics tomorrow…

    I worry about the eye-poking possibilities too, and place them carefully to the kids can’t get too close. I think I’ll wear goggles as well as gloves the next time I move one. —Pam

  2. One of mine was sold as Agave montana, a suposedly shade tolerant agave. I’ve read that a synonym is A. macromculmis, and it’s been in shade or part-shade for seven years. It’s in a container and has grown, but not a lot, which is actually okay with me!

    I’ve seen agaves growing in some fairly shady exposures, Pam – maybe they don’t need as much as we think?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Sorry… that should say “as much SUN as we think”.
    Annie

    You are right about the shade tolerance of many agaves, Annie. In fact, the squid agave pictured here likes part shade. However, I tend to like them best in sunny, gravelly beds where they can show off like the drama queens they are. —Pam

  4. Bonnie says:

    I love the whale’s tongue agave but I have not been able to find it. And I’m sure when I do the price will hold me back from purchasing. But the squid one is really cute.

    I found my ‘Whale’s Tongue’ at either Barton Springs Nursery or Natural Gardener. Have you tried those nurseries? I can’t remember what I paid, but it was a pretty small specimen just a couple of years ago. Planted in a slightly raised, gravelly bed, and given more water than it would get in nature, it’s grown really fast. So I say, go for it if you find one. I’ve seen squid agave at both BSN and NG also. —Pam

  5. [...] I love and covet things like Agaves but have a slightly conflicted feeling about keeping them even in a greenhouse. Are potted plants like caged animals? Do they long to run free? When I see pictures of Agaves in their preferred environment I think “yeah – that’s a happy plant!” But then I want it and the cycle of guilt and plant torture continues… I know there are some gardeners out there (who are you? – speak up!) who won’t keep plants indoors. As conflicted as I am sometimes, the pleasure I take in green growing around me (especially in the winter) outweighs the guilt and I know I will always bring the garden in. [...]

  6. germi says:

    Thank you so much for linking to me, Pam!
    Being a transplanted Texan, I feel all warm and snuggly being given the thumbs up by my fellow countrywomen – in fact, I have fantasies about returning to Texas someday and getting a little place in South Austin, with a brand new garden to dream up! Then maybe I can join the ranks of the Austin Garden Bloggers … ah, someday!

    Wouldn’t that be cool! I’d love it if you were one of the Austin bloggers. I’d have someone to share agave obsession with. —Pam

  7. germi says:

    By the way, your Squid Agave looks worlds better than mine – smushed under a palm tree. I’m going to rescue it and plant it in the shade, as per your advice above.
    I just bought 2 new hybrids today – A, ‘Blue Glow’ – which is more intense than ‘Blue Flame’! I’m a woman OBSESSED!

    Ooh, those sound enticing! I hope you’ll post photos when you get them situated. —Pam

  8. [...] Once again I find that the Germinatrix and I are on the same wavelength. It must be the Texas connection. Ivette, whose agave fascination is more fully realized than mine, just posted about stringing party lights in her garden as a permanent fixture. Some of her more tasteful (pretentious?) friends discouraged her, saying party lights are “downscale.” Thinking of beergartens and of fiesta nights in her former hometown of San Antonio, she put them up anyway, creating liveliness and mood in her garden. [...]