When one Agave isn't enough...

bahia(SF Bay Area)January 21, 2012

I made a trip down to look at wholesale sources of succulents and agaves in the Watsonville area, and was introduced to a great wholesale supplier who was growing some really great plants at good sizes and very competitive prices to getting them in southern California. I just though I might include one photo of a new favorite Agave of mine, A desmettiana 'Joe Hoak', which has beautiful form and nice variegation, and also pups quite readily. I think I may end up using dozens of this Agave for massed effects in front of a stark white mid century modern home on an acre of grounds in Piedmont.

I first started growing just one of these that I had purchased about 8 years ago in Santa Barbara, not being sure how hardy it would be here in the SF Bay Area. I've discovered it is as reliable as Agave attenuata and much more winter cold/wet resistant than Agave guiengola, which simply melts in my garden by March, even without any direct frost.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agave desmettiana 'Joe Hoak'

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dellis530(6B)

I love my A desmettiana 'Joe Hoak'! I can't grow it outside in the winter, but I've had mine in a pot for years, really reliable, fast growing Agave. I can't kill it. I bet it would look amazing planted enmass in a yard.

Denise

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 7:19PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Denise, that is one nice looking Joe hoak and that Aloe next to it all jokes aside looks like a picture. Very nice indeed.
Now would you be willing to trade or sell a pup from O'l Joe hoak?

Greg

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 7:34PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

My beautiful JH has yet to produce a single offset. :(

The regular desmettianas have plenty, and blooms, too.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 7:49PM
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dellis530(6B)

Greg,
I'll get an offset maybe once a year and it doesnt survive. I'll see what happens this summer.

Denise

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 8:19PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Denise , thank you and I do appreciate that, why do you think there not surviving, are they difficult to separate or just sensitive, huh, I never knew they were hard to propagate or get started.

Greg

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:30PM
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dellis530(6B)

Greg, I've tried several times, they dont come off with very substantial roots and I've left them on Mom as long as I could. They are about 3 inches tall put in extra fast draining mix, then they turn to mush. I wish I knew all my other pups are treated the same way with no trouble. I'd love to start another specimen since my only one is about 11 years old.

Denise

Denise

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:17PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

They may be variable in pupping by plant, or it could be an age thing. I've not had any problems rooting them, but it did take several years before they started pupping. I think I've pulled as many as a dozen pups off one plant. They are a little sensitive to wet and cold here, but seem to get more resistant as they get larger. Initially I had real problems with snails attacking them in winter when I first got them, not so much since then. I am looking forward to planting out a couple dozen in one front yard, and will probably be using some others in mass as well, like A. gemniflora, A. ocahui, A. 'Sharkskin' and A. franzosinii. It's going to be fun having such a large space to work with for a change, allowing plantings on the scale of those at the Huntington.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:55PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Denise, hey girl I know that you know what's up with cacti & succulents because of your vast collection, but when you say their turning to mush, are you watering them right away, and do you set them out to callous over for a few days at least.

Gee, I know that you know this stuff but can't understand why the mush.

Attention Agave growers: what would cause Agave Hoak pups to turn into mush once removed from mother plant?

Greg

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:23AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Very nice. I have never own this agave so I will be of no help. Do you know how hardy they are. They probably won't make it here. They look tender.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:28AM
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ChemGardner(10a SWFL)

One of the coolest agaves for sure. I haven't picked one up yet, but that is because the only one I found was after I had just bought about 5 other agaves and had reached my 'limit' for the day.

David- looking forward to the mass planting, it sounds very interesting!

Side note: for some reason your link is going straight to a picture of an attenuata 'ray of light'.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 7:19AM
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dellis530(6B)

Greg,
Maybe not so much mush as wilt like it thinks its a petunia. I dont water right away, but maybe its still too soon? I tend to accumulate trays of rooting pups in the summer and these are the only ones who quit.

I just went and looked to see if there is a pup there now, sometimes there will be in the winter and I'll leave it until summer and the same thing will happen.

I'm in a repotting frenzy so maybe some fresh soil.

Denise

(yes, I repot in winter if I start going crazy)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 8:07AM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Denise, that is to funny, I also repot know go and well its not recommended but hey I'm hooked on propagating all my cacti and succulents.

One thing I don't do any more is water them right after .

I'm sure we will hear from someone here why they wilt, I know some are more sensitive than others and I've heard the cacti with white colors are known for that.

Greg

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 9:51AM
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dellis530(6B)

I always thought that the highly variegated agaves were weaker and being grown in PA it might be that much weaker. Its grown hard, allowed to rest...I'm so confused.
I'll post again when I get a pup, then do what the consensus advises.

Denise

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 9:57AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Sorry about the wrong linked photo, here's the group nursery shot of all the Agave Joe Hoak's...

Here is a link that might be useful: Agave desmettiana 'Joe Hoak'

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:28PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Well today I finally got my hands on a Joe Hoax Agave and I am so excited to say the least, and while looking up info. On it this popped up on my Google search so I thought, What the heck, I'll tell my family on the web that I now own a Agave Joe hoax.

Can't wait for it to grow up.

Greg

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 2:27AM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Congrats on finding a 'Joe Hoak' for your collection, Greg! Woohoo! Glad to hear it's not a hoax...or a joke! Big GRIN!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Denise,
So why do you have to cut off the pups afer one year. Try leaving them on a few years befor cutting off. It would give them more to survive. Only gussing. I too live in Pa. and have to bring in all my agaves. Real pain, in more ways than one, as you well know.

Greg,
Are you sure it's not called Bantell's agave special? Sounds simular to our sans. The more varigated, the more of a pain in the a##.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:05PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Stush, trust me on this one, It's an Agave Joe hoax. Looks exactly like hoovb and Denise's , I'll tell you a secret too stush on how I got them , I actually had to do a little detective work to catch this guy, I had to make a few phone calls and finally got permission to remove the pups which were all removed with roots, ( that's a big plus,). I tried to give them something in Exchange but they insisted they don't want to add anything to their collection right now cause they don't have the time, (bummer.) And if I see any other plants growing feel free to help myself. Wow!!! Kinda like a blank check.

I was very thankful and cleaned up the area also I was so appreciative. He actually rents that house out and doesn't even live in it that's why I had to make phone calls but my persistence paid off.

Stush, those are very expensive agave's on the streets, and in the stores I've seen them in and their not aS common as most others, just happy to be able to help with the clean up around the hens and snatch up the chicks in the process.

Plus they are simply gorgeous.

Greg

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 3:13PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

How many know one Agave is never, ever enough , never.

Almost like, So many agaves, so little dirt.

Greg

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:23AM
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