Agave toumeyana var. bella? Should I?

0nametaken0June 15, 2013

---I ended up buying Agave Parviflora--- Scroll Down for Update

Hey guys, Ive been looking into Agaves for the past while and spent hours trying to find one hardy to our zone 5/6 and pulling my hair out because I cant find any sources. If there are nurseries selling them, its like $30 for a 3" piece.

Now, I found one on ebay named "Agave toumeyana var. bella" and fell in love (after some research). It is hardy to our zone and it will be around $20. I will be keeping it in a pot in my balcony. It is a west side facing bal. so lots of sun. I will be making my own soil. Im thinking 90% pea gravel and lava rock and 10% succulent soil (with perilite).

Im located in Toronto, Canada. I live close to downtown + live on the 9th floor. So temps usually dont get cold unless its -20c. We only get 3 or so days of -20 to -25c days or evenings. The rest even if it is -5c our balcony is at +2c. If anyone can sell, that would be great. My bro lives in Detroit and it would be a better addition there.

So wanted to ask people with experience, does it stand a chance?

Also, I was going through a beautiful document, google "www.cistus.com_pdf_Agaves and Kin List". I love how many there are. This is where I found Agave toumeyana var. bella.

This post was edited by NameTaken on Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 12:37

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GeeS 9b

Full sun extreme xeric. You might do better with A. parviflora (pictured), a look-alike that doesn't need as much sun. Either way, it should be an interesting experiment.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:56PM
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0nametaken0

Thank you for the reply. That plant looks beautiful.

If the Agave parviflora stands a better chance, Im all up for that. I see it for a lower price actually. But seeing googly images, when it gets bigger, it looses its white streaks on the leafs (not the white hair). Looks a little less attractive. But then again, I dont even know Ill be able to keep it alive that many years.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:17PM
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GeeS 9b

No, it doesn't lose color as it ages. All in all, a marginally more attractive plant than A. toumeyana, IMHO. Here is my v. bella, btw.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:32PM
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0nametaken0

It looks great. You live in an amazing zone.

I cant decide between the two. Ill wait it out for more replies. btw the two, which one give/gave you more, if any, offsprings? Which one has more leaves per plant? I think the Bella is 100 to 200?

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:36PM
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GeeS 9b

You may enjoy this article, check the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agave parviflora ssp. densiflora. A newly found treasure from the Sierra Madre in Eastern Sonora, Mexico, 2011

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:11AM
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chrisware(5-6 wv)

Coldhardycactus.com is a great resource, as is high country gardens.

I grow A. parryi, A. havadiana,and A. parryi truncata
You would just need to provide a little moisture protection during the winter to help protect from winter rot. They can handle the cold, just not the moisture

Good luck,
Chris

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:36AM
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0nametaken0

Thanks, reading the article now.

Winter moisture is nooooooooo problem for me. Under a balcony = no moisture. The only thing Id worry about is lack of. During winter the humidity is like 0%. So I dont know if its fine for the roots. I put my regular succulents in for the winter and they turned really weird.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:14AM
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0nametaken0

I bought the Agave Parviflora.

Anyone else got this plant? Anyone else want to give any tips? (thanks Chris and GermanStar)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:15PM
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0nametaken0

Heres my Agave Parviflora. Seems like someone stepped on the box......I will email the person I bought it from ebay with pics and all.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 1:18PM
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0nametaken0

How many years will it take me to grow this guy to the one your plant size? Include my summer and winter season.

Also, any suggestions on doing anything with/to the plant now that I have it?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 1:20PM
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GeeS 9b

In your neck of the woods -- who knows? I would guess my plant is 8-10 years old. Remember, A. parviflora and A. toumeyana are both extreme xerics, so careful with the agua.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 2:18PM
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0nametaken0

8 to 10 years 0.o

I think it might struggle here, all because of the hours or light we get here. It will be potted and in my balcony. So water is no problem. The only two things are the dryness of winter and the temperatures. If it can survive those two and grow decent during summer, then Im happy. Id just like to see some new growth this summer to confirm that Im on the right track. Winter will be a test, if it makes it, Im extra happy. I think mine will take double the time it took you to grow that size.

Also thank you GermanStar for the constant help.

This post was edited by NameTaken on Thu, Jun 20, 13 at 19:18

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 7:17PM
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0nametaken0

I wanted to bump this up for another question. Im worried a little bit about the cold, Im reading it can tolerate all the way to 0f when the temps here go lower at times. But the main question is, how does it propagate? Does it give out pups?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:48PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Agave utahensis is also a vey cold hardy agave.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:00PM
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0nametaken0

Thanks, I made my first post clear since I didnt mention my final decision :)

I ended up buying the agave parviflora. According to GermanStar the parvi is more hardy it seems. Moisture is not a problem as they are in a balcony. Its the cold which is worrying me. But Ive read that moisture is a bigger problem than the cold.

I really hope it sends out pups, Id love to trade for other agaves.

This post was edited by NameTaken on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 21:05

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:04PM
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GeeS 9b

They are equally hardy. I suggested A. parviflora because it does better in low light than A. toumeyana. A. parviflora will generate offsets at times.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 2:04AM
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0nametaken0

Perfect, thank you again. Yes its not really high light here until summer. I feel more confident about it now :) Even though its small, I hope it does not have any issues with cold.

How often do you water it during summer and during winter? Im thinking once a week during summer, no watering during fall and once every 3 weeks during winter.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 9:35AM
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0nametaken0

Heres an update, I think its been almost a month. I just moved him to a new pot today, should I dig it in more?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 12:39PM
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0nametaken0

Another

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 12:40PM
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0nametaken0

I recently bought the parryi as well. I put it out and it got damaged bad and quick. Darn. Its behind my tomato plants so its in the shade. Im worried it wont last the cold winter due to the damage. Im thinking of either moving him indoors or make a diy glass house in my balcony.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 12:43PM
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0nametaken0

Can anyone tell me if the Agave parviflora is planted right? Is see alot of yellow which seems like it should be under soil, but then the leafs come out from that are indicating that its places fine.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:37PM
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chrisware(5-6 wv)

Congrats on the A parv... I want to get one someday when I create another cacti bed,and expand. If you are getting growth, then I'd leave it be for now.
Where did you buy your plants?
You can keep your parryi inside, just keep it dry.
If it,doesn't make, don't buy another one. You can just send me stamps or,something and ill pack some large pups in a box.
I even grow A parryi trucata, which has been just as hardy outside here.
Where are you again?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 11:38PM
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cactusmcharris

It's overpotted in a medium not healthy for it in your location (it would possibly be OK in Phoenix), if that's what you're asking.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 12:06AM
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0nametaken0

Thank you for the posts guys.

Im located Detroit, MI. Its in my balcony so 0 water. Ive had the parviflora about a month and I might have given it one watering. I think I will water it this coming weekend.

Im keeping my eye on the trun., I hope it does well. Ill move it indoors for the winter as it seems really damaged.

crisware I wish you wouldve offered before :) I bought both from ebay as nurseries were sort of a joke. Medium to high priced + handling charges ontop of shipping (for a puny 3" piece). I would've loved to buy from you, supporting hobbyists over nurseries/businesses any day. I know all about selling/buying/trading plant clippings as Ive done this with aquatic plants for years. The problem is, I dont have much of cacti/succulents to trade with.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 10:21AM
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