Agave issue

breton2November 17, 2012

Hello all,

I've somehow developed an accidental Agave collection. ( eight is a collection, I believe..)... all of which are in 4 inch pots or smaller, as they need to come indoors for winter here in coastal Nova Scotia. Some I've had for a few years now, and they have done well with this treatment. However, this year they came in in late October/early November, and a few took a sudden growth spurt and etiolated a bit. They haven't done this in previous years. Any idea why they'd do so this year? I think they'll be moving to Grandma's house for the winter, as she can give them more light... Anyway, I'm just wondering who else is growing Agaves indoors in northern US or Canada, and if they have any tips or general suggestions for success. One of these days I'll post what I have for ID, the only two I know for sure are A. applanata 'Cream Spike' and A. filifera....



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Hi B!

How blessed you are with a collection - an Agave potatorum pup would make it enough for a baseball team, or enough for Baby Boy to play with when he's older ('plays with Agaves' is an excellent social skill, I'm told).

They'll recover out of their temporary etiolation - ask Grandma to turn them several times during winter (1x a month is good) if they're in the same sunny spot.

As to why they did it, plants will grow (I know this to be true of Agaves and Kalanchoes, for sure) if the conditions for growing them are favourable - you got those conditions, you get plant growth, whether you want it or not, as in the case above. With some plants, like Bronx Frank's Cyphostemma, that's simply not true - they're still go dormant, regardless of the propitious growing conditions (at least in my experience - I've never had a greenhouse where one could control temps to within a few degrees of always 75F).

A number of my Agaves will grow in winter, especially when they're getting more than usual winter sun and we set the thermostat to above 60F - like sea monkeys, just add water. They just grow more slowly than they do in late spring / summer when they're outside. Said A. potatorum was putting out pups like donuts at a Tim Horton's during the summer, but I think there's one growing with your name on it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Hi JEff,
Thanks for the response, and the offer of an A. potatorum! That would be great! You are welcome to any offsets from mine, though they are mostly NOID at this point (an upcoming post should remedy that). We'll talk in spring!
It just seemed odd that they grew so much indoors, after barely changing all summer I bring them indoors and POOF! a growth spurt in the indoor shade....grrr. They'll do better at Grnadma's for sure.


p.s. Baby Boy will play WELL with Agaves, I hope....haha

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:19AM
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