I have my agave plants in smallish pots and have been taking them in every winter. I'm wondering if I really need to.
Ruth, it depends on what variety they are. Some agaves are tender, a few are not, plus they are a little more susceptible to cold when in pots. Most of the varieties I have will take temps in the high to mid teens if the freeze doesn't last too long. Here in San Antonio I cover many of mine if there is a hard freeze predicted although a few of them are good in zone 7.
Has anybody heard what kind of winter to expect for Texas?
Not quite sure yet Roselee. I remember in on Black Friday 2010 my boss calling me to see if I'd like some extra hours bringing in some bougainvilleas because it was gonna get into the low 30's. What followed was one of the hardest winters I've ever encountered. My advice is to Google the zone requirements for your agaves and go from there.
Also I know alot of folks know this but if you don't. Xeriscape type plants survive the cold better if they're allowed to go a bit dry and placed in a southern exposure.
Not sure what kind they are. A Century type.
That looks like an Americana. I'd say you're ok to leave that one outside in a sunny spot at least.
It looks like it would be small enough to cover in a hard freeze. In my neighborhood some Americana leaves were damaged but the plants survived during the winter of 2010/11.
Good advice Joey, about keeping succulent roots dry in case of freezes, which is the opposite of herbaceous plants which are better off going into a freeze well watered.
Incidentally, I read on line that Nov. is expected to be warmer than average in Texas.
I have several large varieties in pots, and one like the one in your picture above, and I leave then on my open front porch, up against the house each Winter and they have never had any problems.
Agaves get their hardiness gradually. If one puts them outside, it is always good to protect them the first couple of years. A Zone 7 agave has to work up to it. My Agave pro to-americana is a real stalwart and survives 12 degrees its second year. It did fall to the ground and played dead but it gradually lifted and the freeze burned leaves were absorbed. It is gorgeous today. I had meristem damage on my Agave parry truncate, but now they seem to have grown past that and the meristem damage left a sexy curve to its stance. Agave neomexicana, lophantha, Bracteosa and a gentry never missed a beat. I have a Agave salmiana that I sweat over. Agave Scabra is hardy. Like everything else, know your variety. I have had glorious luck with Agave ovatifolia and am now experimenting with agave montana. That last one is a bit sensitive to warm wet but cold it can grow into . That are saying 10F maybe even 0. A. Ovatifolia will do cold AND wet. The trick is to get moisture tolerant ones, I have killed some with cold and wet. I grew a A weberi that died three months later after the BIG FREEZE from root rot, So did a shark skin in a pot.
I am experimenting with ones that are marginal an they are in pots to be dragged close to the house and blanketed.
There is some variation in species depending on where their seed was collected from. If seed was collected from high up on the mountain in Mexico, it will be hardier than other populations from low elevation.