Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: ID needed: Agave? Aloe? Other? What species or cultivar?

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Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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csandt
Jun 17, 2016 7:19 PM CST
Today I bought a small offshoot (is that the right term?) from the following plant and wonder if someone can identify it:

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The parent plant has extremely sharp spines. The Amish greenhouse owner, who could not identify the plant, has had it for about a year, and this is the second offshoot it has produced during that time.

I have planted the offshoot in a two-inch pot containing equal volumes of moistened cactus/succulent potting mix and perlite, and the part of the offshoot where tiny roots appear to be forming is about 1/2 inch deep. It is sited in a east/southeast-facing window with bright sunlight.

Does this planting scenario sound hopeful or do I need to modify it?

Thank you for helping to identify this plant and/or sharing your expertise about growing it.

Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in Trumpet at Full Moon
Name: April
San Francisco (Zone 9b)
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alovealoe
Jun 17, 2016 8:53 PM CST
Definitely an agave, possibly 'Green Flash' cultivar? I think the agave would be happier outside with direct sunlight, with a gradual acclimatization.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jun 18, 2016 1:50 AM CST
Yes, Agave. Outside for the summer. But not in direct sunlight. Bright filtered light under a tree perhaps. Gene
Name: Ruud
The Netherlands
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RuuddeBlock
Jun 18, 2016 6:35 AM CST
Or how about Agave potatorum "Kichijokan" (if you Google be aware there are numerous spellings Kichijokan on the net)

Ruud
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 18, 2016 6:57 AM CST
Compare to Agave americana. There are several sub-entries as well, though trying to attach a cultivar name would be a guess, at best, from one pic of a juvenile rosette. They grow in full sun in the ground here.:
http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=agave+americana&b...

The plain species entry doesn't indicate its' hardiness:
Agave (Agave americana)
Dave's Garden site is known for being a reliable source of hardiness info, and lists this plant as Z8 for the low end:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55351/

The bright window sounds good for winter, but your plant would love to be eased into as much direct sun as possible (gradually, over a few weeks so it doesn't burn) while it's warm outside, if that appeals to you & is an option for you.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
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csandt
Jun 18, 2016 7:26 AM CST
I don't have the parent plant; I just have the baby, which I stuck 1/2 inch into potting soil in a 2-inch pot that is currently sitting in a small yogurt cup. Is it OK to put the baby outside before its roots have formed?

Here is the baby:

Thumb of 2016-06-18/csandt/9a73f8

Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in Trumpet at Full Moon
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 18, 2016 10:19 AM CST
Adorable! If you know what kind of exposure the mama plant was in, that would let you know how much light would be a benchmark for more or less. Giving it as much light as possible without burning it would be excellent, and help it to take root as quickly as possible, though that may take some guesswork. Starting with the first or last hour of daylight is usually safe for plants that have been inside.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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csandt
Jun 18, 2016 10:24 AM CST
The parent plant lives in a commercial greenhouse on a table about 5 ft. high. In winter the greenhouse is maintained at 40 degrees F.
Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in Trumpet at Full Moon
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 18, 2016 10:27 AM CST
You could probably start with a bit more light in that case.
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🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
csandt
Jun 18, 2016 10:35 AM CST
Online images (there are only two, as far as I can find via Google) of Agave Green Flash are ambiguous; one shows the darker green in the center of the leaf, and one shows it on the edge:

Thumb of 2016-06-18/csandt/55167e

The parent plant of my baby is solid green rather than green with lighter streaks, as shown in the photo on the left.

Does this rule out Green Flash, or is streaking a variable trait?

Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in Trumpet at Full Moon
Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
csandt
Jun 18, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Agave potatorum Kichijokan/Kichiokan Variegata appears to be an excellent match to the parent of my baby Agave, and there are many images available for comparison via Google.
Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in Trumpet at Full Moon
[Last edited by csandt - Jun 18, 2016 10:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 18, 2016 10:54 AM CST
Very nice variegated agave.

I can't help with a positive ID but it is not Agave americana (which makes much bigger leaves) or "Kissho Kan" (which makes much smaller leaves, like an artichoke), unless it's stretching. For the record the name "Kichijokan" applies to the blue, non-variegated form and the similar two-word moniker applies to a variegated form of the same plant. This info from Greg Starr's recent agave book which devotes a chapter to each.

If you want to spend some time with a nice photo set of variegated agaves, try this page.

http://www.plantdelights.com/Photo-Gallery/Agaves-Variegated...

Assuming average commercial greenhouse conditions, the plant might be accustomed to about 50% shade. You could aim for about the same level of filtered light if possible, or give the plant some morning sun. No midday sun this time of year until the plant has had a chance to ramp up gradually over the course of several weeks. Until the agave has a proper root system, it will be vulnerable to too much direct sun. At this size it will be quite sensitive regardless.

Typically when I start small agave offsets the size of the one in the picture, I use a larger pot, like 4 inches for starters. The reason for this is that the soil holds onto a bit more water and does not spend most of its time dry, like very small pots tend to do (especially in any amount of sun). Either way is fine but there's less attention and effort required for watering when pots are not so small. There is something of a myth out there that agaves like small pots. Some do but most seem to enjoy a chance to stretch out in my experience.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 18, 2016 11:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jun 18, 2016 11:22 AM CST
Here's my largest (mature adult I'm sure) Kissho Kan Agave. 12" pot, yes, needs to be repotted and the babies (I count 9 showing - there is probably more.) Gene
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 18, 2016 1:03 PM CST
Compare to these sun-grown versions in the ground.... leaf posture is different, more upright, less sprawling. Plants are more compact. The greenhouse agaves have longer leaves than what I'm used to seeing and generally would allow outside in our exceptionally mild and forgiving climate.

Thumb of 2016-06-18/Baja_Costero/ea4150 Thumb of 2016-06-18/Baja_Costero/db6141
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jun 18, 2016 1:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Ruud
The Netherlands
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RuuddeBlock
Jun 18, 2016 1:30 PM CST
That is indeed much more compact than we see here up north. This Agave potatorum Kichijokan/Kichiokan/Kissho Kan Variegata grew up with by far not enough light and hard calcium rich water. Quit a different form!
Just to illustrate, I added a pic of A. potatorum var. verschaffelti I photographed in Stockholm (Sweden) botanical garden. Look how much more the leaves are standing apart, lacking UV, nothing like your (beautiful) compact plant at all.

Ruud


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[Last edited by RuuddeBlock - Jun 18, 2016 1:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 18, 2016 2:20 PM CST
Yes, this is interesting. The differences are pretty big. The pictures help me appreciate the flip side of the coin.

Compare that last agave from Sweden to this plant in the ground.... both are from the same group, perhaps the same species, but the posture is quite different. Toward the back (along the top in the picture) you can see a few leaves that were under the cover of an invading plant until a few days ago, and were starting to stretch as a consequence of that protection.

Thumb of 2016-06-18/Baja_Costero/3a0363
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Jun 18, 2016 3:41 PM CST
I guess it shows one what I know or don't know. I still think mine looks good. Gene
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jun 18, 2016 4:52 PM CST
I certainly did not mean to imply otherwise. Thank you for the picture. The plant looks ancient. Green Grin!

In the end it sounds like the greenhouse pix are going to be more helpful anyway in identifying the variegated agave at the start of the thread. Hopefully the overexposed plants here give you some idea of another extreme in appearance, or a frame of reference to compare other pictures on the web.

There is a useful conclusion here that's relevant to identification. Whatever the final size of an agave is reputed to be (and each plant does have a final flowering size), you can often expect to double or half that under different growing conditions, especially in container life. They are such malleable plants. Even in the sun there is a big difference in size between plants that get regular water, plants that get occasional water, and plants that get no water (beyond our annual 10 inches or less of rain). Or for example some people like to spoil their landscape agaves and that can lead to some outright monstrosities that have little relation to the plants found in nature. My preference is to protect them in pots until they reach landscape size, then leave them loose in the big bad world to fend for themselves. More or less.
Name: Thea
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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cherryb1ossoms
Jun 19, 2016 1:51 PM CST
Cream spike?
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Name: Thea
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Full-time Wife, Mommy and Nurse!
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cherryb1ossoms
Jun 19, 2016 1:59 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-06-19/cherryb1ossoms/1a601d

Side view of my Cream Spike Agave

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