Ask a Question forum: Help Needed - Uprooting and Moving my foxtail agaves

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JT_01
Mar 18, 2017 12:09 AM CST
We are currently doing a knockdown rebuild and i absolutely have fallen in love with these 3 huge foxtail agaves currently in the front of the property we plan to demolish.
The size of these agaves is quite large and i would really love to re-home them at my parents place until my new home is built and then bring them back!

I have seen some forum posts stating a simple chop from the trunk and replanting in good soil in a large pot would work - but i do not want to stress the plants anymore than they need be...

although that being said we have tried to dig around and uproot the agave and due to its size the roots are extremely deep into the ground, with the soil being quite hard to dig up!

I have attached photos to give you a better understanding of what i am dealing with - any help would be appreciated!
Thumb of 2017-03-18/JT_01/d014ca
Thumb of 2017-03-18/JT_01/ce4ce3
Thumb of 2017-03-18/JT_01/54ae24
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Mar 18, 2017 12:36 AM CST
You can transplant one of these with just a few inches of roots. I did that with a plant here and there was very little lag in growth. No need to dig terribly deep, but it's worth the effort to get some roots. A plant that size would be awkward to start from a cutting (not least just keeping it upright). I would put a pointy shovel in there a foot or so away from the stem and see how much of a root ball you can get. Allow the plant to recover for a week or so in the shade (mainly so that all the broken roots can heal) before replanting, and especially before watering for the first time.

Those plants are pretty big and near flowering so you might want to rethink moving them twice... they might bolt in the process. Smiling They will do okay in containers and you might try something in the 10 gallon range maybe, but they do way better in the ground (no big surprise).

Where are you located? Climate may dictate the best time to make the move.

JT_01
Mar 18, 2017 1:12 AM CST
Hi There,
Thanks for the response Smiling
Im located in Melbourne, Aus - Climate here is very unpredictable at the moment as we're between summer and autumn, but house is due to be demolished next week.
Agree depending on how they go once moved will determine if we move them a second time.
Hubby and I will take your advice on the pointy shovel to gather as much of a root ball as possible When you say allow the plant to recover in the shade for a week - do you mean just roots out perhaps laying on its side? i wouldnt want to 'squash' one side of it.

Thanks Again
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 18, 2017 9:10 AM CST
Okay, charge onward, then! Yes, try laying the plant on its side. It will get a little squashed but nothing it won't grow out of in relatively short order. Conceivably you could lay the stem sideways on top of a table or something with some weight on top of it, and allow the rosette to hang off the side so it's not under its own weight. I can imagine various tricks you can try to avoid crushing it by supporting and lifting the stem.

The wait is important. Agaves in general do very well after a week or two in the shade when their roots are cut or damaged.

You may have to stake the agaves in their new location to keep them upright, or maybe tie them to a wall or some other structure, until the roots have extended into the ground to form a proper anchor. They are going to be quite top heavy.

Good luck!!

And Welcome! to the NGA.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 18, 2017 9:26 AM (+)]
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