Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: 7 years in the life of an agave

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 21, 2017 2:10 PM CST

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For those curious about how fast an agave grows, here's a little time series showing a seedling of our native Agave shawii that I installed in early 2010 in our very rocky, very sandy soil in day-long sun. There's an immediate change right after they go in the ground (seems like the plant is opening up both leaves and spines) but it takes a couple of years for them to show their real character.

Early 2010
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Mid 2010
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Mid 2011
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Late 2011
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Late 2013
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Late 2014
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Mid 2015
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Mid 2016, from the side, showing the offset
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Today
Thumb of 2017-04-21/Baja_Costero/8fe3ab
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 22, 2017 10:43 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 21, 2017 3:16 PM CST
Impressive plant, effort, & mad organizational skillz with your pics! TY for the post!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
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
Apr 22, 2017 10:24 AM CST

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Glad you enjoy. Smiling The nice thing about native plants is there's very little effort actually. And in lieu of organization, I employed brute force and scanned 7 years of garden photos using the eyeball method. There's a second agave next to that one which for whatever reason did not attract as many pictures over time, maybe because it's always been a little smaller.

This photo set was partly a way of inspiring myself to proceed with another batch of seedling native agaves, planted in a row in the park next to 5 aloes. There is one more agave where the camera is.

Thumb of 2017-04-22/Baja_Costero/691515

I will of course be returning with the camera regularly on foggy days now that I have the photo framed right. Green Grin!
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
Apr 22, 2017 10:40 AM CST

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For what it's worth, here's 7 years in the life of the other agave (mind the 5 year gap)

Early 2010
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Late 2010
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Mid 2011
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Early 2012


Today
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Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Reine
Apr 22, 2017 12:37 PM CST
Beautiful plant, Baja.

How large does it get? I see it has grown taller, will it get much taller or spread out wider?

To see a plant you've grown from seed and thrive, must be very rewarding to you. And very interesting to us with the photos to show the growth.

Thank you for sharing.

Reine
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
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Baja_Costero
Apr 22, 2017 1:20 PM CST

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I think that's about it, width-wise. This is the northern form of the species, which tends to be small. Some can grow a bit of a stem, but I think it may be flowering time pretty soon. The inflorescence is also relatively small (like 6 feet tall maybe).

The line of 4 in the park are spaced by best-guesstimation to fill out a sort of spiny hedge once they grow up and start offsetting, running alongside the arroyo there to keep cross traffic down. You have to guess because they vary. One batch of seed gave me a set of dwarf plants that all started offsetting very young so you never know. Though obviously it helps to pay attention to the mother plant when you grab a fruit. Smiling

I agree there's some magic in growing plants from seed, to the extent they provide the unexpected. You can separate a million blue Agave americana offsets and they are all going to look exactly the same. But each one of these native agaves has its own spines and border and size and color, like so much more personality overall, in an individual and collective way.
Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
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AgaveGirl1
Apr 22, 2017 2:45 PM CST
Those are super! Extra impressive since you grew that from seed. That A. shawii is amazing for only being 7 years old. Really the transformation. Noticed a big change between 2010 and 2013. Plant no longer looks pup like but very much a 'grown up' now.

I do know this is a rather slow growing plant in nature. They also have an absolutely awesome flower stalk. Very unusual purplish buds and yellow flowers. Do you have any pictures of an A. shawii in bloom? Drooling



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
Apr 22, 2017 8:13 PM CST

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Like a million. Smiling

This one is my favorite because I took it from the seat inside an outhouse on the coast south of here.

Thumb of 2017-04-23/Baja_Costero/ce0cb7

And here are a few in the database.





Pretty photogenic flowers and location. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 22, 2017 8:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
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AgaveGirl1
Apr 24, 2017 4:10 PM CST
Well, I guess you can say you had a room with a view and most definitely the best seat in the house. Hilarious!

Those are gorgeous photos. Really does the plant justice. surprises me an agave would live so close to water and be perfectly happy with not only the moisture but the salty air. BTW, the local. Is that by Erendira in Baja CA Norte?

Supposedly this is a good zone 9-11 plant but I'm not sure if it would like my low hot dry interior. We are super arid and our humidity is low. It is such a pretty plant. Looks fussy. Is it hard to grow or demanding?

As for tracking, I've been having very good luck with my A. weberii ( Crossing Fingers! ) so far. Last summer was touchy but it really has taken off this spring.


This was May of 2016
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This was just this month. Leaves are broader, plant is wider and it has two pups now.

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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
Apr 24, 2017 5:29 PM CST

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AgaveGirl1 said:Well, I guess you can say you had a room with a view and most definitely the best seat in the house.


You're hilarious, girl. Smiling

BTW, the local. Is that by Erendira in Baja CA Norte?


It's about an hour north of there I think, but I've used a couple other outhouses near Erendira with a similar view. Smiling If you're going to live without plumbing you might as well enjoy the view.

Looks fussy. Is it hard to grow or demanding?


You're asking the wrong person because I'm not doing anything special at all for these plants, them being natives and our climate being the mildest on the planet. They thrive under my neglect, more than any special care. They are one of very few agaves which grow in a winter-rainfall climate, so they are going to look their best in fall through spring, slow down in summer.

From what I read you should be able to grow the large version of the species, probably with some protection in summer. These plants get zero water in summer here and where they grow naturally, but they probably would enjoy a little summer water (in moderation) in the desert.

I like the cross banding in the blue color on your agave.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 24, 2017 5:33 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 24, 2017 5:56 PM CST
Love your photos Baja! I really enjoy the transformation of the plant as it grows!

Speaking of Agaves, when my mom-in-law first visited us, we went to Ruth Bancroft Gardens in 2010, our first visit to that garden, we were really impressed how gargantuan these plants can grow.

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 25, 2017 12:55 PM CST

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Yes they can grow humongous. When we were traveling in central Mexico we saw a whole lot of pulque agaves (A. salmiana) and I was impressed by how hefty some of those can get. They're only useful for making pulque when they are fully mature, so there's a lot scattered here and there waiting for their time.
Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
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AgaveGirl1
Apr 25, 2017 3:00 PM CST
Taking pictures from the outhouse beats putting graffiti on the walls but I'm not sure if I'd like to leave the door open as long as it took to get that photograph. Hilarious! Paradise is not only a beautiful beach but a beautiful beach with agaves near it! Drooling Lucky you to be so close to such a thing!

I understand no plumbing at the beach. I kind of get that. I'll put up with that at the beach or in a park or such but in daily life I'm a bit too spoiled. I can live without t.v. and a computer and yes...even a cell phone. BUT I refuse to live without indoor plumbing or a place to plug in my blow drier and no I do not sleep in dirt when there are perfectly good hotels with room service! I draw the line there.

As for growing the A. shawii, it would be so cool to try. Your Mexican-Mediterranean microclimate is a far cry from what I've got going on here. I don't know how that plant would do when we have 3 months of 110+ temps and no rain. I'd be afraid the thing would shriek in horror and disgust at me and die in a pile of smoldering ashes. (See the burnt leaf on my A. weberii?) I wouldn't have the heart to do that to it.

Has anyone/doe anyone grow A. shawii in zone 9B low Sonoran desert? I'm all ears! If so, how's it going?

Glad you like my A. weberii. I've been trying hard to keep that plant thriving through not just summer but the cold winter here in AZ. We had quite a few nights where it got below freezing and many where it flirted with it. We also had a lot of rain. So the fact this plant has been with me 2+ years now is a good thing. It is tough. I've managed to get it to live here and I haven't killed it. ( Crossing Fingers! ) I'm just so happy it is growing well and filling out and truly looking like an agave in earnest.

Tarev.........
Awesome Thumbs up Love the photos of the monster plants. Isn't it so cool when plants get as big as people! MIL looks like she was having a ball. Good for her. BTW, what is the Agave in the pic with MIL?






Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 25, 2017 3:18 PM CST
AG, sorry I do not have the name of that humongous Agave. Those Agaves were obtained decades ago from Southern Cali as told to us by the docent.

Yes, MIL did enjoy them, and I am glad I took the photo of the plant with her at that time, a fond memory now since we lost MIL last year sadly.

Last Saturday at Ruth Bancroft Gardens when we got to visit it again, they told us during the tour that they are slowly relocating the Agaves, it will surely be a feat to move those, with those sharp edges.

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