Need help identifying this plant

by roxanne
(irvine,ca)





Has very sharp pointed ends.


Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Roxanne, it looks like what you have based on the description of the sharp pointed ends is a lovely example of an Agave.

These are some of the toughest plants in creation, very drought tolerant and well behaved except for the needle sharp spines.

Many growers cut these off to make a large collection easier and less dangerous to care for.

The 'watermarks' or variation in colour of the leaves and the outlines of other leaves impressed into the surface of outer leaves is exquisite in most varieties and species of Agave.

They require bright light to be at their best, and exceptionally sharp drainage.

Once they 'pup' you can remove these at the base where they attach to the mother plant for new plants. Eventually, in ten or twenty years, your Agave might bloom, after which it will die.

This spectacular event is a wonder of the botanical world, as the Agave typically makes a huge tall tree-like stalk with blooms at the top.

In cooler climates, or when confined to a container, the blooming generally won't happen.

I've seen pictures of a big conservatory with a hole in the roof for the flower stalk to come out, as it was so big. In some cases, the bloom stalk will be 3-4 meters tall.

This rare occasion gives rise to the common name of 'Century Plant', as some species only bloom once in a hundred years.

If you keep your plant in a smallish pot, you'll be able to stunt its growth and enjoy it on a deck or patio for the summer for a long time to come.

Jacki

Comments for Need help identifying this plant

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Jul 22, 2011
Thank you!
by: Anonymous

It got a little dried out when I was traveling but didn't suffer too much.

I keep it indoors because I don't have a yard and my deck gets less sun than where I have it now. I am sure it's not getting the sun it needs and I'm curious if it will suffer in the long run. I have had it in the same spot since I received it from a friend 1 year ago and maybe it has adapted to the lack of direct sun.

Any suggestions on care would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Roxanne :)

Jul 22, 2011
Full Sun, if possible
by: Jacki

Hi Roxanne, these plants need full sun, or at least a bright south window for partial sun during the day. If this is impossible, try using a grow light to give it enough light.

They originate in areas that get lots of sun, and warm temperatures, so although they may live without these conditions, they won't thrive, and may eventually succumb to pest infestations.

See the page on succulent care for more clarification on what they need.

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