The Agave Americana is a stunning addition to ones landscaping. Many people seem intimidated by these because they do not know much about them. They often have questions that they require answers to before they can take the step to put one or several in their yards. Even those who already have one may have questions.
One very common question involves the name. There is good reason for this as the name can be confusing. The proper name as mentioned above is not the only name these go by. They are also called the Century plant and the American Aloe. All these names are referring to one plant.
An often heard question from those who are already growing one or more is what are they doing wrong since they never get any blooms. The answer is nothing. These take an extremely long time to bloom. At a minimum it will take ten years. Potted plants can take even longer.
This leads to the next query. Can they remain potted for areas that do not have the best climate for them. The most certainly can. They will do fine if they are taken in during the colder months and brought outside to a patio or balcony during the warm weather months. Your plant will of course be much smaller than ones planted outside, but they will still be pretty and interesting.
The name American Aloe has some wondering if these are indeed related to the Aloe. These succulents are not related to the Aloe in any way. The reason that they are called American Aloe is because they look so much like the African Aloe plant. While logic may think it would be related to the Aloe, the reality is that it is not. It was only named because of its looks.
When planting multiple plants how far apart should they be is another concern. You will want at least six feet between each plant. You also should have six feet between the plant and any walkways or driveways. The spikes on these grow out six feet. It is important to make sure you leave enough room for this growth.
Something else that plant lovers wonder about is how best to water these. You should water them from overhead. They are succulents and their leaves trap water and lead it to the roots. You should let the soil dry out between watering. Well drained soil is important. These plants do not do well if water does not drain away from them. Having it sit pooled in the soil can harm your plant.
The Agave Americana is a nice plant. It does not require much care once it is planted. It can live for many years and will add interest and beauty to your landscaping. There is one word of caution that you should be aware of, these spikes are sharp. You should wear gloves and other protection such as long sleeves and goggles to protect yourself when handling them. They can be dangerous so use care.
The Agave Americana, Century Plant or American Aloe is all the same plant. It just goes by different names. No matter which name it is called, the plant is striking wherever it is planted. Originally this plant began in Mexico. It has quickly spread and is now part the landscape of the United States as well as other countries. For example, in parts or Europe this wonderful succulent grows wild.
Locate an area for planting. You should choose somewhere that is at least six feet away from obstructions or walkways. The spikes on your plant will spread out that far. If you are planting more than one, you will want six feet between each. The area should also get at least six full hours of direct sun each day and it should have well drained soil.
Dug a hole twice as big around as your plant. Make it as deep as the pot that the plant is coming out. It should be planted to the same depth. Work some plant food into the soil. This will give your plant a good start by providing it with nutrients. Use a hose or watering can to put some water into the hole. Allow the water to seep into the ground.
Put on some work gloves, a long sleeved shirt and goggles. This may seem unnecessary but once you see how sharp the spikes can be you will understand why it is needed. You have to protect yourself from these sharp spikes, they can be dangerous and you should do what you can to avoid being cut.
Gently remove the plant from the pot. Place it into the hole that you dug. Fill in around it with the dirt that you removed to make more for the plant. Tap the dirt down. Be sure that all of the roots are covered.
Use a hose or a watering can to water. If you are using a hose set it on shower or another gentle setting. Water the plant from overhead. The leaves will trap the water and lead it down toward the roots. Make sure to water thoroughly.
Watering and extra care are important when a plant is newly transplanted. This is traumatic for them. Once it is established, you should cut down on watering. The soil should be allowed to dry out. Make sure that you are not soaking the soil so much that water stays pooled around your plant. This is bad for it. The soil must be well drained.
If you live in a climate where the Agave Americana does not grow well, do not give up. You can still have one, you just have to keep it in a pot. Take the pot inside when the weather is too cold and bring it out when it is warm. Your succulent will still be beautiful. It will just stay smaller. Do not become alarmed if you do not see any flowers. These are notoriously slow to flower. It takes at least ten years before you will see one.
The Agave Americana is also known as the Century Plant. The plant is also sometimes called American Aloe, though not actually related to the Aloe at all. The reason for this name is due to the fact that it looks like the African Aloe. This plant originally came from Mexico. However, this is now naturalized in many areas of the United States and around the world. These plants are considered succulents. Succulents are plants that retain water and can therefore go without watering for extended periods.
When planting these plants leave a six foot space between them and the next plant or your walkway. Their spikes spread out. This space is necessary in order to prevent overcrowding. These will grow tall and will grow out as well.
In order to thrive this succulent will need at the very least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Well drained soil is another must for these. They will not do well sitting in pooled water. They should be allowed to dry out after being watered before they are watered again. Never plant these where water will pool around them.
Protect yourself from the spikes. These are sharp and can easily cut you. Wear gloves and long sleeved shirts whenever you are working with them. Wearing goggles is also a good idea to protect the eyes from sharp spikes. It is wise to plant these away from areas where children will be playing. The spikes are very dangerous and can do some damage if you are not careful.
When you are initially planting you should ensure that it is planted down to the same level as it was when it was in its container. Dig the hole deep enough and two as big around. Work some plant food into the soil before placing the plant into the hole. This helps them get some nutrients.
A plant will need extra care right after it is planted into the ground. Watering well is vital during this time. Be sure to use a watering can or a house with the nozzle set on gentle to water. Water from overhead to allow the leaves to trap some of the water and allow it to trickle down to the roots where it is needed. Be sure to give enough water so it is able to reach down to the roots.
You can grow this in pots if your climate is not suited to growing them outdoors. Of course they will not get as big as those that are able to grow outdoors in the ground. The pot can be kept outside in the spring and summer and brought in once the temperatures are cold. This way everyone can enjoy this interesting plant no matter where they live.
The Agave Americana takes a long time to bloom. In idea climates it will take ten years. In colder climates it can take much longer. Sometimes as much as sixty years. Once the plant blooms it dies. However, as the plant grows it produces offshoots. These offshoots will continue to grow.