Different types of agave are very popular as a houseplant due to its decorative appearance and unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention. No exception is the American agave, the care of which at home is based on providing a “desert” climate with maximum illumination and appropriate temperature conditions.
Features of the plant
This living room decoration came to us from the arid mountains of Mexico. The American agave flower is found in the harsh continental climate of North America, Asia, and Southern Europe. To date, there are more than 300 species of this succulent, which differ in size and color (from gray-gray to light green, monochromatic or with yellow stripes).
American agave flower is found in the harsh continental climate of North America, Asia, and Southern Europe
The structure is a rosette of thick, fleshy leaves, collected on a very short or undeveloped stem. Some species are endowed with sharp, slightly curved spikes or teeth located at the edges of the sheet. As for size, in nature this perennial can reach even five meters in height, and an adult plant of dwarf species does not exceed 3 centimeters. The life cycle of an agave is long, it grows slowly, and only one flower is released, less often twice in twenty years. Usually after flowering the mother bush dies, continuing its life in the layering.
Conditions of detention
American agave prefers southern or southeastern window sills
The success of growing any plant at home is the ability to create the necessary conditions that should be as close to natural as possible. Only when your flower will feel “at home” will it develop perfectly and please you with a healthy appearance. Therefore, we will understand how to care for the agave.
For cacti and succulents, the presence of direct sunlight of life is necessary. American agave prefers southern or southeastern window sills with intense, bright illumination. Even in hot summer, the scorching rays of the sun can not harm this desert flower and, unlike other indoor plants, it does not need protective shading at this time.
On the contrary, in the partial shade or on the northern windows, the succulents gradually wither, which is not immediately noticeable. If the plant arrived in such conditions, it is not necessary to immediately put it in the sun - teaches it to the light gradually.
American agave, as well as other indoor plants, takes a short winter light day, so in the summer it is planted in open ground or for the whole warm season taken to the balcony.
Remembering the botanical home of agave with poor sandy-stony soils, it is necessary and at home to prepare the appropriate soil mixture. The best will be the ratio of turf, leaf soil and coarse sand. Even growers recommend adding large brick chips, which will enhance the drainage property of the substrate.
As a container for succulents choose wide ceramic pots with holes in the bottom and 2-3 cm layer of drainage - small pebbles, gravel. When transplanting it is important not to deepen the root neck, but leave it above the soil surface. The ground around is not compacted with fingers, in order not to limit the access of oxygen to the roots, and the socket is fixed by putting stones around it. After planting, the remaining surface is covered with sand, small gravel, shells or vermiculite. This cover protects the root system from possible temperature drops due to its low thermal conductivity.
- Temperature conditions
Due to its nature, American agave loves heat, so it feels good in rooms where the temperature does not fall below 18 ° C, but is considered optimal in the range of 22-28 ° C and even higher. Reducing to 10 ° C can be detrimental, so in winter home conditions should be protected from cold air from window glass.
Like any other desert plant, agave needs very moderate watering. From spring until the end of the growing season it is enough to water 1-2 times in ten days, waiting for the topsoil to dry. Starting in mid-autumn and winter, watering is gradually reduced to once a month.
The advantage of succulents over other indoor plants is that they perfectly tolerate the dry air of city apartments or offices. Spraying agave is not only not required, but can cause rotting if water gets into the center of the outlet.
American agave is transplanted no more than once every three to four years, and given its slow development, the nutrients contained in the soil are sufficient for this period. Mineral supplements use special concentrates designed for cacti and succulents, which usually do not contain organics and nitrogen. Fertilizers are applied when watering 1-2 times a month only in spring and summer.
Plant diseases are rarely affected and their causes, as a rule, are improper care or poor conditions. And from the pests, agaves are more likely to infect the scale insects or thrips. At the initial stages of infection, an effective method of control will be to wipe the leaves with an alcohol or beer solution. If necessary, it is recommended to use chemicals.Video about growing and care
Agave propagates in two ways - seeds and shoots. The first option is quite time-consuming and long-developing seedlings will not soon give a full-fledged beautiful outlet. At home, it is much more practical and quicker to get a young plant from a stick sibling. To do this, the shoot is carefully separated from the plant, left in the air for 3-4 hours to form a transparent crust on the wound. Further, the cut point is powdered with wood ash and fixed with pebbles on a slightly moist sandy substrate. Under favorable conditions, the roots appear fairly quickly, after which the sockets are transplanted into pots.
Room agave with its decorative appearance brings exotic notes to the interior both as a single plant and in flower compositions.
How agave blooms dream to see many. But agave blooms only in the sixth yearor even later. During this period, the plant throws out an unusual peduncle, which sometimes reaches 12 m in height, with up to 17 thousand yellow flowers. In most cases, the ground part of the agave dies completely immediately after the fruits ripen.
In the wild, evergreen desert agave is found only in Mexico and Central America. However, due to its beauty and a number of healing properties, it was spread by man all over the world. It took root not only in the tropics or subtropics, but also in countries located much to the north, the cold climate of which assumed its cultivation only in domestic conditions or warm greenhouses.
The Europeans became acquainted with this representative of the flora of the American continent around the middle of the XVI century. At least at this time it is mentioned in the records of P. Martira, dating from 1533.
Currently, it is common in the Mediterranean countries to grow American agave as an ornamental plant for landscaping streets and squares. On the territory of Russia it can be found in the parks of the southern part of the Crimea and on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus.
In the last century, Arizona agave was on the verge of extinction. She left no more than a hundred copies. But soon everything returned to normal, the decline in the population was stopped.
Types of agave
More than three hundred species are known. of these plants. For many, it is unclear whether the agave is a cactus or not. This is a succulent! Basically they are large, adapted to the harsh growing conditions in the steppes and semi-deserts.
But among them there are those that can be grown in room culture, their compactness and useful properties make them real habitués on the windowsills of residents of various states.
Blue agave or tequila
She, along with other species used for the production of tequila - Mexican alcoholic beverage. It grows wild in the west of Mexico, at a height of one and a half kilometers above sea level, in a dry and hot climate typical of that area.
The length of the fleshy leaves can reach two meters.. Within five years, the plant throws up a five-meter peduncle. Yellow flowers blooming on it are pollinated at night by bats.
In the production of tequila use domesticated this plant, whose life expectancy reaches 14 years. In the state of Pulke for this special areas are set aside - potreros. To produce juice, only the core of eight-year-old plants is used, otherwise the fermentation process will not start. A special role in this is played by a special agrotechnical device - the regrown shoot is broken out and deposited separately, and the agave continues to grow.
In this species, up to 30 hard and fleshy leaves covered with a touch of wax can be collected in the rosette. Their length, under proper conditions, can reach two meters, and the width at the base up to 25 cm. Some forms on the leaves have central yellow or white stripes.
In fifteen-year-old plants flowering occurs, which can last up to three weeks and fruiting, after which the plant dies. American agave flowers are large, up to 10 cm long. The plant is very light-lovingIt does not tolerate overmoistening. Yellow-tipped agave has an even shorter stem. On the tops of the leaves are sharp thorns. In accordance with the name, its leaves border yellowish stripes, because of which the whole plant looks very decorative.
An American agave has a much smaller size in multicolored American colors, it is more compact, it is easy to grow it at home in a large pot. A distinctive feature of this species is considered to be the bright color of the leaves - their middle is yellow, and the edges are green, the spines are small. It is unpretentious, in the winter it does not even need to be watered, it is enough to periodically spray it.
In the striped agave, the distribution of flowers is different - the leaves are green in the central part, and yellow at the edges. Their apical spikes are about 0.8 cm long. Unfortunately, this species is not suitable for growing in small apartments, sharp spines and dense, upward-growing leaves, reaching 70 cm, can be dangerous for children or pets.
Agave Attenuata Salm-Dyck
The drawn agave has a powerful stem reaching 15 cm in diameter. It can grow to 1.5 m, to be both upright and drooping. At its top is a rosette with 20 or more, smooth at the edges, bluish leaves, up to 70 cm long. The stem of the inflorescence can stretch up to 3 m, the flowers are yellow, with a greenish tint.
Homeland of this plant is considered one of the states of Mexico - Puebla. Unlike other species, it grows and begins to branch. He has a multi-leaf, spherical-shaped outlet.
The leaves themselves are curved, strongly pointed at the ends, with a thorn. From the inside you can find the keel. Very beautiful plant, it looks especially good with a two-meter pedicel.
Agave of queen victoria
This kind of flower growers grow at home, because diameter of the whole plant does not exceed 60 cm. Each of the leaves is no more than 15 cm in length, and their width is 5-7 cm.
The leaves are very decorative, dark green in color, with lighter oblique lines across the surface. On the reverse side there is a keel with a horn line, and at the ends there are several spines, among which one, the longest, stands out.
This plant is quite unusual, as it begins to grow actively and form sods under fairly good conditions. It is very small, with narrow leathery green leaves, which are decorated with a lighter edging and unusual white threads. On the tops of the leaves there are spines up to 1 cm in size. It also looks like agave filamentous.
Very compact look, the diameter of the bush is not more than 60 cm. very popular among fans of succulents. As a home flower, the agave has spread throughout the world.
Wide wax leaves, ovoid and bluish in color end in brown spines.
Agave brown yellow
Despite the fact that the plant differs from other species by a short stem, it does not affect its decorative properties. Quite the contrary the diameter of this large plant is about two meters, and the leaves can grow up to 120 cm - thanks to this, it looks great in flower beds and in special vases.
But you need to take care of it with a certain caution - there are thorns on all edges of the leaves, and there are real thorns on the tops.
The size of the outlet of this succulent extremely rarely reaches 50 cm. Most often plant diameter not more than 25 cm. The leaves have a spatulate shape with a toothed, lighter edge. Their width is about 10 cm, at the end of each grows a thorn of dark color.
When looking at this species, one can understand what the name of this plant is connected with. Indeed, it looks very frightening. Sturdy jagged edges of the leaves have a horn edge. And although the length of the leaves is no more than 40 cm, the succulent flower grows about four meters.
A real beauty is this slowly growing, stemless agave. The plant is fairly undemanding on the quality of the soil. Over the years, it forms a large rosette, the size of which can reach up to 2 m. The leaves are long, with a waxy coating and spikes around the edge. Coloring is greenish-blue. Some species may have lighter threads. The height of the peduncle can reach up to 10 m. After the seeds ripen, the plant dies, but a lot of root offsprings remain after it.
Agave at home is growing well. These are excellent indoor plants, among them stands out the beauty of agave marginata, felifer, agave Vilmorena. Almost all types of quite unpretentious. In spring and summer, with strong sunlight, do not require shading.
In winter, the succulents should be transferred to a cool, but bright room, reduced watering. Preferred temperature for them at this time 4–10 ° C. If desired, plants can be highlighted or even keep them completely in artificial light (16 hours per day).
Top dressing is made in the summer, once every three weeks with appropriate fertilizers.
Transplanted into a soil mixture consisting of 1 part of leafy earth, 3 parts of clay-sod, 1 part of sand.
Adult plants are transplanted once every two to three years.
Difficulties with their reproduction, as a rule, does not arise. They are easy sprout from seed, collected in natural conditions in February or March, and shoots appear fairly quickly - within a week. Freshly prepared cuttings will do., dried within 2 hours and scions.
Possible problems with growing agave are a disease of gray mold and root rot when the irrigation regime is chosen incorrectly. The agave plant is damaged by a scale and mealybug.
In this video, be sure to admire the beautiful collection of variegated agaves and listen to expert advice on caring for them:
In Mexico, agave is very popular, it is eaten with pleasure. When recycling, various fabrics are made from the obtained fibers.
The flesh of the leaves is used when cooking soap. Traditional medicine recommends the use of agave juice as a laxative and diuretic.
Agave leaves are applied in the treatment of bruises and to reduce bruising. The plant is indispensable in the fight against insects.
In the wild, agaves are accustomed to sandy and sandy-stony ground.. In the flower shop you can buy a special soil for succulents (yucca, dracaena, palm trees), or prepare it yourself. For this you need to take:
- 3 parts of clay-sod land
- 1 piece of leafy ground
- 1 part of river sand.
Experienced flower growers are advised to add lime, charcoal and bone meal to the sand, which are necessary to disinfect the soil and increase fertility.
How to grow at home?
Multiply agave in several ways.:
So how do you grow these plants in different ways?
When grown from seed, the percentage of germination of agaves is higher, despite the fact that plants grow longer and the process itself is quite laborious. The flower shop shelves offer a large assortment of seeds, but it is better to refuse mixtures of different types, since they may need different conditions for growth.
Agave seeds are usually black and flat. Most often, the size is proportional to the size of an already grown, mature plant. The smallest are not more than 2 mm in diameter, and the larger ones are more than a centimeter.
For sowing a large number of seeds of one species fit a large shallow container. Optionally, inside it you can put glass or plastic partitions. Ready substrate poured into pots or containers for planting, put on a tray with water and hold until the soil does not absorb moisture.
Seeds before planting can be pre-soaked in a preventive measure. (for example, Phytosporine) or in a stimulator. This will help suppress possible bacterial and fungal diseases.
Крупные семена следует равномерно разложить на поверхности, а мелкие аккуратно высыпать. Then they are sprayed from the spray with warm filtered water and sprinkled with sand.
The sand should be medium in size: too large can burn small plants, and small sand can cement the surface and make seedlings difficult for shoots.
- The optimum temperature for germination of most seeds is 20 degrees at night and 25-30 during the day. Night lowering of the temperature is beneficial, as it repeats the changes in natural conditions.
- For babies sprout is very important balance of heat and light, otherwise they will not survive. From direct sunlight, they need to isolate the transparent grid. With a lack of natural lighting, arrange artificial lighting, with a lack of heat - a micro-greenhouse. You can use the battery or build automatic heating with a timer. The room needs to be aired more often, and the container (micro-greenhouse) should be opened at least twice a day. Care of a condition of plants is necessary.
- Humidity should be kept moderate and the absence of mold and pests should be controlled. Tiny midges can ruin all the work, if their appearance is missed and does not take action in time.
The first leaf will appear in about 15-20 days., and this is probably the most favorite stage for flower growers. In two weeks the leaves are drawn up to 8 centimeters in length, and the socket begins to be created simultaneously with the appearance of the fourth leaf. 20 days after 4, 5 leaflets will appear, and the whole plant will gradually form.
Slow-growing agaves will need to be transplanted after a year, fast-growing - in a few months.
A year later, the agave must be transplanted into the pot by 3-4 centimeters more, and in subsequent years, transplantation is required every 2-3 years.
Propagated by leaf, agave grows faster and comes to bloom:
- The largest green leaf without stains gently cut with a knife at the base.
- Dry about 4-5 hours.
- Planted in prepared pots with poured soil.
- The temperature should be + 21-24 degrees.
- Watering until rooting is moderate.
- Cover the pot is not necessary.
Leaves begin to germinate after a few weeks.
When children reproduce, the new plant will develop a powerful root system, but the old plant will not be able to grow. When breeding kids agave:
- The scions formed at the base of the trunk are separated with an obligatory knot on each branch.
- Cut the pieces sprinkled with charcoal powder and dried for 4-5 hours.
- Planted in moist soil.
- Grown at a temperature of + 20 in open ground.
- The first watering is organized in three days. Watering should be very careful, a thin stream so as not to erode the soil mixture.
- Do not spray and do not cover with glass.
What to do if you don’t survive?
Like any agave plant, time is needed in order to adapt to the new soil and place. Planting sprouts takes several weeks.. If after the expiration of this period something is clearly wrong with the plant, then there may be several reasons:
- the roots and leaves of the plant were damaged during transplantation,
- agave could freeze, it affects the lack of heat.
You can try to pour water over the soil with a diluted spoon of honey (1 tbsp to 5 liters of water). Honey is a rooting stimulant. The plant needs to be examined for rot and pests, to check whether the roots are flooded, if necessary, to transplant.
Basic rules of care
- Temperature conditions. The agave plant is thermophilic. Therefore, the room should be + 20-25 degrees in summer, and in winter not lower than +10.
During the hot summer months, it is advisable to take the agave to the air (can be planted in a flower bed) or to air the apartment more often. Lighting. Agave likes to swim in bright light, the adult plant is not afraid of direct rays, so on sunny days it can be put on window sills or balconies without fear. The window is best to choose the south.
In winter, should provide additional lighting. With a lack of light, the leaves of the agave become small, the plant is drawn out and loses its attractiveness. For illumination you can use fluorescent lamps. Agave feels great in dry rooms with humidity not higher than 40%. The soil. Agave needs a water and breathable substrate, loose, nitrogen-poor, but nutritious. You can buy ready-made soil for cacti or make the substrate yourself using sheet and clay-soddy soil with sand and nutritional supplements.
The size is selected with a margin of future growth of the root system. Top dressing. For the fastest possible growth of a plant, it should be fed during the growing season, from April to September once a month.
For fertilizing, mineral fertilizers for cacti or special mixtures for skullents are used. They contain a lot of phosphorus and potassium, and the percentage of nitrogen is small. You can add to the substrate bone meal or superphosphate. It is important to respect the proportions and not to overfeed the plant, otherwise it will lead to growth disorders.
From October to March, the plant is at rest. You can not feed them. Watering. In summer, watering should be regular, but moderate, no more than 3 times a week. The soil should not be dry or wet, but wet. In winter, watering depends on temperature: agave is watered once a week if the temperature is up to 10 degrees and 2-3 times if it is higher.
Care must be taken here, since high humidity at low temperatures causes rotting of the roots and stems. It is impossible to allow both the drying of earthen coma and the gulf. Water for irrigation should be filtered (separated) and warm. You can use thawed or river water.
When watering can not get into the outlet and on the leaves. On sunny days, water droplets on the leaves can cause a burn. It is safest to water in the pan. Agave does not need spraying, but the leaves must be cleaned in a timely manner from a layer of dust with a soft cloth, not forgetting to dry it later. Otherwise, the process of decay may begin.
- In regions with mild winters, agave is often grown in open ground, but in areas with cold winters, in pots or containers. In the fall, when the temperature drops, they are put into a cool, bright room for the "wintering" and look after them according to the general rules.
- Land for cultivation should be sandy or sandy, dry and with good drainage.
- Agave growing in open ground requires less water than growing in a container.
Diseases and pests
- Dry leaves. If the plant suffers from waterlogging - its leaves begin to dry and fall. The abundance of watering should be reduced.
- Why yellow leaves? In this case, the case is most likely in excess heat. The flower must be moved away from the heating source.
- Fungus. Often agave is found anthracnose - fungus. It is expressed in the form of yellowish-brown spots, surrounded by a gray border, on the stems and leaves. The tissue in these places is covered with ulcers, and then dies. To get rid of the fungus, the plant should be treated with a special copper-based fungicide preparation, carefully following the instructions:
- Shchitovka. With the defeat of the agav by the flaps with a cotton sponge, moistened with a concentrated soap solution, thoroughly wipe all the leaves and the stem to remove the coccid - the sticky layer.
Pour 10 ml of alcohol and 15 ml of liquid soap into a liter of hot water, beat thoroughly and apply foam on the infected area. After 12 hours, rinse the plant in the shower and dry it. Enough three procedures in three weeks. In case of severe injury, you can try insecticides:
Preventing the development of diseases in agaves is not so difficult:
- carefully care for the plant, following the general recommendations of watering and feeding,
- to ventilate the room
- drain stagnant water from the pan,
- Do not use old soil and drainage.
Agave will fit well in any apartment: this unpretentious plant can for a long time please its owner in combination with other succulents or any other flowers. With its elegant look, it is perfect for decorating office compositions, greenhouse beds and winter gardens. In gratitude for the care to give not only joy for the eyes, but also practical benefits.
This plant just loves the light and it does not hurt the direct rays of the sun. Remember that the more light an agave will receive, the better. If she lacks light, then her leaves will become very small, and the plant itself will stretch. This is worth considering in the winter, when the days are much shorter and the sunlight is less.
In the warm season it is recommended to transfer the agave to fresh air, and if there is such an opportunity, then land it in open ground. However, it will feel good at home and at normal room temperature. Agave is not afraid of the summer heat, which distinguishes it from most other domestic plants.
In the winter season, this plant must be placed in a room where the temperature will be within 4-10 degrees.
How to water
In summer, the plant should be watered moderately and regularly. It is impossible to allow both overflow and drying of the earthy coma. In winter, however, watering strongly depends on the agave wintering conditions. In the event that it is not possible to provide her with a cold wintering, then watering should be carried out in the same way as in the warm season. If the plant is provided with a cold wintering, then watering should be significantly reduced. In any case, you need to take into account the following peculiarity - the soil must necessarily dry out, but in no case should you allow a long drying out. Remember that it is better to dry out than to pour.
So, if the room is cool, and the soil in the flower pot is constantly wet, the likelihood of stem and root rot is high.
Agave is fed only in the warm season, and more precisely, from May to early September. Fertilize the plant 1 time in 4 weeks. For top dressing, as a rule, they use general fertilizer for succulents or special fertilizer for cacti. In winter time it is forbidden to apply fertilizer to the soil.
How to transplant
A completely young plant, until it has reached the age of four, must be replanted every year. Adult agave is subjected to this procedure less often, or rather, once every 2 or 3 years. And this is a must if you want your house to be decorated with a lush and very effective bush.
For the transplant, you can use the purchase of soil intended for cacti. If you have the desire, you yourself can make a suitable earth mixture. You need to mix the sheet and clay-soddy earth, as well as sand in a ratio of 1: 3: 1.
Do not forget about good drainage.
The agave plant at home: the main advantages
Many fans of indoor plants grow exotic flowers in their homes. Agave is also an “overseas guest”, her homeland - tropical rainforests of South America. This is a "distant relative" of cacti. From the side it looks like a funny "hedgehog" from the leaves.
It blooms, like its cacti relatives, quite rarely. Even in greenhouses and botanical gardens, this happens about once in twenty years.
However, many amateur growers plant this exotic flower at home, because it is very interesting to watch its growth and development. Under the conditions of the Russian middle zone, agave can be grown only at home, because it can die even from the most insignificant frosts. However, in a warmer climate, for example, in the Crimea or in the Krasnodar Territory, many amateur growers grow a flower in the open field. It also grows well in greenhouses and winter gardens, with proper care. As a houseplant, it has a lot of advantages:
- A sweet syrup is obtained from the leaves, which is added to the confectionery,
- The plant has very beautiful leaves, and their coloring is the most diverse: light yellow, lemon yellow, light green, emerald, blue. The leaves are both monophonic and spotty,
- She has an unusual, exotic look. Beautifully decorated pot will be a great decoration for any interior,
- It is not poisonous and does not cause an allergic reaction, so this plant is quietly grown in a house where there are animals and small children, as well as in children's institutions - schools, hospitals, kindergartens.
Agave in the interior
In nature, it grows in the arid deserts of Mexico and South America. The leaves of this exotic plant contain a large amount of natural sugars, therefore, agave syrup is actively used in the confectionery industry. Such a syrup is an excellent substitute for artificial sugar substitutes. Sweets that contain syrup in their composition do not cause allergies and do not contribute to the development of diabetes.
Agave will look great in the interior, decorated in Mexican or Latin American style. This plant spectacularly It stands out from the background of its indoor brethren by the almost complete absence of the stem and flowers. However, in the absence of proper care, the plant quickly becomes unpresentable form. Therefore, if a novice gardener has decided to start a flower, he must understand: this exotic The plant will require a lot of attention and care. Under the conditions of the middle band, it is necessary to create special conditions and a special temperature regime for it.
Growing agave plants at home
In order to successfully grow it at home, it is necessary to care for the plant, guided by the following rules:
- The more sun, the better, because the flower loves the hot sun and does not suffer at all without a shadow. The ideal option for him is a window overlooking the sunny side,
- Unfortunately, not every apartment has windows that look at the sun day and night. Therefore, agave easily adapts to life on a shaded window. However, if it became possible to transfer the “overseas guest” to the sun, this opportunity should not be lost. But to accustom the flower to sun exposure should be gradually starting from twenty minutes a day. If you immediately put it out of the shade in the sun for the whole day, the plant will experience severe stress, it can get sick and even die. Therefore, getting used to the “sunbathing” should be gradual,
- At home, it does not suffer from excess moisture, since the climate in Mexico and South America is very dry. Therefore, at home, her, like her cacti relatives, should be watered very moderately. If you overdo it with watering, the plant will not be able to absorb all the water, and this is fraught with rotting of the root system, the appearance of fungus and mold,
- If an amateur florist leaves his house for a few days, there is no need to arrange an automatic watering system for an agave using a capillary mat. Agave will quietly spend several days without water,
- At home, agave grows in nutrient-poor soil, so this plant does not need top dressing. In any case, the land in central Russia contains more nutrients than the soil in arid Mexico, so agave is enough of what is available. However, if the plant is in poor condition, weakened by pests or parasites, top dressing does not hurt.
- For fertilizing, it is recommended to use special fertilizers for indoor plants of the family of succulents, which can be bought in specialized stores. Feed the plant in spring and summer. When choosing mineral fertilizers for agave, a novice grower should keep in mind that agave does not absorb nitrogen. Fertilizers that contain nitrogen will not benefit agave. On the contrary, the use of such fertilizers will inhibit the normal growth and development of agave. Therefore, you should choose fertilizing without nitrogen.
Agave plant at home: practical recommendations
Novice florist should be aware that this type often affects a variety of pests and parasites. Most often, the plant suffers from the "raids" shchitovki.
Shchitovka feeds on the leaves of the plant. If the examination of the plant revealed signs of vital activity of the scytum, the affected leaves should be carefully treated with an alcohol solution. Shchitovku repels a sharp smell of alcohol, and it no longer returns to its original habitat.
For reproduction often use young shoots and cuttings. Of course, you can grow a flower from seed, but this is quite a troublesome thing. If the apartment is often cold, and the windows face the north side, do not even try. Even if the seed germinates, young shoots may die due to improper temperature conditions.
The young plant needs to be replanted annually, because for the first few years it grows very intensively. When the root system grows, the plant becomes crowded in the old pot, and its development slows down significantly. Therefore, as soon as a beginner florist noticed that agave began to grow more slowly, it is worth thinking about transplanting. When the plant is inferior at the time of maturity, it no longer grows so intensively, and transplantation can be carried out once every three years. It is necessary to replant an agave very carefully so as not to injure the root system. After the plant “moved” to the new pot, the ground in the pot is carefully sprinkled with river sand.
Агава нетребовательна к химическому составу и уровню кислотности почвы. It will grow beautifully in a pot with soil brought from the nearest forest or from its own garden.
However, if there is a rampant in the garden, it is not recommended to take the soil from the beds for growing. The soil may contain larvae and eggs of a dangerous pest.
It is best to buy agave in specialized nurseries or from more experienced flower growers. With proper care, this plant will delight all its household for many years with its exotic look and bright, saturated color of leaves, “arrows”.
To grow an agave with great pleasure will be those flower growers who are keen on breeding cacti. Agave is very similar to other plants that belong to the family of succulents, although there are some differences. This "overseas" guest looks spectacular, surrounded by cacti and other plants that hail from South America. Agave - a flower that can revive any interior and fill a cold winter or overcast autumn day with a bright Mexican flavor.
Agave in nature
Agave is a type of succulent that grows in arid areas. In nature, it most often grows in southern Europe, Asia, Mexico, as well as on the hottest continent - Africa.
The plant has strong roots and large fleshy leaves collected in the socket. The edges of the leaves are framed with small, but tenacious spines. Agave - not one of those who pleases with abundant blooms every season. It blooms for the first time at the age of 8-10 years. To do this, the plant throws a long flower stalk, reaching a height of 3-6 meters, the tops of which adorn the paniculate inflorescences. Fancy yellow-brown flowers bloom not all at the same time. Full cycle lasts several months.
Formed in their place, the fruit looks similar to the oblong boxes of pink color collected in clusters. Inside each box are hidden flat dark seeds.
The plant has long been valued by people for its medicinal properties. Agave juice is effective for skin lesions, including burns, frostbite and the formation of boils. It helps with pulmonary diseases, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and inflammations of the urogenital system. Juice quickly removes the temperature, has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. But since it often exhibits allergenic properties, it is worth taking agave-based products only after consulting a doctor.
Today, over 300 species of this succulent are known, differing in shape and size. The color palette of leaves is quite wide, starting with a gray-gray and completing a light green monochromatic plan or with drawings in the form of strips of yellow shade. Any of them are ideally suited for decorating house territories, since they can grow in one place for several decades. The size of fancy bushes can reach 3-4 meters.
For growing at home most often choose agave dwarf varieties such as: American, drawn or Queen Victoria. Depending on the variety, the height of adult spherical plants rarely exceeds the mark of 0.5-1.0 meters.
Subtleties growing in open ground
Agave is one of those plants that calmly transfers the climatic conditions of central Russia. It feels most comfortable at temperature indicators in the range from +20 to + 28 ° С.
Succulent loves open air and fresh air. Therefore, if it is not possible to grow it in the open ground, you should at least for the summer take out the container to the veranda or plant a bush in the garden.
When growing agave at home, you should be aware that it is vulnerable to lower temperatures. Under the influence of frosts, it can die at all. Therefore, expecting a drop in temperature below the mark of + 10 ° C, it is better to bring the plant into the house for reinsurance.
How to care for agave at home
Caring for agave is not particularly difficult. After buying a succulent, it is desirable to transplant, trying not to injure the roots and leaves. For this purpose it is better to use soil.
Tip: if the agave blooms, it is better to wait a little longer with the transplant, waiting for the cycle to complete. If deadlines are tight - cut the flower, because the plant spends enormous amounts of power on maintaining it.
When transplanting it is important not to bury the plant too much so that the neck continues to rise above the soil. To fix the outlet is better to impose its stones. In this case, the earth around the neck should not be compacted in order to provide oxygen to the roots.
The remaining surface is recommended to fall asleep coarse sand or fine gravel. These materials have low thermal conductivity, thereby effectively protecting the root system from temperature extremes.
After transplanting for several days, do not touch or move the plant. Give him time to get used to the new land, pot and place.
When planning to place the agave on the windowsill, choose windows facing the north. Most varieties of agave are not particularly demanding of light, so there is no need to equip additional lighting. The only exception is the winter period, when portions of light are reduced by several times. Therefore, when placing a plant on the north side, it is worth taking care of the backlight with photo lamps.
Brighter lighting prefers American agave. It is better to place it on the southern and southeastern windowsills.
In the cold season, the plant slows growth, and therefore becomes even less demanding on the conditions of detention.
Agave is by nature a heat-loving plant. Therefore, in the room where it will always be, the temperature should not fall below the level of + 18 ° C. The plant will feel comfortable only in a well-heated house or apartment.
If the battery is intensely hot, provide fresh air that will lower the temperature slightly.
Agave is drought resistant. Therefore, place next to the container filled with water bowls and the more spraying the leaves is not necessary.
If the sockets become covered with dust, it is enough to wipe them with a damp cloth or wash them by arranging a warm shower with succulent.
Important point: after water procedures do not forget to dry sockets. Otherwise, stagnant water will provoke leaf and root rot.
Water the plant enough every 5-7 days. In the winter months, watering intervals can be maintained for up to 20-25 days. The need for watering is determined by the degree of drying of the upper layer.
Water should be poured at the very roots in order to minimize the contact of leaves with liquid.
Although agave is not whimsical to care, it still needs feeding. It is enough to apply fertilizer once a month. For this purpose, perfectly suited complex fertilizers designed for cacti and succulents. They contain minimal concentrations of nitrogen - a substance that on large fleshy leaves provokes the development of rot.
Too frequent feeding is also harmful. An excess of nutrients detrimental effect on the state of the flower.
Basics of proper breeding
It is possible to propagate agave at home in two ways: by sowing seeds and seating children. The first method is more labor intensive. It involves the sowing of planting material in late winter or early spring on a wet substrate. But it is worth being prepared for the fact that plants grown from seeds gain mass very slowly and will not give a beautiful full-fledged outlet.
For reproduction of agave by children, the planting material is first separated with a sharp knife from the main one. The babe is dried for 24 hours so that a transparent crust forms on the cut, and only after that they are planted in a new pot, after having been powdered with wood ash. A ceramic pot with wide, low sides is best suited as a succulent container.
Given the botanical homeland of agave, young bushes can be planted safely in loose and even rocky soil. Ideally suited for these purposes sod land, in equal proportions mixed with coarse sand.
To ensure the outflow of excess moisture, lay out the bottom of the landing container with a 2-cm layer of fine gravel or expanded clay. To enhance the drainage properties of the substrate itself, you can add large brick chips.
It is not necessary to spray or cover a young plant to create a greenhouse effect. At the rooting stage, it should be watered every 3-5 days. Under favorable conditions, the roots are formed fairly quickly. When the plant is stronger, the number of waterings can be reduced.
To see agave during flowering, it is quite a rare phenomenon in nature. An inflorescence appears on a fairly large flower stalk, almost 10 m in shape, resembling an ear, and in turn a thousand army of small flowers. This plant blooms once, at about 15 years. Growing on plots in the twentieth year after the plant has faded, it dies, but leaves behind a good offspring in the form of processes.
Agave is widely used in the economy for the manufacture of rope, fishing gear and ropes, its fibers are durable. From its juice they produce a stream, and if you leave the juice to wander, you get a famous alcoholic drink - pulque. Also, agave helps with the bites of some insects and snakes.
Types and varieties of agave
Blue agave This kind is used to make famous tequila. Most blue agave has found its application in Mexico. The natural variety is very different from the indoor species.
Agave american represents a bushy plant with a small-sized shoot and with almost 30 powerful succulent leaves with a needle on the end. A bush has been assembled, it can grow to a height of up to 2 meters, and exceeds three meters in diameter. The leaf reaches a length of about two meters, while its width is almost 25 across the base with spines. In the period of flowering from it emerges a pedicle up to 9 meters in height and throwing out almost 35 inflorescences. Hue in inflorescences green rolling in yellow. The plant begins to bloom only at the age of ten, after which it bears fruit and dies.
Agave yellow yellow, the stem of this species is short. The foliage is light olive in color, in an adult individual the leaf reaches up to 2 meters in length and is about 20 cm wide. A large needle appears at the top of the leaf. On border sunny bright strip.
Agave american decorated This species is distinguished by its neat bush form and light, or by solar lines in the middle of the leaf.
Agave compressed An interesting variety begins to branch out over time and many rosettes appear, some of which are very lush, ball-like with many leaves and fleshy foliage standing with curvings at the end. Pedicle two meters. Its homeland is Mexico.
Agave of queen victoria beautiful view for indoor growing. In diameter, the bush is about 60 cm. The foliage is about 15 cm in length, the leaf is 7 cm wide. The color of the leaves is olive dark in color with light curved stripes on two sides. From the inside of the leaf there is a keel. At the end of the leaf thorn.
Agave Tumi it is a perennial species, the diameter of the bush is up to 80 cm. The leaves are fleshy, dense up to 25 cm in length and about 25 cm in width. Light olive shade with white threads on the edge of the sheet, it is also called thread-bearing. At the ends of the leaves of a thorn to 8 mm.
Agave parasite bush diameter is about 60 cm, leaves are ovate-oblong up to 30 cm long and about 16 wide. Hue smooth, matte greenish. The upper part of the sheet is concave inward, and the tips of the leaves have brown needles of almost 20 mm each.
Agave buro - yellow represents small shoots. Fleshy powerful leaves represent the shape of the rosette. The leaves are longer than a meter, the shape is ruled, light green in color with needles at the ends.
Agave potatorium in diameter up to 25 cm. leaves are oval like scapula up to 30 cm long and 11 wide. On the leaves brownish spines on the ends. Her homeland is America.
Agave scary The bush consists of dense fleshy leaves, linear, slightly rounded shape, about 40 cm in length. Border of leaves with a jagged edge, their length is 2 cm. The shade is dark, prickly. Pedicle about four meters tall. Inflorescence about 5 cm in length. The color of the flowers is greenish sunny.
Agave Funk this species has no shoots, the shape of a bush in the form of a rosette. The leaves are dense, narrowish at the beginning of the bush, and spikes of a bluish shade begin to expand closer to the middle, along the edge of the leaves.
Agave care at home
Agave is an unpretentious cactus, so the lighting loves full. And if in the cold season the plant gets little sun throughout the daylight, then with the active appearance of its cactus must be adapted gradually.
Watering cactus prefers regular, but in moderation. In the cold period it is reduced to a minimum. When watering water should not fall into the outlet, otherwise the plant threatens to rot.
The temperature regime of the plant is not whimsical, agave lover in summer to dwell on the loggias. And in winter, it is better to reduce the temperature to 10 degrees.
Agave soil does not matter, but the best option is sandy soil on a plot with good drainage. And in room conditions the soil composition should include sod soil, sheet and coarse sand.
Fertilizer plant needs to be once a month, you can use ready-made mixtures for succulents. Especially in the period of active development, in the summer. Top dressing should be low in nitrogen. In cold weather, they are excluded altogether.
Transplant for plants produced in the spring. Young individuals are transplanted every year, a little older once in three years. And adults older than 10 years as needed. Prefers agave flat landing tanks. When transplanting, the neck should peek out a little from the ground. Around it you need to sprinkle coarse sand to avoid stagnant moisture and root decay in the winter.
Agave propagation at home
Seeds are sown at the end of winter, slightly sprinkled on the ground. Covering the container with a film, keep the temperature around 22 degrees. Shoots appear in a week. After the appearance on them of five leaves, you can sit in separate containers.
But it should be noted that this method of reproduction is not the fastest, because the plant develops very slowly.
How to grow an agave from a leaf - cactus multiplying by a leaf, develops faster and comes to flowering. To do this, cut the leaf at the base to dry for about 4 hours and land in sandy soil and keep the temperature at 21 degrees. And after a period of time the leaves begin to germinate.