|Backlighting shows off this Agave's red and yellow leaf margins (as well as a spider web I didn't see when I was out and about with my camera)|
There were no Agaves of any kind in my former garden. It was too shady and tiny to support their needs. On the other hand, my current half-acre hot, dry, sunny garden is the perfect place for them. I inherited two large specimens of Agave attenuata with the house and I've acquired many more Agave of various kinds in the in the 3.75 years we've lived here - I think the current total is well over 30 plants. Most are still relatively small in size. None are represented in greater number than A. 'Blue Glow.' In addition to the plant's obvious good looks and relatively small size at maturity, I was able to find small plants at a reasonable price - for a time. That changed as their popularity increased; however, I recently picked up 2 more small specimens, grown by Monterey Bay Nursery, at Roger's Gardens in Orange County.
|My thanks to Monterey Bay Nursery and Roger's Gardens for enabling my addiction|
These plants are generally characterized as slow growers. I agree that's the case with those in pots but some of those I've planted in the ground have surprised me. The amount of water they receive seems to make a difference. Although they have low water needs like all Agave, those that receive ample water on a regular basis have grown faster in my garden than those that receive less water. At maturity, they can reach 2 feet (60 cm) tall and 3 feet (1 meter) wide.
|This specimen, in very dry soil on a miserly drip system, hasn't grown much since it was planted 6 months ago|
I've freed all but 2 of my A. 'Blue Glow' from pots. I may not be able to give them a lot of water but I can at least allow their roots to spread as no winter protection is needed here. San Marcos Growers says they're hardy to 20-25F (minus 6.7 to minus 3.9C).
|This was my first 'Blue Glow' - I doubt I could get this one out of its pot without breaking the pot into pieces|
Generally grown in full sun, some sites recommend a little shade in areas where scorching hot temperatures are prevalent. Most of mine get a touch of shade during some portion of the day.
|This specimen was recently sprung from a pot and planted in the side yard, in part in the hope that its terminal spines would deter raccoon visitors but that hasn't worked...|
Agave 'Blue Glow' is a hybrid of A. attenuata and A. ocahui, although it doesn't bear an obvious similarity to either on first inspection. It was bred by Kelly Griffin, who has created many interesting succulent varieties. You can view a tour of Griffin's own succulent garden, filmed by Debra Lee Baldwin, here:
I look forward to acquiring more Agave in the future but, this week, Agave 'Blue Glow' is my favorite. Please visit Loree at danger garden to see her current favorite and to find links to other gardeners' top picks.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party