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Agave tequilana is also known by its common names, blue agave or tequila cactus. It is a succulent and perennial evergreen plant. The plant is native to Mexico and loves warm temperatures. It is absurdly easy to care for, and some gardeners even say that it thrives on neglect.
The plant is known to grow up to between 6 and 8 feet tall and can be as wide as it is high. As the plant becomes mature it will grow an edible flower that can tower in excess of 15 feet.
If you see this flower it is a sign that the life of your blue agave plant is about to die. Another sign of this is noticing many pups growing around the base of the plant via rhizomes.
The leaves of this plant are stiff and pointy, sometimes likened to a bayonet. If the leaves spike you they can cause pain, therefore we advise keeping it away from young children and pets.
The Agave tequilana plant can live for between 8 and 14 years with the correct care.
Agave tequilana plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If there is not access to this amount, you may be able to supplement through artificial lighting. The warmer the climate, the less light is needed.
These plants are used to a hot environment and tend to thrive in temperatures ranging from 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and your Agave tequilana plant is outdoors, we suggest moving them inside until the weather warms up.
Agave tequilana plants prefer an environment with a low relative humidity. This means that they will not need much additional care and should thrive with just the basics catered to.
If the plant is in a climate with too much humidity, it may develop crown rot. This is a result of wet soil containing a specific fungus. Crown rot will cause the leaves to turn red or yellow and begin to wilt before the plant dies.
After planting your blue agave you will need to water generously for the first month. This helps the roots to grow deeper into the soil and allows the plant to become well-established in its spot.
You should only do this once a week to avoid drowning your plant. If you have planted it outdoors and there has been heavy rainfall, you will not need to water it.
Once the plant has become established you will only need to water it once or twice a month. This should be done from early spring to late autumn, also known as the growing season.
As above, you should adjust your watering schedule accordingly with rainfall. During the winter, you will not need to water your plant.
When you water your plant, you should get the soil thoroughly wet all over. There should not be pools of water standing on the top of the soil as this can cause root rot to develop. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out completely between watering.
These plants can handle being underwatered better than they can be overwatered. As they are a member of the succulent family, they will store excess water in the tissues of their leaves. This means that there is often a reservoir to call upon in times of drought.
Springtime is the growing period for plants. At this time you can feed your Agave tequilana plant a diluted fertilizer once every 6 to 8 weeks if you wish to. On the whole, there is no real necessity to fertilize blue agave plants.
Fertilizing your plants will stimulate them to produce flowers. This signals the end of their life cycle, so you do not want to rush your plant to reach this point.
This plant needs to be potted in well-draining soil. Think of a cactus or succulent potting mix containing perlite or vermiculite. These plants are known to like sandy soil mixes which is why succulent potting mixes work well.
As we have mentioned, the flower can grow to be very tall. The stalk of this flower is visually similar to an asparagus spear and the flower can be white, red, or yellow. The stalk of the flower is edible.
There are relatively few pests and diseases that pose a threat to Agave tequilana. One that can cause issues is the agave snout weevils. These insects burrow into the center of your plant and will lay their eggs there. As they hatch this causes the plant to collapse.
Often by the time you are aware of this, the plant has been handed its death sentence.
How to Propagate Agave Tequilana
You will need to use a leaf cutting to propagate the plant. When taking a cutting from the mother plant, you must use sterilized scissors or a sterilized knife. This ensures that harmful bacteria are not introduced to the plant which could pose a health risk.
Leave the cutting to air dry for a few days. This will allow time for a callus to form where it was cut.
Once a callus has formed then grab a pot filled with an appropriate soil mixture. Simply place the cut end of the leaf directly into the soil and leave it. The leaf will begin to grow a new root system and thrive on its own.
You should water it on a regular basis ranging from every couple of days to once every 2 weeks. This method of growing an Agave tequilana plant is best done in the late spring to early summer to ensure success.
You can also grow this plant from seed, but it is not recommended. The plant is very slow-growing and the success of breeding from a seed is limited. This is why it is suggested that you use cuttings or pups to grow additional blue agave plants.