If you live where it's warm enough to grow agaves, such as in Phoenix, or Los Angeles, they're wonderful. I've been learning more about them lately, and there are many varieties, or types of whatever you call them - different colors and sizes. But there are some tricks to getting them in your garden.
The first thing to note about agaves is that they are dangerously sharp. Not, "oops sharp" like a thorn on a rose bush, more like "suddenly bleeding all over the place" if you get stuck sharp. So wear sturdy leather gloves. The other thing that you need to do is cover your body. I tend to be a shirtless gardener, but if you're a "belly itcher" like I am, and you touch your skin with the gloves after cutting an agave, the sap stings like crazy. No, it won't damage your skin, but it hurts, and you have to go take a shower right away, or it will just burn and sting until you do. Ask me how I know this? So, shirt, gloves. OK?
I got several agaves yesterday from a friend, which are bare root. And agaves are fine with that. There's really no reason to buy them in a pot - especially if you have a friend who will give some to you for free. By the way, agaves create offshoots, and most people trim them off and throw them away. Nice people give them to friends.
|Agaves being cleaned for bare root planting.|
I like to clean up the bottom fronds before I plant. I just sit on the ground and pull the bottoms leaves off. Takes some doing, but that's the cleanest way to do it - no stubs. Then you dig a little hole and firm the plant in, be sure to get the soil down with your thumbs around the roots. Water in, and you're done.
And no, agaves don't mind this at all. I will often pull up my miniature agaves and trim them and replant, just for normal maintenance. They're tough plants! You just gotta treat them with respect.
|Miniature agaves planted bare root|