This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

August 17, 2014

Adding agaves to your tropical paradise

I have to admit that I was reluctant to add *desert plants* to my Tropical Paradise. Really, I am trying to create a feeling of an oasis here, I don't want cactus, and stuff like that. But I am really liking the way agaves look. But before you rush out and buy agaves, you have to do your homework. Many get way too big, and get out of control. Like the cycads that I have here, the agaves are miniatures.

The agaves you see here are (in the foreground) Agave Parryi, and behind it, next to the dioon edule cycad, is an Agave potatorum cv Kichijokan (syn. Agave verschaffletii), both of which grow very slowly, and stay fairly small. Like cycads, they prefer to live on a slope, where water can drain away quickly. They also like a little shade, although they can thrive in areas where the cycads would get sunburned.

But be careful! Agaves are dangerous, and sharp! I took this photo by walking back well away from where people are supposed to walk. If you plant an agave anywhere where people walk, and have the possibility of running into it, you have made a mistake. Agaves are beautiful, and best viewed from a safe distance.
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