Agave Propagation for Increased And Stable Variegation
I found the variegated bulbils I'd planted were mostly losing their variegation as they grew, and so I did a bit of research. One can possibly get better variegated, and more stable variegated Agaves by the following method:
Cut off the most variegated leaves. Do not cut off the least variegated leaves--they will remain to nourish the plant while it grows.
Cut out the tip bud of the plant. This may stimulate dormant side buds to start growing (yes! Agaves--at least some Agaves--have dormant side buds!).
Plant and wait. New rosettes may form from dormant side buds. These can eventually begin to form roots that search out the soil. They can be cut off and rooted. Since they are growing from the area of the plant that had the most variegation, they may have better and more stable variegation.
We'll see how that works out. I have a gazillion Agave desmetiana variegata bulbils, plenty to experiment with. I have given away five grocery bags filled with bulbils, and planted eight plants in the long planter by the driveway.
The bulbils had been planted in our tomato beds for the winter, and it was time to plant out the tomato seedlings, so the bulbils had to go. Hence my ambition regarding Agave propagation for increased and stable variegation.
In other Agave news, the 'Joe Hoak' offsets are growing roots and new leaves. They still don't look all that great, but they are alive and improving.
'Blue Glow' flowers appear so far to be sterile or at least are unable to be fertilized by the Manfreda pollen I applied to them.
All fall down...
Which reminds me, there are new flowers opening on both the Manfreda and the 'Blue Glow', so I need to get out there and try some more pollinating--I may run out of Agaves, after all.