Agaves 2014 vs. Agaves 2011

A. bracteosa 'Monterey Frost' in July 2011:
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Back in 2011 I posted about our seventeen different species of Agaves.  This post is an update on what happened to them all.  

A. bracteosa 'Monterey Frost', September 2014:  Though not apparent from the next photo, it has grown some.  It seems happy enough in almost full shade.  I can't look at it without climbing over a wall, manuvering around several Italian Cypress, and then peeking under the fig tree.  Why ever did I plant it there?  I should move it where it can be admired often, the problem being transplanting would break many of the notoriously brittle leaves.  Oddly those brittle bracteosa leaves are cold-hardy, as Agaves go.
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A. gypsophila 2011:
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September 2014.  It's not in the greatest spot--the Austin rose 'Bishops Castle' has engulfed it.  No problem--I've got a couple of nice offsets in a better spot.
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Better spot:
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A. funkiana 'Fatal Attraction' 2011:
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September 2014: meh.  It has not gotten the best treatment, but if it wants tender doting care, it should be prettier.  In my case, the attraction is not fatal.
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2011 This turned out to be...wait...which one is this?!?  At purchase the tag said 'ovatifolia', but it isn't. 
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A. ellemeetiana 2011:
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September 2014.  No offsets, and in mostly shade in the ground.  Kind of plain, but I like the gloss.  There are not a lot of glossy Agaves.
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A. americana medio picta alba 'Aurea' 2011:
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It offsets a lot.  I've given many away, and thrown away many as well.  

2014.  Didn't get the greatest picture.  It's mature and may bloom within the next year or two.  A. americana does not commonly produce bulbils, thank goodness. I have enough with all the offsets.   
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2011 One of the smaller 'Blue Glow's  The largest bloomed in 2013.
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2011.  This is the one that bloomed.  
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But she gave me at least twenty viable bulbils.  Twenty for the price of one--plus a lot of beauty--great deal.
Here's one of the smaller 'Blue Glow' in 2014:
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2011 The original 'Joe Hoak' in his glorious prime:
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2014:  He's a wreck and he's blooming.  I still adore him.  
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2011 A. marmorata, tissue culture version.
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2014: A. marmorata, tissue culture version.  It's quite beautiful at five feet across now...
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...however a version dug up by a Mexican on his farm in Vera Cruz and sold to me at the SCP garden show I think blows the tissue culture version out of the water in the beauty department.  When it is five feet across, it will be dazzling.  At three feet, it already is.
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A. parryi truncata, with Cercis seedling.  2011.  
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Those blasted Cercis seedlings are still sprouting all over.
A kind garden buddy gave me another parryi truncata not long after I planted the original.
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2014 and more beautiful.  It never looks dirty, has never gotten a spot or mark or scar on its gorgeous silver-blue skin.  The second plant is just as gorgeous as the first:
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2014:  Here's a little parryi truncata offset.  This species has produced just a few, one or two to give away, one or two to keep.  Just enough.
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2011:  The original A. lophantha 'Quadricolor'.  
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2014:  I have dozens now.  It offsets (too) freely.  The original is the largest one here.  Slightly sun bleached as it gets no irrigation and all day direct sun.
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2014:  Here's a beautiful offset.  Better color with late afternoon shade and modest irrigation:
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2011: A. stricta on the left, an A. augustifolia offset on the right.  
The augustifolia offsets far too much.  Weedy.  
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I dislike augustifolia, but it's too big at this point to get rid of.  It is striking, I must admit. 
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The strictas were nice.
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2014: The strictas are getting overwhelmed, barely visible in the lower right corner.  Several desmetiana offsets from the original three (now gone) have not helped.
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Poor strictas!
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2011:  One of the three original A. desmetianas.  They all bloomed in 2012, produced hundreds of bulbils and a dozen offsets each, and then died.  I gave away at least one hundred, planted about thirty, and threw away the rest.
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2014:  I have desmetianas all over.  I hope they don't eventually  all bloom simultaneously.  That would be kind of a serious problem.  Here are some on the east slope, with several 'Quadricolor's and a little gypsophila at extreme right:
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I am proud of this recently redone area.  It looks darn good considering I used only volunteer Carex testacaea seedlings and spare Agave offsets.  It's my homage to the current popularity of Mid Century Modern style, hidden away because I don't have a Mid Century Modern style house.  From the other direction:
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I also planted a hedge of desmetianas by the driveway, adding some $1 grocery store Coreopsis and a six pack of zinnias for touches of yellow, which highlight the yellow margins of the Agave leaves.
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I saved the plantlets with extra variegation, hoping for at least one stable variegated plant.  Some kept some of the extra stripes, some lost it all.
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There has been a huge difference in the growth rate between the stripe-ys and the others.  These are one tenth the size of the driveway hedge plants:
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Since 2011, I have added more Agaves (surprise!).  I'll do another post, because this one was long enough.  In the interval, a mystery persists--which one is this?  Do I still have it?  Where is it? 
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  1. The odd striped A. desmettiana look great grouped like you've done. And to my eye both A. marmorata are gorgeous.

  2. Fascinating to see the 'then' and 'now.' Same with the aloes. Thanks

    1. Glad you found the posts of interest, LL.

  3. What a collection! Agaves always make my heart beat faster, so thank you for the tour.

    A. bracteosa 'Monterey Frost': Mine got more sun than it liked and showed distress and yellowing. I think it might do well even in mostly shady situations--just what you said.

    A. funkiana 'Fatal Attraction': I had one and wasn't "attracted" to it either. It rotted a couple of winters ago so the decision what to do with it was made for me.

    A. marmorata: The one from Vera Cruz is stunning. Let me say that again: STUNNING. If you ever get your hands on more, please let me know :-).

    A. lophantha 'Quadricolor': I removed my clump because it was getting too unruly. I kept the four largest ones, including the mother, and gave away at least a dozen offsets. I think this one rivals A. americana for prolificness. But grown in some shade, it's so beautiful.

    A. desmettiana 'Variegata': Your "hedge" is drop-dead gorgeous. How many desmettianas are in there? Would love to see a wider shot of the entire strip. Some of the more variegated specimens verge on 'Joe Hoak'. You should core the one you showed in the third photo from the bottom to encourage fully variegated pups.

    1. I will put your name on a marmorata offset when I get one, but must warn you, they get big!

      I agree about the 'Quadricolor', too many offsets, but at least it is a smaller plant and thus more manageable.

      That is nine d.v.s. I have taken several other photos but haven't yet gotten the right angle. too much concrete. I do plan to core, but I need to practice the coring more. My first two attempts were not successful.

  4. So interesting you can have a garden full of different Agaves, I can only grow them in pots.

    1. At least you can grow them! They must be a little difficult in your climate.

  5. They all look spectacular dear Hoover especially the aloes with the variegated foliage. I love the Desmetias along the driveway planted with the yellow Coreopsis, the young Joe Hoak, the Strictas and the glossy foliage of A. Ellemeetiana. Your 're-done' area looks wonderful!
    xoxoxo ♡

    1. Thank you Dianne. I am sort of longing for a minimalist style garden now, but how does a plant-nut do minimalism? It is difficult!

  6. Another great collection of plants, and record of their growth rates. I have been toying with the idea of planting my bracteosa 'Monterey Frost' out, given how tough the normal form is.

    Love the hedge of desmetianas.

    The parryi truncatas are beautiful, such a great form.

    Interesting to see your ellemeetiana, mine is the same size as your 2011 plant and I am torn about it. Like you sometimes think it is a little plain, others think it is a little different.

    1. My MF has been better in the ground, but then I don't take good care of potted plants. It is still sloooooooowwww.

      Plants here get covered with dust and must be washed off, but the parryi truncata never looks dirty, dusty or not.


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