The Fascinating Process of Flowering Agave
Plants can do some spectacular things, and the dramatic process when agave send up their flowering agave stalk, definitely qualifies. Yesterday, I noticed that my octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana) had begun to send up its fleshy shoot.
I must confess that I had mixed feelings about it. My first reaction was excitement in getting to view the impressive growth of the fleshy stem and the flowers that will follow. But then, I felt sad that this signaled the beginning of the end for my octopus agave.
A Generational Agave Journey in My Garden
You see, this agave is the ‘grandbaby’ of the first agave that I ever planted, back in the late 1990’s, making three generations of flowering agave in my Arizona garden.
Agave Sibling Growth and Transplanting
Eventually, that agave flowered, and I harvested one of the babies and planted it in a pot. Several years later, that octopus agave went through the same process, and I collected two babies.
The two siblings started out growing in a pot, and when they got large enough, I transplanted them out into the garden.
One was planted in a corner but had a short-lived stint in the garden as construction near the wall meant that it had to go.
Preparing for the Next Generation of Flowering Agave
Its sibling did great in its new spot in the front garden when it was planted in 2010, and now it is getting ready for babies.
The tiny baby agave are barely visible, and the stalk will grow several inches a day.
Life Expectancy of an Agave
Octopus agave don’t have a long lifespan and mine average eight years in the ground before they flower. They will grow much more quickly if you irrigate them excessively, so keep watering in check.
In a few months, miniature octopus agave will cover the flowering stalk, which can be easily detached and replanted in the garden. It’s hard to believe that I will be planting the fourth generation of agave in my garden.
*I will keep you updated as it continues to grow and the arrival of baby agave.