Blue Glow Agave -
Ba Bom Ba Ba Ba Ba Bom Bahhh ... TEQUILA!
Yes, we are talking about the tequila plant - agave. And while only blue agave is used to make Mexico’s signature liquor, there are more than 200 species of these desert-loving perennials. Called “Maguey” in Mexico, agave was and is still used for food, drink, clothing, medicine and building materials. The crop was so important to the region that the Aztecs considered it second only to maiz. Native to the warmer regions of South and Central America (mostly Mexico), these dramatic plants offer show-stopping foliage of long, thick and leathery leaves often topped with sharp spiny tips that are sure to keep the neighborhood dogs from doing their business on your lawn. Some species are quite small - no larger than a foot in diameter, and others can reach up to 7 feet tall! Colors remain year round and range from green, blue-green, yellow, or with a blend of gold and ivory.
Flowering occurs only once the plants are mature and often takes up to several years. Once the flower does bloom, the foliage dies. However, most of the reproduction of the agave plant occurs continually through asexual budding resulting in “pups” surrounding the base of the elder part of the plant. Some species will flower after only a few years, but more typically it can take up to 20, 30, or sometimes 100 years before the plant blooms and sets seed. The flower sprouts from the center of the plant and grows on a stalk that can reach over 10 feet high and indicates that your agave is very happy to see you. The bell shape at the top is where the seeds are held in branched clusters.
Agave are desert plants and need very little water and will not tolerate sustained dampness at the root zone. They prefer full sun and do not last long in freezing temperatures. They thrive in dry, nutrient-poor soil. While agave look beautiful in beds either as a single plant or in groups, they also make great house plants and are quite happy indoors planted in containers by sunny windows (sounds like a nice life, huh?).