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Flowering Agave


My agave plant is getting ready to flower.  This is not a good thing.  The flowering is impressive and lovely to see but the plant is monocarpic which means that it will die after it flowers.  The chemicals produced in the flowering process kill the plant.  As you can see, the bloom spike on my agave is getting taller and taller.

Often there are numerous suckers formed around the base of the plant when it dies and those can be left where they are or moved to other locations and will grow into new plants.  Thanks to Debra Lee Baldwin for this great photo of the "pups".  By the way, google Ms. Baldwin for lots of great information and wonderful photos of agaves.

As far as I can tell, the flowering process will proceed through the summer and into the fall.  The spike will get taller, the top will branch and form large clumps of flowers that are full of agave nectar.  This attracts bees and butterflies.  This will be a party that lasts for months!

 

These plants generally live 15 to 20 years and only flower once.  I think I may have been too kind to my plant because it's only about 10 years old.  They say you should be mean to your agave plant and they will live longer before they flower.  Sounds like stupid advice to me but I think it's accurate.

In the meantime, I can't wait to see what my blossoms look like.  I'll bring you pictures as the process unfolds.