Earlier this summer our agave started to bloom. It put out a flower spike that just kept growing taller and taller. The branches of the spike started to open up and you could see the flower pods starting to develop.
Then, for some unknown reason, the flower spike broke in half. I can only assume it had something to do with weather conditions because I have noticed several other agaves in my general area that have done the same thing.
The agave dies after it flowers. Sometimes it will put out a whole raft of smaller "pups" around it's base. These new plants are not the product of sexual reproduction but are copies of the original plant. If our agave had left us with "pups" we would have been thrilled. It did not, however. We were left with a large dead plant which was knocked over by the wind and lay sadly on the ground.
I love our agave plant so we ordered a new one. Turns out they are fairly pricey. A 30 gallon plant would have run us $525. Ouch. We ordered a smaller version for about half the cost. This new plant is a Whale's Tongue Agave. It's a different species than our old one and has a little bit different look - shorter and thicker arms and more variation in color. The most important feature,however, is its tolerance for cold weather. Our now dead agave was hit hard last year and the year before when we had temperatures drop below freezing. Hopefully the new plant won't have those issues.
Happily, our new agave arrived this morning. The landscapers did a wonderful job, as usual, of getting it into the ground. I'm very pleased with the new look!