Saturday, October 27, 2007

Whale's Tongue Agave

Agave ovatifolia

Several years ago, I attended a fall garden festival and won this Agave ovatifolia in a raffle. It was in a 5-gallon container and fully rooted. It had obviously come from a nursery, rather than as an unrooted offset from some contributor's garden, so it was a nice prize for me. I was in a hurry to get it in the ground, so I put it in a spot that turned out not to be the best choice.

Over the past couple of summers, this Agave has suffered from sun burnt leaves. It is in an area where my yard slopes upward, so it receives the full brunt of a southern exposure. I've since learned that this species does better in filtered light. I've nursed it along by placing shade cloth over it in July and August, but the exposure is just too much for it, so I'm going to be moving it next week to an area more suited to its needs.

Unlike many Agaves, the A. ovatifolia does not produce offsets. It's just as well. This solitary succulent can get huge--up to five feet high and six feet wide if given supplemental water. I did not run an emitter to this Agave, as I wanted it to remain on the small side. I water it by hand monthly nine months a year, and every two weeks in summer, so it is growing slowly.


Julie said...

I think this is a very beautiful agave with its bluish hue.

Sometimes Unwilling Guru said...

Thanks for visiting! I didnt think I was still on the green thumb list as i cant work out the BlogRoll thingy!!
Anyhow i enjoy checking the lovely plants you have in your world!!On the geraniums,they are easy to grow here and Im just starting to add a couple of them into difficult areas as I have to limit water(a move started by myself before i was instructed by management,one which will reflect on my "gardening skills,LOL)