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Agave karatto – Antigua Agave

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Scientific Name

Agave karatto Mill.

Common Names

Antigua Agave, West Indian Dagger, Century Plant, Maguey

Synonyms

Agave barbadensis, Agave keratto, Agave kerrato, Agave kerratto, Agave nevidis, Agave obducta, Agave salm-dyckii, Agave scheuermaniana, Agave trankeera, Agave van-grolae

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Description

Agave karatto it is the national flower of Antigua and Barbuda. The rosettes are up to 10 feet (3 m) wide. The leaves are dagger-like, medium green, up to 3 feet (1 m) long, with sharp tips and small teeth along the edges. The flowering spike is up to 18 feet (5.5 m) high, multiply branched near the top. Flowers are yellow in color.. After flowering, numerous bulbils appear near the spent flowers, forming new plants which shortly drop to the ground.

Photo via wikimedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Agave is not a difficult plant to grow. They're slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you're the type of person who likes to fuss with houseplants and water a lot, Agave is probably not the plant for you. If, however, you're the type of person who likes to set it and forget it, and you have a sunny window, Agave might the way to go. Be aware that some of the large varieties will eventually outgrow your room (unless you have a large greenhouse), and Agave can be aggressive. They have irritating sap and sometimes very sharp thorns that can cause injuries to small children and even pets.

In general, Agave do not need to be repotted every year. Most of the species commonly found in cultivation grow very slowly and will take a long time to outgrow their pot. It's also best to handle your Agave as little as possible, since they do not like to be disturbed. When you do repot, refresh the spent soil with new potting mix and make sure the plant is firmly anchored in its pot… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Agave

Origin

Native to the Windward Islands of the Caribbean West Indies.

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