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Agave tequilana (Blue Agave)

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Scientific Name

Agave tequilana F. A. C. Weber

Common Names

Blue Agave, Tequila Agave

Synonyms

Agave angustifolia subsp. tequilana, Agave palmaris, Agave palmeris, Agave pedrosana, Agave pes-mulae, Agave pseudotequilana

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Description

Agave tequilana is a fast-growing succulent plant with large rosettes of fleshy, sword-like leaves. The rosettes grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and about the same in diameter. Leaves are blue-gray, up to 4 foot (1.2 m) long, with margins lined with teeth and a brown, sharp terminal spine. In summer, when about 5 to 8 years old, it produces an up to 20 feet (6 m) tall flower stalk with 20 to 25 branches. Flowers are green, with red stamens. The rosette dies after flowering, but new rosettes formed by offsets from the base of the mother plant will remain. This plant is grown commercially in Mexico as the base ingredient for tequila.

Photo via uniprot.org

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Agaves are not difficult plants to grow. They are slow-growing and dramatic and will even thrive on a bit of neglect. If you are 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 are 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, Agaves 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 is also best to handle your plant 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. However, be careful not to pot the Agave too deep as that will encourage stem rot during the growing season… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Agave

Origin

Agave tequilana is native to Jalisco, Mexico.

Cultivars

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