Escapee

It looks like someone wants outta here!

I’ve been watching this miscreant American century plant, Agave americana, for a while, since it was a wee pup.  It seems happy enough in its neither here, nor there sort of state.

Cheeky plant!

Playing hide-and-go-seek?

Sneaking out the back door?

Rocking the agave version of an agave bow tie to its matching agave hat?

Maybe its simply doing what this species of agave do: pupping right, left, bottom–where ever.  If you look at the base of the larger plant, there are two other pups, just waiting in the wings to grow up.  Also, there are fallen oak leaves which should have been picked out weeks ago, but those are even more temporary than the agave pups, which will be pulled soon.  For the leaves, a surgical strike with careful fingers will do the trick, but for the agaves, gloves are a must.

I grow several American agave specimens in pots and ONLY in pots; I never plant them in the ground.  In the ground, given time and space, they become too big, too unwieldy, too dangerous.  I’m not a member of the spiky plant club, not a fan of plants that poke me in places that don’t want poking–you know, eyes, arms, legs, butt.  That said, I think agaves as a group, and this species in particular, are quite beautiful, the color its own blue-gray-green marvel; truly a stunning plant.  The graceful-but-with-spikes-attached structure of these plants is eye-catching in the garden and a foil for the shrubs with  lush, soft, and archetypal, garden foliage.

So, all of my American agave plants grow in pots.  Even when they try to escape.

I haven’t decided how long I’ll let this scoundrel succulent hang out here, hiding from  the others, but for now, I see no reason to yank out its spiny self.  I’m interested in observing just how big this baby gets.

Maybe it’ll get as big as the one in the basin.  Of course by then, the one in the basin will be even larger and it may need yanking.  So like all gardening, it’s a never-ending saga, a tale as old as time.

For more garden sagas, check out Anna’s Wednesday Vignette.

 

21 thoughts on “Escapee

  1. I always think of out-of-place asters and such as accidental gardens, especially when they pop up in marina bulkheads and such. This almost qualifies. It certainly seems to have an adventurous spirit, and it’ll be interesting to see how it does.

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    • I love it when plants just…pop up! (Or, in the case of my agave, down.)

      There used to be a garden/plant meme, hosted by one of the wonderful British garden bloggers about just such plants. I don’t think the meme is active anymore, but it’s always fun to see how and where plants happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love agaves, and lament the fact that I can’t grow them. They can get quite big up here too, and I love how sculptural they are, but I have way too much shade. When I’ve tried, they get way too splay-y due to lack of light. I mostly enjoy them vicariously through others. The enterprising ways of that last little pup is admirable – LOL!

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    • I don’t love them, but I see their beauty and want to incorporate them in my garden. Mine do fairly well in shade, but they still get lots of the Texas sun, which is harsher than the Oregon sun. I like that little rogue fella and will keep an eye (safely at a distance) on its progress.

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  3. That’s awesome, Tina. I had to enlarge it to see it at first, but how fun that the pup grew out below. I have one Agave plant in a pot; I bought it last summer, and it’s starting to add pups. They are fun plants, for sure.

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  4. What I like most about agave is the color.- that gorgeous blue gray color simply strikes me as, well striking. I planted some type of agave that I got at a nursery many years ago. That plant grew to be quite tall with lethal pointed ends. I once stuck myself just a tad and that was enough for me to have my son chop it down. And that was not easy, because it refused to die and I had to have it hand dug out. Now that I think of it maybe it was not an agave- its leaves were not gray green- just plain medium to dark green. I always get mixed up regarding the difference between a yucca and an agave. And after I post this I shall go have a look in Google. I have several of the long leaf native woodland agave or yucca. Those produce long leaves with a thorny tip that can cause pain but not nearly as lethal as the first one that I described. Mine send up long beautiful spikes of white blossoms each year. They grow in a rocky part of my yard near the base of some live oaks. And new plants sometimes emerge and I am careful to not disturb the little ones.

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    • I’m with you on the color, I think it’s gorgeous and really, that’s the main reason I have it–the unusual color. I do like the structure too and I think it’s important in a garden, but oh how I hate the spikes and that point!

      When they get huge as they grow in the ground, they’re very hard to chop down and dig out. That’s why mine are all in pots, much more manageable.

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  5. Do you happen to remember when Ricardo Montalban did those old commercials for Chrysler, when he drove a brand new 1978 Cordoba around that circular driveway with Agave americana in the middle? Well, my colleague down south needed to thin them out after all these years. We did not know what to do with so many, so put several out in the medians of the interchange where La Brea Avenue goes under the Santa Monica Freeway. Gads! If they ever need to be removed, it will likely be by bulldozer.

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