How to Landscape With Agave — powered by ehow
Agave: s perfect plant for dry locations
If you live where temperatures do not freeze hard and soil drains freely, you can grow these plants. There are many varieties, some small and decorative and some huge and sculptural. Gardening with the agave can offer a striking focal point to the landscape. Sharp pointed plants can also be used as fences, barriers to undesirable wildlife or deterrents under windows for security. There are many ways to use these plants both practically and aesthetically in the landscape design.
To be successful, give the plant as much direct sun as you can. Since these plants are succulents — they have adapted their leaves for water storage — they are excellent drought resistant choices. They do well in dry-summer climates and other areas where there are extended periods of little or no rain. This does not mean they can live without water. All life needs water. It simply means they are not totally dependent on their roots to take up existing water and can sustain themselves for a while without rain. They will need to refuel, however. If you see a plant with a slightly shriveled look, it’s time to give it a drink.
Plants can be grown in moister climates or even in pots. In these cases they need to be planted in extremely loose, well-draining soil with lots of sand and maybe some added perlite. Any grown in containers should be given space enough for their mature size to fit. Some small varieties stay small, but some of the larger ones like the Agave americana can grow very large. Again, grow an agave where it will get as much sun as possible (though they will survive without a lot, they won’t thrive or bloom) and keep it safe from root freezes.
Ravenous gophers have been known to chew off the roots and crash even huge plants to the ground. If you live where gophers are a problem, you may want to surround the root area with a cylinder of chicken wire that goes down about a foot. Even though leaves can store water, these plants need their roots to take up water and nutrients and require those roots to stabilize their heavy upper growth.