Agave tequilana (Tequila Agave)


Scientific Name

Agave tequilana F.A.C.Weber

Common Names

Blue Agave, Tequila Agave, Weber's Blue Agave

Synonyms

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

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Agave

Origin

This species is native to Mexico (Jalisco).

Description

Agave tequilana is a fast-growing succulent that forms large rosettes of fleshy, blue-green to silver-green leaves that turn reddish in full sun. The rosettes grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and about the same in diameter. Leaves are lance-shaped, up to 4 feet (1.2 m) long, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) wide, and have light to dark brown marginal teeth and a sharp, brown terminal spine. After 5 to 8 years, the rosettes mature and produce an up to 20 feet (6 m) tall flower stalk with 20 to 25 branches. Flowers are green with purple stamens and appear in summer. The rosette dies after flowering, leaving offsets to continue the life cycle.

The specific epithet "tequilana" refers to Santiago de Tequila in the State of Jalisco in Mexico. It derives from the Nahuatl "tequillan or tecuila," meaning "place of tribute."

Tequila is exclusively produced in five regions of Mexico (Jalisco and parts of Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, Michoacan, and Nayarit). It is made only from a specific cultivar of Agave tequilana called Agave tequilana 'Weber Azul'. This cultivar is a rapid grower and prolific offsetter with larger rosettes and blue-gray leaves.

How to Grow and Care for Agave tequilana

Light: These plants require full sun to part shade. If you are growing Agaves indoors, choose a bright, sunny window with as much sun possible. Agave plants love going outside from spring to fall.

Soil: Agaves will tolerate most soils as long as they have good drainage, but their preference is sandy or rocky soil.

Hardiness: Agave tequilana can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 40 °F (-3.9 to 4.4 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 10b.

Watering: Mature plants are very drought tolerant. From spring to fall, water thoroughly your Agave when the soil mix becomes dry. In winter, water sparingly about once a month. Plants in containers require more frequent watering than those in the ground.

Fertilizing: Give your Agaves a small amount of fertilizer in the spring during the first two years.

Repotting: When the pot becomes full of roots, it has become pot-bound. If you notice you Agave becoming pot-bound, repot it with new soil in a new pot that is just slightly larger than the old one.

Propagation: Since it can take years to produce seeds, Agaves are usually propagated by offsets.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Agave.

Toxicity of Agave tequilana

Agave tequilana is not toxic to humans, but it may be mildly poisonous to children and pets.

Cultivars of Agave tequilana

  • Agave tequilana 'Sunrise'

Links

  • Back to genus Agave
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Grow Blue Agave From a Pup Step-by-Step

The easiest way to grow any agave is from a pup. Here are instructions to help you get your plant started and care for it on an ongoing basis.

#1 – Choose the Right Location To Grow Agave

Begin by placing your blue agave pup into well-draining, sandy potting mix in a garden location that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight every day.

These plants prefer a rich, sandy soil however, almost any quality well-draining potting mix is acceptable.

Be sure to select a landscape location that is high enough to allow excellent drainage as these plants cannot tolerate wet feet.

You must also take care to protect the plant from chill. Sheltering trees or bushes that provide a wind block but do not block the sun can be helpful.

Leave plenty of space for the plant to grow to its full and imposing height and breadth.

Remember that its spears are rigid and sharp and equipped with thorny spines (leaf tips), so place your blue agave well away from footpaths and play areas.

Also, keep in mind the fact that you will need to remove the remains of the plant after it blooms (some thirty years down the line) so don’t put it in an area that will be difficult to access and work in when that time comes.

#2 – Water Agave Plants Carefully!

Once you have located a good spot and planted your blue agave, be sure to keep it watered until the roots become well-established. Water deeply, once a week for about four weeks. If you get substantial rain, don’t water.

Once the plant is established, water one or two times a month during the growing season, always taking natural rainfall into account.

Don’t water in the wintertime. When watering, water the plant thoroughly and evenly, but do not overwater and leave the plant standing in water. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again.

Don’t worry that your plant will be thirsty. It is far better to under-water than over-water. All succulents store extra water in their leaves, and your plant will have what it needs.

#3 – Fertilize Agaves Very Sparingly or Not At All

You can give your blue agave a half dose of diluted liquid fertilizer specially formulated feed for succulents and cactus if you wish. This really is not necessary, though.

Once established, your plant should be able to glean all the nourishment it needs from the soil.

Mulching around the plant with chopped leaves in the cooler months should help replenish nutrients in the soil and provide more nourishment for your agave if it needs it.

Remember that excessive fertilizer will spur your plant to flower, and that will be the end of your plant!

#4 – Protect Agave Plants Against Cold

Blue Agave succulents can withstand an occasional freeze if you take extra precautions. Be sure to cover your plant with blankets before it freezes. Your cover should extend all the way to the ground to hold in the heat of the earth.

If you can surround your plant with bales of straw or bags of leaves to help hold the blankets in place, it is helpful.

If you are expecting temperatures below 28° degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period, you should dig your plant up and bring it indoors if it is small enough to do so.


Basic Facts

The Agave tequilana succulent can grow up to 5 feet in height and width, and it prefers to be fully exposed to the sun. Their maintenance requirements are minimal. In fact, you don’t really need to do much if you would like to have one in your garden!

You just need to place them in a perfect location where they can receive lots of direct sun. They don’t need much water either as they are very tolerant of drought climates.


Agave

Agave ( / ə ˈ ɡ ɑː v i / , UK also / ə ˈ ɡ eɪ v i / , [2] Anglo-Hispanic: / ə ˈ ɡ ɑː v eɪ / ) [3] is a genus of monocots native to the hot and arid regions of the Americas, although some Agave species are also native to tropical areas of South America. The genus Agave (from the Ancient Greek αγαυή, agauê) [4] is primarily known for its succulent and xerophytic species that typically form large rosettes of strong, fleshy leaves. [5] Agave now includes species formerly placed in a number of other genera, such as Manfreda, ×Mangave, Polianthes and Prochnyanthes.

Plants in this genus may be considered perennial, because they require several to many years to mature and flower. [6] [ page needed ] [7] However, most Agave species are more accurately described as monocarpic rosettes or multiannuals, since each individual rosette flowers only once and then dies a small number of Agave species are polycarpic. [6] [ page needed ] [7]

Along with plants from the closely related genera Yucca, Hesperoyucca, and Hesperaloe, various Agave species are popular ornamental plants in hot, dry climates, as they require very little supplemental water to survive. [7] Most Agave species grow very slowly. [5] Some Agave species are known by the common name "century plant". [8]


Watch the video: AGAVE: The Cultivation of Tradition


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