Garden Maintenance Plant Reviews

Agave Envy

No matter where a person lives, it seems we always want those plants we can’t have.  You know- the deep blue hydrangeas or vividly colored azaleas found in the more acidic soils of the coasts?  Fear not- there is some envy headed back our way as they can’t grow lilacs.  Other plants we can’t have because of temperature.  Many of the really cool cactus and salvia plants that WOULD thrive here but for cold always leave me envious too.

However, one of the plants I most envy are Agaves.  And that is actually good news because they can be grown successfully in Utah if you employ a few garden tricks.

#1- Drainage.  Agaves can not abide wet soils or any sort of standing water as it rots them right away.  To succeed with Agaves, make sure you plant them in raised beds or sandy soil and in a location where they’ll be safe from pooling water of any sort.

#2- Winter Cover. Even hardy agaves can benefit from some winter cover (though it may not be strictly necessary).  While some agaves can take the cold air temperatures, they cannot take wet snow piled into the crown of the plant that remains for long periods of time.

#3- Full Sun.  Always.  And now that I’ve said “always” there are probably some exceptions!

If you want a plant that has a similar look but is less work, try one of the trunking Yuccas such as Yucca rostrata ‘Sapphire Skies’.

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  • Ann
    February 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Nice picture. No agave envy, but I do suffer from lilac envy. Looking forward to more how to tips for those hard to grow plants.

    • Cynthia
      February 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Given that some of the plants in this post are FROM your yard, no need to envy them! LOL! I do have lots of great ideas for the future of your landscape- we need something that will match the awesomeness of the Craftsman architecture!