18 September 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Agave

It had to happen sometime.

My beloved agave desmettiana variegata, which I injured myself planting last year (but it was worth it because it's the focal point of the front yard), has started growing its bloom spike.

This is really exciting because bloom spikes always look awesome -- imagine this spike ten feet tall:

But it's also sad because it means the agave is going to die soon. After our long search last year for just the right agave, this is the one that's supposed to occupy that spot in our yard, and it will be hard to see it wither away after it finishes flowering.

Although I hear the bloom spike will be covered with baby agaves -- so if you're in Austin, let me know if you want one -- they won't be nearly big enough to visually anchor that side of the yard. I imagine they will be similar in size to the babies that are currently growing under it (which are about 2-4" tall):

Fortunately, we do have the larger baby that we harvested last fall.

It was just a few inches tall when I removed it (similar to the larger of the babies growing under the mama in the picture above), but now it's about a foot tall and two feet in diameter. (This picture made me think it needs more sun, so I just took it outside.) But I've been saving it to plant in the backyard after we finish the underground cistern lines, so it remains to be seen what will assume the prime spot in the front yard.

I hear the spike could grow as much as a foot a week, so for now, we're just going to sit back and enjoy the show.  And when the time comes, I hope the death will be outweighed by the rebirth that will accompany it.

1 comment:

  1. that last photo looking down at the inflorescence, great shot!

    The bloom may slow down for your winter, hopefully not too cold of a winter. Enjoy the process, it is a wonder.