Garden Maintenance Plant Reviews

Agave Envy

Agave parryii- LaVerkin, Utah

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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  • Reply
    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.

    • Reply
      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!

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