Common name: Agave, Mauritius Hemp
From the forests of Mexico, Agave gypsophila is a drought tolerant, blue-grey foliaged plant (when grown in full sun). Highly sought after for the colour and texture attributes, this Agave has become a favourite amongst designers creating xerophytic landscapers and of avid plant collectors.
Spines along the leaf margins not only add to its appeal, but also alarm gardeners to take care when dealing with the plant.
Growing to no more than 1m high and up to 2m wide, Agave gypsophila will have more green to the leaves when grown in shade or provided with ample water and nutrients. It will also grow more quickly under these conditions.
In the humid tropics this plant becomes more succulent and leaves arch closer to the ground.
This plant does not like wet conditions or frost. In high rainfall areas good drainage is essential.
Suckers are produced during the growing season. These can be removed and potted up.
Best growing conditions are:
- full sun
- well drained soil with added organic matter prior to planting
- provide additional water only after long periods of drought conditions, or if strong growth is desired.
Outdoor growing in the landscape:
Well suited to containers on balconies, patios and decks.
Ideal for dry gardens that do not have access to water.
Great anti-theft device if planted around house in strategic locations.
If planting in full sun, aim to achieve the full blue colour to contrast with surrounding foliage plants.
Written by Paul Plant, Editor for subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au