How to Grow Agaves in Containers
Agaves are excellent container plants since they don’t require much space. They came in many different sizes so it’s up to individual plant growers to decide which ones suit their needs and preferences best. Agaves handle being root bound surprisingly well, so they make excellent houseplants.
If you have restricted space in your garden and you wish to grow agaves, consider growing them in containers. It’s a good solution for small gardens. Agaves can easily tolerate hot soils as well as crowded root zones in containers.
Another advantage to growing agaves in containers is flexibility. If your plant is in a container, it’s easy to find just a perfect spot for it. You can choose a perfect location based on shade, sunlight and other conditions. If it gets too cold or if it rains, it’s easy to move your plant to a safer place.
Popular Agave Choices
One of the most popular is Agave lurida. It can grow to about 24-28 inches in size and it has smooth, slender leaves. This plant loves full sun but can thrive in medium light interiors (though it’s best to keep them somewhere with lots of sunlight).
Some smaller species are also very popular for growing in containers. Agave colorata can grow up to 12 inches. It has widely spaced gray-blue leaves whose shadows (known as bud imprints) look really nice. Another good choice is Agave bracteosa. It multiplies slowly. This plant has pale green, thin leaves which lack teeth and curve elegantly right from the base.
Some other popular choices include Agave attenuata, which has smooth-edged and large leaves, as well as Agave guiengola, a unique plant which has only a few pale gray-green leaves.
Tips on Growing Agaves in Containers
Remember that all agaves grown in containers require a soil that dries out slowly but also offers good drainage. It’s good to use a mix made of equal parts of garden soil or potting mix, compost and either pumice, sharp sand or gravel. Never use peat moss for agaves! Its water-holding properties and acidity are not suitable for agaves.
When you pot your agaves, it’s important to keep crown above the soil line. This is the best way to plant them because you need to take into account that the soil will subside after watering.
Once the plants are potted, it’s important to provide plenty of light. Most agaves require lots of sunshine to thrive. In fact, most agaves can tolerate even full sun, even in the desert. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to water them regularly. You should provide plenty of water. Make sure to test if the container is half dry before you water them again.
You should introduce some dry balanced fertilizer during growing season. Later in the season you can feed your plants with liquid fertilizer about once per month.