Agave Americana – Growing and Caring for Century Plant

Agave Americana - Growing and Caring for Century Plant

Century Plant- Agave Americana

Century plant or agave Americana is a flowering plant in the family of Agavaceae. These plant species are native to United States, West Indies, Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. It is cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant.

Plants typically grow to a height of 6-10 feet tall with long gray-green leaves, yellow color blossoms and a heavy spike at the tip. The plants may die after flowering but produce shoots from the base that will continue the growth.

If your plants do not bloom flowers after a year-long and find yellow leaves then there may be chances of your plant to die. To overcome this problem, make use of liquid organic fertilizers to your beautiful lotus plants to boost the growth. Here in this article, we shared the information about growing and caring of century plants.

Century Plant Information

Origin                                :               Mexico

Scientific Name               :               Agave Americana

Other Names                    :              Sentry plant, Maguey, American aloe

Family                               :               Agavaceae

USDA Zones                    :               5-10

Plant Height                   :               6-10 feet

Flowering                        :               Yellow color flowers

Soil                                   :               well-drain soil

Sunlight                          :               Full sun

Temperature                 :               50F

Fertilizers                      :               N-P-K (10-10-10)

How to Grow Century Plant from Seeds?

To grow century plants, start growing from seeds. Though it takes much time to grow and mature, produces beautiful flowers after a year long. You just need proper care to maintain century plant at home that acts as an air purifier.

Pot and Soil

Choose a clay or ceramic pot of size 15-20 centimeters to start growing century plants. Use a potting mix soil with equal amounts of compost, graves, garden soil and sandy soil. Do not use peat moss, acidity as it contains the property called water-holding capacity which is not suitable for growing century plants.

Water and Sunlight

Century plants require more water during growing season than in the dormant period. In the first 2 months of planting, water the plant for every 4-5days and once the plant establishes they need little water supplements on a daily basis.

Agave Americana plants can grow well in both warm and cool climatic conditions. The best temperature to grow century plants is 50F. Sometimes the plants may be more tolerant to colder climates even though they grow much bigger.

Pests and Diseases Problem

Pests Diseases
Aphids Root rot
Spider mites Damping off
Weevils Anthracnose
Slugs and snails Powdery mildew
Beetles Darks spots
Whitefly Crown Rot
Caterpillars Yellow leaves

Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms

S. No Element Deficiency Symptom 
1 Nitrogen Yellow leaves, slow growth
2 Phosphorus Dull yellow foliage with slow growth
3 Potassium Purple leaf edges, yellow color leaf tints
4 Magnesium Necrotic leaves, stunted growth
5 Calcium Interveinal chlorosis, purplish red color edges

Fertilizers

Fertilize the century plant only in the spring season of every year. Use all-purpose fertilizers like N-P-K fertilizer in the ratio of 10-10-10 when preferring landscape method. When grown in containers fertilize the plant with liquid fertilizers once in every 2months. You can fertilize the plant with organic compost or manure to thrive the agave plant quickly.

Pruning and Repotting

If century plants grow sideways, for safety purpose prune only the terminal spine. Prune the flower stalk, dead or diseased leaves at an angle with the pruning saw, shears to encourage water runoff and new growth.

Repotting the agave plant is done to promote faster growth. It is done actually when the roots of the century plants come off the pot just by breaking it. It happens when the size of the pot is small. So re-pot the century or agave plants to bigger pots every year which can boost the plant growth without any damage to the roots.

Can you Propagate Century Plant from Cuttings?

The agave plant is served as food, drink, medicine and as clothing in ancient history. Although century plants are used as food, some century plant varieties contain toxic compounds that can cause a headache, skin and throat irritation. These plants grow best in semi-arid regions, low-nutrient soils and can withstand both heat and cold climatic conditions. When you properly care for century plants, insects and diseases do not spoil the plant growth.

Offshoots

Propagating from offshoots is the fastest and most reliable method for the production of century plants. Instead of growing the plant from leaf you can start growing them from an offset, part of the main plant. They are usually small, bigger in color and his own set of roots. It should be of the size of (1/5th) of the main plant and has at least 4 leaves when you prefer to grow them in pots or outdoors.

Cuttings

To propagate century plant, select the mature plant that you would like to cut from the parent plant. Cut the stem of size 6-8 inches tall and place the leaf cuttings in a cactus mix soil about 2 inches deep and dampen the soil with water. Make sure you insert the leaf cuttings properly into the soil. Water thoroughly and provide sunlight to the plants. Within 4 weeks root develops and you can transplant it to outdoors.

How do you Care for Century Plant?

  • Harvest the agave plant using a sharp knife or scissors.
  • Fertilize the century plant once in spring season throughout the year.
  • Century plants do not tolerate the extremely cool weather or frost conditions.
  • Make sure the Century plant receives sunlight for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day.
  • Follow instructions & warning labels on seed covers and fertilizers before using them.
  • Wear gloves and face masks if you don’t like the smell of fertilizers when applied to the plants
  • Pot or container must have holes at the bottom for air circulation and to drain water completely.
  • When you choose century plant leaf or stems from a mature plant to propagate, make sure it is healthy & disease resistant.

How do you plant agave pups?

Place the pups on newspaper in a shady location for several days. Allow the cut to dry before transplanting in the ground or pot. To prevent root rot, place them in a well-drain, loose soil when you prefer to grow outdoors or landscape.

How Long Do century plants live?

Century plants may live up to 10-30 years. The plant can spread about 10 feet tall with gray-green leaves of 3-5 feet long, each with a prickly margin and heavy spike at the tip of the plant.

How long does it take for a century plant to bloom?

The name itself is the century plant but does not bloom after every 100 years. These plants typically live 10-30 years and flowering only once at the end of its life. Some plant varieties may bloom earlier if you provide the plant with rich soil, watering, and sunlight.

Is century plant poisonous?

Century plants are mildly toxic to nature, but the sap of the plant is very poisonous. It does not kill dogs or cats but contains tiny, sharp oxalate crystals that burn, injuries in mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies, and throat including soft tissues.

Agave Americana - Growing and Caring for Century Plant

Start growing these wonderful air-purifying century plants in your home. If you have amazing ideas about growing century plant, please share your experience with us.

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