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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - June 06, 2007

From: Wilmington, NC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Care for century plant
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the best way to care for a Century Plant? We were given one as a gift and don't know what to do with it.

ANSWER:

Agave americana (American century plant) does well in sandy, medium, or clay Loam or in rocky soil. It is best used in mass or as focal point. It benefits from some extra moisture in very dry conditions, but is very tolerant of heat and xeric conditions. Takes light shade better than some other agaves. Protect from teen winter temperatures to avoid damage. Keep mature width of plant in mind when placing in the landscape to avoid sharp leaf tip spines. While it is small enough, it may be kept in a pot to make it easiesr to protect from low temperatures. In spite of the name, it will mature and flower in about 8 to 10 years. Although the mature plants dies after flowering, it will put out offshoots or "pups" which may be planted to propagate the plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


American century plant
Agave americana

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