En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - March 16, 2011

From: Lockhart, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Blue agave with freeze damage in Lockhart TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I recently planted a blue agave plant, and 4 days after I planted it the temperature dropped to 20 degrees at night. The plants are still alive but 75% of the outer limbs turned brown. What do I do with it now?

ANSWER:

Agave tequilana, Blue Agave, is native to Jalisco, Mexico, the world capital of Tequila, which is distilled from the agave. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. It is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 9b to 11, and likes high altitudes. Since it is not native, we do not have it in our Native Plant Database, but have found some information on it for you.

From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer, here is an answer about an agave having freeze damage, although not the Blue Agave:

"What to do?  If you want to try to salvage the plant, carefully remove  the dead material so that healthy tissue can regenerate. Usually the first stage is the formation of callus tissue which will give rise to new tissue. Your plant may be too far gone, but with a little patience, you could possibly revive it."

From the Succulent Plant Page website, we extracted this information.

"Agave tequilana  F.A.C. Weber 1902
is perhaps the most important Agave for it is from the emerging flower spike of this plant that Tequila is made. It originates from the state of Tequila in Mexico, where selected clones are grown commercially. This species may be seen bedded out as a large specimen plant in warm climates.
 
The bluish leaves have finely toothed margins. The inflorescence of this specimen was taller than the Princess of Wales Conservatory at RBG Kew."

The major problem is that Lockhart is in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, as is most of Central Texas, which means that agave might freeze again. Perhaps it will come back, but we would recommend not planting another one in that spot. If you are determined to have an agave, Agave americana (American century plant) is the only native agave hardy to this area.

Pictures of Blue Agave from Google

 

From the Image Gallery


American century plant
Agave americana

American century plant
Agave americana

American century plant
Agave americana

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Killing a century plant from Burton TX
August 08, 2013 - How do you kill the century plant, they are taking over?
view the full question and answer

Should I remove the flowering stalk from my Dasylirion leioiphyllum?
March 23, 2009 - We transplanted a plant that is new to us but going through your photos on your website, it appears that we have a Dasylirion Leiophy. My question is this.. Are we supposed to cut the 6' stem that f...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging flower boxes from Austin
July 27, 2013 - I have two long flower boxes 17" x 15" x 25 feet long one on the north side of the apt and one on the south made of metal suspended about four feet from the ground. One will get the morning sun and ...
view the full question and answer

Does cutting off the budding agave bloom save the plant from Sunrise FL
April 30, 2010 - I have an Agave(century plant) just starting its long flower stalk. I have read the mother plant will die after flowering. Can I cut off the stalk before it flowers to save the plant? If not, how do i...
view the full question and answer

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center