Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's been 22 days since our last rain, so my thoughts turn again to what can grow in such dry conditions. These agaves are all fairly new to the garden, but are so far, very adaptable to both wet and dry fluctuations and high humidity. Not all agaves can perform such tricks. Thanks to Cindy from My Corner of Katy for the format and great ideas. You'll find her wonderful garden blog on my sidebar favorites.

In the foreground, Agave geminiflora. In the back, Agave americana.

Agave parryi var. parryi. There's also a A. parryi var. truncata for dry climates.
Both of these are quite beautiful and should be available in southern areas.

Agave desmettiana  'Joe Hoak'. This is a very difficult agave to grow in Houston and it's challenged my patience to the limit. This one is two or three years old and still pretty much a baby. I've not given up on it since it is so unusual.
Do you have a difficult plant that you haven't given up on? I'd love to know.


  1. Hmmmm.....that's a difficult question. There are plants that I love that I wouldn't give up on like my Jacaranda trees, but I think my frustrations this year have come from roses. I would love to grow them, and they do.....but by the end of the summer, their canes get all black...and I'm thinking of just pulling them and putting in something that I know will grow yet still be attractive. Everyone says....roses are easy, bla bla bla....but I can't get the darn things from developing that canker!! So there you have my answer:) Agaves are great but they are definitely frost sensitive...and some more than others. Good luck:)

  2. More than one, I can assure you. Most prefer the English climate, like foxgloves and hollyhocks. I have finally given up on them in favor of agaves and cactus. I too have A desmettiana x variegata but now grow it in pots as the winters here are too cold. Even so they are fast growers even in pots. Just love agaves.

  3. I've just added all sorts of agaves to the garden out front and I am grooving on them so much that I want more!

  4. There are many Agaves that are very cold tolerant. I have a good friend in Colorado Springs that has several different species in his outside garden that takes -20F without harm. One factor that helps a lot is very little precipitation (avg. 10-12 inches) but there is not that much snow cover in the winter as they average much less than the Denver area. One that I know is cold hardy is A. harvardiana. Here in Ft. Smith, AR, Agave lophantha takes all the cold here like a champ and Agave americana can tolerate down to about 15F.

  5. There are many cold-tolerant Agaves that can take temps well below zero F. I have a friend in Colorado Springs that grows several in his yard where temps can go as low as 20-25 below zero in winter. Agave harvardiana and A. neomexicana are two that I recall him having. Here in Ft. Smith, AR, I have A. lophantha that is very hardy and A. americana has taken temps down to 15F.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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